Monday, October 7, 2013

My Mammogram Experience.

Photo

Last week I had my first ever mammogram.
And since it IS Breast Cancer Awareness month, 
I've chosen to share the details.

I'll never forget this particular procedure.
I'm only 34 ya know.  Soon to be 35.
You're not technically supposed to have your first mammogram until your 40.

But....I had been having some pain in my left breast the past few months and my doctor recommended that I get one.  

{Warning: for any of my MALE readers...this post might be incredibly uncomfortable for you to read. Consider yourself warned.}

My doctor did a self breast exam on me and didn't FEEL anything out of the ordinary BUT...since breast cancer DOES run in my family...she wanted to take all precautionary measures.

{Does anyone else have a problem with giving themselves self breast exams?  I never quite feel like I'm doing it right.  I know they say you should do it in the shower but honestly....I never feel like I'm 
'cop-ing' a good enough feel if ya know what I mean.  For lack of better words.}

I think as women....BREAST CANCER is always a fear that we have in the back of our minds.
We hear so many stories of friends and loved ones who have it.
Without sounding like a Debbie Downer...it's just always a possibility with us, right?

Which is why...I was extra scared for my first ever mammo.
I was scared of THAT possibility PLUS I was scared of the fact that it was going to hurt.
{Haven't we all heard stories of how they squish the &*^% outta your boobs?}

Once I made it to my appointment and filled out the paperwork, they called me back and told me to undress from the waist up and then wait in the waiting room with a robe like cover on me. 

The lady working on me called me back and explained how the procedure would go down.
News Flash: I had this procedure ALL WRONG in my head!

I THOUGHT I was going to lay down on something and they were going to like wheel me through a machine {kinda like a CAT scan type thing} and just smush down on me.

WRONG.  The machine actually looks like this:

Photo via NY Times
And just to be clear..NO...that is NOT me in that picture.
{Lol}.

You literally plop your boob onto a shelf like machine and they press something down onto it and then proceed to take pictures.

Who Knew?
{Wait...everyone BUT me?!? Haha.}

They 'squish' each breast 2- 3 times.  
They do a front angle and then a side angle.

Although it DOES hurt....it doesn't hurt NEARLY as badly as I thought it would.
And the pain only lasts 3-5 seconds.
That's it! I was very relieved with that fact.

When the lady was done taking pictures, she told me to go back into the waiting room and that they'd be back in to get me to tell me the results.

She eventually came back.
But told me they wanted MORE pictures.

MORE pictures?
What does that mean?!?
And WHY??

I started to get a little teary as I walked back in.
Although she was not allowed to 'tell me anything'...
she DID say that sometimes with it being your FIRST mammo....they don't have anything else to base your boobs off of so they have to sometimes take MORE pictures.

Hmmmmm.
I was still freaking out on the inside.

It didn't help that while she was taking the pics, she proceeded to ask me if I had little kids at home and what their ages were.

Was she trying to feel me out so they'd know the best way to tell me the bad news?!?
Every scenario was now going through my brain.

I proceeded to go back to the waiting room and wait.
By this point....I couldn't even read my favorite magazine that I had brought to read.


I usually can't resist their Halloween issue either, but my nerves had gotten the best of me.

I waited for what seemed like forever and then A DIFFERENT lady came out to get me because....
they needed to do an ultrasound now.

AN ULTRASOUND?!?
ON MY BOOBS???

What. The.?!?!?!?!

Now my heart was really starting to race.

She pulled me back into the room and had me lay down.
As she was warming up the jelly that she was going to use on me with her ultrasound equipment, 
I caught a glimpse of a picture that was on the computer screen of my 2 breasts.  

On my left breast, there was an arrow pointing to a teeny tiny dot inside of my boob. 

FREAKING OUT times 100 NOW.

WHAT WAS THAT SPOT?!?!

She told me that because of that spot...they wanted to take some more detailed pictures for the doctor to evaluate.

That's all she would tell me.
SHE THEN proceeded to ask me about my family AND HOW YOUNG MY KIDS WERE!!!

I knew it couldn't be good. 
Now SHE was feeling me out to prepare me for the bad news.

Once she was done {which seemed like forever, again} she told me to stay laying on the bed and that the doctor would come in and tell me the results.

GuLP!!!!

She left the room and I started to cry.

I realized then....how quickly life can change.
Literally...In just a MATTER OF MINUTES our lives have the possiblitiy of changing forever.

I instantly thought of my husband, my children, and how badly I just wanted to blink my eyes and be at home with them.  

I feel SAFE at home.
I feel LOVE at home.
And I feel PEACE at home.

I was reminded.....our FAMILIES are THE MOST important people in our lives.
Our families combined with our faith in God...are what matter MOST in THIS LIFE.
Nothing else.

I ONLY WANTED MY FAMILY while I was waiting for my results.
And I was praying like crazy to my Heavenly Father to prepare me for whatever those results were going to be.  

The Doctor came in. She was a female and very soft spoken.
She held a piece of paper in her hand and proceeded to tell me that EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL!

Normal?!?
For Real???

I wanted to KISS HER!
I wanted to leap outta my bed and KISS HER!!!!

She assured me that sometimes with mammograms, especially with it being your FIRST...
your tissue is 'squished' in such a way that produces a spot that can only be examined with further attention: ie) more pictures and an ultrasound.

She assured me that the results were SO normal in fact...that I didn't even need to come back again until I was 40!!!!!!

Siggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

What. A. Relief.
Words cannot express JUST HOW relieved I was.

I wanted to speed home to my family and hold them close.
I wanted to get to them and never let them go.

As I wiped the jelly off of my boobs and dressed back into my normal clothes,
my heart began to HURT for those women who don't receive such good news.

My heart HURT for their families, for their loved ones and for the pain that they have to to endure.
I HURT just thinking about how THEY have to relay the bad news to their little ones.

And I cried some more.

******************************************

Do me a favor this month.
Get checked if you're of the age.
Have a mammogram.
Early prevention is the best.
And if your local stores are asking for Breast Cancer donations this month....
DONATE.
We need a cure.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Marci. I am 20 years older than you, and recently had a change in one of my breasts and had to go back and have the ultra sound as well. I have a yearly mammogram, so I wasn't too worried. Luckily it turned out to be a cyst, but I have been encouraging my sisters and friends to get mammograms. Early detection is key!! P.S. Love your blog!

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  2. I'm only 25 and I just had an ultrasound on my breasts. I had had some pain and felt lumps. My doctor told me it was dense breast tissue and that it could hurt because of drinking too much caffeine...

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    1. Oh and by the way I LOVE your blog, especially as I am in the Young Women presidency in my ward. I always get ideas from your blog! So thank you!!!

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  3. Conseguir aqui do Brasil sentir sua aflição.Mas que bom que o Senhor lhe protegeu!!

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  4. wow... i had tears reading this ... <3 Thank you for sharing your experience

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  5. I'm so glad it was good news!! I am almost 40 - so I am not looking forward to those tests. Thanks for "de-mystifying" it for me! It doesn't run in my family at all, but the chance of getting breast cancer still scares me. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Can't imagine how nerve wracking that must have been! So glad to hear you're okay!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story! So glad to hear everything turned out NORMAL! :)

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  8. Marci so glad everything came back okay. That must of been terrible. I am always anxious about this test since my mom died of breast cancer very young at 46. I am glad you posted this because maybe you will remind someone to get their mammogram.

    Lori

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