Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh Mammy!

For quite some time I have had some tenderness in one of my breasts.  During a self-exam, in the same breast, I found a lump.  This made me realize that I had not had a Well Woman's Exam since my hysterectomy three years ago.  (Was it three?  I don't know...ah well.)  When I called for an appointment I let them know that I have no more Baby Making Parts and just needed a breast exam.

"Oh well you still have to have a pap smear."

"Of what?"

This is quite unfair.  I thought I had gotten out of all of the gross and painful "rights of womanhood" when I gave up those parts.  Well...I didn't just give them up.  There was a medical issue and then once in there they decided that one of my ovaries was no good.  I do have the one somewhere floating around I guess. 


Upon my exam the doctor did find the lump that I had.  He said the size, shape and the fact that it was tender to touch indicated that it was likely a cyst.  It was on the underside of my breast.

"This is a typical place that women will get lumps and things because of the way the breast hangs," he so eloquently said.

"Wow.  Thanks.  In the future you may want to refrain from using 'hang' and 'breast' in the same sentence."

He laughed and continued the exam.

"There does not seem to be a lump in the other....hmm...they usually both have them because of the..."

"Their posture?  That would be nicer then 'hangs.'"  Apparently one of The Girls has better posture than her more laid back, Bohemian sister.  He requested a mammogram.  My first.  Boo.

"If it's a cyst what will we do about it?"  I asked.

"We stick a needle in it and drain it."

"It really doesn't bother me all that bad.  It's annoying but I've had headaches that are worse."

"Let's just see how it comes out."

I IM'd Aaron when I got home:

Me: Had my appt. 

Aaron: How'd it go?

Me: Fine.  I need a mammogram but not to be alarmed.  Cyst.

Aaron: I don't know why I am paying these guys.  He should be paying me for not killing him after he felt up my wife.

Me: Please.  I'm the one who needs compensation.  Dinner at least.

Aaron: Again, It should me that gets the dinner.

Me: If it's any consolation it is very unsexy and unromantic.  It's cold, clinical and quick.  There is a nurse in the room to watch.  You know...for added kinkiness.

I have been dreading having to have a mammogram for years.  I know of a gal who has actually passed out when she had one!  Most of the women I talk to have had nothing good to say about it.  I did have two friends who said they did not know what the fuss was about.  They claim that it's no more painful or more uncomfortable then ones annual "woman" exam.

This afternoon I checked in for my appointment and began reviewing my doctors order.  I noticed he checked a box giving permission for them to treat the problem if it's minor.  This totally freaked me out remembering how he said that if it's a cyst they would drain it with a needle.  I need time to mentally prepare myself for that!  My palms started sweating at that point. 

It was finally my turn.  I changed into their pink open scrub type thing.  I had a nice lady to do the screening.  I was so glad!  She set my breast on this tray and arranged it how she wanted.  Then a big paddle came down and it got tighter...and tighter...and tighter.  When my poor boob was as flat as a hamburger patty she said, "now take a breathe and hold it."  The thing is, I was breathing through all of the tightening and I could not even take a breathe in to hold.  We did this three times on the questionable boob and then two times on the other.

After this they wanted to do an ultrasound as well.  This was not as bad but still painful because everywhere the tech pressed the wand-thingy, was sore.  After my breast's photo shoot, the tech let me dress and went to see the radiologists with her findings. 

"Breasts have all kinds of things going on inside," she said when she returned.  "There are milk ducts, blood vessels, lymph nodes....all kinds of workings.  This makes it hard to tell what is a foreign lump and what is anatomy.  Some breasts feel like a meatball."

Really.  That is just gross.

"Your breast is fine.  One of your breasts has more fibrous tissue then the other.  They can be tender and they can be hard to tell the difference between a cyst, tumor, or healthy tissue when doing an exam."

Evidently.  I mean my doctor couldn't even tell the difference.

"See you for another mammogram in a year."

Well that was great news but I hate to have stuff like that done to find nothing.  And apparently my boob will just hurt from now on.  Nothing to do about that.  Funny how it was something I could live with when they were considering sticking it with a needle but now I find it unacceptable.

I came home and told Aaron the good news.

"See," he said, "I told you that guy just wanted to feel you up."

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