Sunday, March 8, 2009

Possible Helpful Information

I hadn't really planned to blog about this but thought it might possibly help someone, so here it is. A year ago I had my regular mammogram. I'd gotten by without having one for several years and wanted to continue that pattern; however, my oncologist figured out he couldn't trust me and told me I wasn't leaving his office without an appointment for one and made sure the receptionist made me one. This was a couple of years ago or so. Like most women, I hate the breast vice and have fantasies of the man who invented it having his 'nads in the machine. There would be some changes then! But I digress.

No big deal with the mammograms until last year when the radiologist, I used to go to the Episcopal Church with, kept having the technician take more of them in various squeezes and positions. Then I had an ultrasound which is no big deal except for the cold gel they put on your breastal area. Stan, the radiologist, came in and told me they didn't find anything on the ultrasound and wanted me to come back in six months to check all this again. Dr. Spigel, my oncologist, called me and said he was almost positive there was nothing to worry about and that it didn't look like anything serious. I told him I hoped so and that had better be true (in a voice with false bravado).

Six months later I got the same news I'd had before. Spot that showed up on the mammogram but they couldn't even find anything on the ultrasound. The part that made it worse is that Stan came in himself to do the ultrasound again, which is not the way we usually have conversations about each other's families and whatever.

I know I'm making this too long and that instead of building suspense, I'm wearing you out with tedium but am almost to Thursday! Same thing again! Spot and more mashing flat on the border of my pain threshold. What they do is move the breast vice down, down, down and tell you when it's the minimum so you can tell them how much more you can take. I wimp out at minimum. I would not hold up under torture. The technician used several exchangeable top masher things that apparently have various purposes and after the sixth time when she was positioning me, she said, "Oh, I feel something. There's a skin tag." For those of you who don't know, they are little benign mole-like things that stick out on your skin. You can google it and find out more if you feel compelled. She put a tiny band-aid thing with something on it to keep it from making an image.

I told her I decided that's what they'd been seeing and that I'd love her forever if it were. Soon she came back and said Stan wanted another shot that required being twisted into another position. Whoopee! Finally, Stan came in the room and exclaimed, "Good news! We've been chasing a phantom!" I told him I was glad because I would be really angry if I had breast cancer. I think there should be a rule if you have cancer, you can't ever get it again or another kind either. So far, so good! Lymphoma was more than enough.

If any of you have skin tags, be sure to let the technicians know when you have a mammogram. Then you won't have to go through all this!

Was this too gross? TMI? If so, I apologize!!


Bob said...

I think with so many new cases of breast cancer, this is an excellent post.
I'd never heard of a skin tag, and I think lots of women could use, should use, will use, your experience when the same thing happens to them.

Good job, CliffieJoy!

Dan said...

Auntie Flame, That wasnt gross at all. I am just glad you are healthy!


Berry Blog said...

Not gross but coincidental. A program I watched yesterday said that there needed to be a newer approach to these tests but unfortunately not to eliminate them. The doctors involved insisted that are not paying enough attention to density which they say add considerable depth the the evals.
I thought there must be a huge audience sitting there thinking...thanks, nice to hear that all that discomfort wasn't yielding valid results.