Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hanging by my boobs...

First of all this is my one 100th post to this blog. Imagine the confetti and balloons. Now I can go into syndication. Right after Oprah.

I recently had my post treatment follow-up mammogram. I have to say, it was way more traumatic than I thought it would be. And also funny in that "ha, ha let's laugh at another's silly pain." A little back story- I was telling the ya-ya's about my upcoming mammogram and one graciously told us all about her fear that she would pass out. And she would hang there, by her boob, unconscious and trapped in the vice like grip of the Mammomat. Thank you for that image.

Off I go, to the diagnostic mammogram. This is more involved than a standard one. Sitting in my hospital gown, open to the front of course, I looked around the waiting room. I was younger than everyone by easily 25 year. Great. This is what I get to look forward to.

A very nice woman walks me into the room and proceeds to smoosh my tits into a little machine. She tried to be all discreet.. moving my gown, etc. I finally stripped the thing off saying, "Really, are we going to worry about modesty? You just got more action in the last 2 minutes than my husband's gotten in a week."

My first set of films was fine. Sort of. See, I hadn't eaten all day and it was now about 3pm. I was feeling a little hot and a little woozy. But I sucked it up. I then had to sit and wait for someone to read the films. Whammy! I had to do a few more views. Another tech, another room, another wicked boob smasher.

This is where things get a little crazy. And funny, in retrospect. Imagine me, with not a lot of hair, and topless. Well, maybe you don't want to imagine my topless. After all, you could be reading this around lunch. My tech squeezed me in and all of the sudden, I was hot, I had a horrible taste in my mouth. And all I could think was, "Oh, shit, I'm going to pass out and hang by my boob." I tried to hold it together. Finally, I had to tell her to stop. I was a second away from hitting the floor. Only I wouldn't hit the floor, I'd swing like a monkey from a million dollar torture tree. After a break. I thought I would be fine. Not so. We didn't even get to the "okay, I'm just going to add a little pressure" before I had to stop again. By now, my tech, who was so nice, was really worried. I think she believed I was having some sort of anxiety attack. Really, I think I just needed a sandwich. So third time's a charm, right? This time, my tech wouldn't let me leave the chair.

Yes, I completed my mammogram sitting down. And I will ask to do it that way every time forward. It's so much more comfortable. I highly recommend it.

Once she finally got some extra films, she left me in the room to wait while they were read. This is where the comedy of the absurd got a little sad. I sat there, waiting in the little room, waiting for some doctor to come and tell me something. This is my life. My life is waiting in sterile rooms being poked and prodded and waiting for someone else to take the bottom out.

The nurse came back and we had to do some more films. This did not give me confidence. And I saw some of them. There was definitely a spot on the film. Probably scar tissue from surgery and radiation. My internet radiology degree wasn't enough to diagnose this. But it did look awfully suspicious.

Especially when the tech said, "Where's your husband?"
"At work," I replied.
"Is he there right now?"
"Um, yeah."

Huh? Did I need to make a call? Did I need to tell Alan to come right away? That the whole thing was starting all over again? The tech left me alone in the room again and I cried. All of the sudden, I was back in the ultrasound room at Sherman Hospital in Elgin. I was alone. I was scared. I didn't know what was happening. I wanted my husband. And my mommy. Shut up, you would too.

I was the last person to leave the imaging center. They had shut off lights, turned off the waiting room TVs. After all that, they had to wait because they didn't have my old films. At least it wasn't a "hey, sucks to be you. You still have cancer." I take every trip to radiology when I'm NOT told I have cancer to be a small victory.

In the end, everything looks fine. I will get to do it all over again in six months.
Instead of dwelling on what sucked, I prefer to focus on the ludicrous image of passing out, hanging by my boobs. At least it makes for a good cautionary tale. Eat before your mamogram. And do it sitting down.


Anonymous said...

Oh Kiddo--just wait until you have to get an MRI. First you lay on your belly and squish your boob into a square hole, yeah, what a$$hole invented this device? And then you sit still (with boobs hanging below you in square vices) for 30 minutes in what sounds to be a jet plane's engine. YIKES>

Unknown said...

Hey girl! Thinking of you always! I'm going to call you soon. I wish i read your last blog last week. :) Dana