October 13, 2009

You boob! [part one]

So I'm reading a new post from one of my favorite bloggers, Jeri. Yes, it's October - Breast Cancer Awareness month for those of you living under a rock - and I never converse on that topic because I don't feel right about talking about that with which I have no experience. However, having always been one of those good girls who does her monthly self-exams and never misses a mammogram, I do have a boob story. And here it is:

In December of 2000 I had my yearly pelvic, pap and mammo visits (or as I like to call them, "poke, scrape and shmush"). My gyno was palpitating my right breast and seemed to be spending a longer than normal time at it. Just when I was about to ask her if she was kneading a biscuit or something, she says, "You have a lump here." My response was something like, "Well, I've never felt anything and I examine myself every month, where....?" She grabs my left hand and puts it to the ten o'clock area of my breast and holy hell, what is THAT?!?

Okay, so now off to the mammogram. I'm one of those women with lumpy breast tissue so I never get a mammogram without also getting an ultrasound, and this day was no different. Between the 934 pictures the tech took and two (!) ultrasounds - one by the technician and one by the radiologist - I was there for probably three hours. Turns out there was an "area of concern" in my left breast as well as the nasty something in my right. Blah, blah, when it was all over I'd had a needle aspiration of a fluid-filled cyst on the left side and a needle biopsy of a mass on the right.

It's funny, but I was so easily able to separate my breasts from myself during all of this. It was like my breasts had become aliens, and what was happening to them was not happening to me. But I digress.

So the radiology report comes back and my gyno calls me and says the mass in my right breast is not cancer but it is a cluster of atypical cells and if I am willing, she'd like the whole thing removed. I am absolutely cool with that, I found a surgeon, had a consult and we set a date for surgery. I can't remember why now, but there was something going on in my life that made me say, "If this isn't an emergency, I need to wait about six weeks," He was stunned, he'd probably never had a breast surgery patient be as cavalier about it as I guess I was. Anyway, it made sense to me at the time.

To be continued and it will get better I promise...

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