November 14, 2011

Take Care of Your Girls...

...Or as Miles would say, "yo girls".  Yep- I'm talking about those girls.  The ones firmly attached to your chest.  Your boobies.  Or your lady lumps if you're Fergie.  I know that last month was breast cancer awareness month, but heck, I never run on time anyway.

I'll let you in on a little secret.  Last year I had a little work done on my girls.  I had the volume of a coke can taken out of each one.  It truly was the nicest thing I ever did for myself.  (Is it weird to think that my idea of self care is having my nipples removed and sewn back on?)  It eliminated my back pain and made my clothes fit and I can finally wear bras that don't have to be special ordered.  It's nothing short of miraculous.  Anyway- my surgeon suggested that I get a baseline mammogram about a year after surgery just so that the doctors can see how things look, where the scar tissue is, etc. 

Now- breast cancer is rampant down both sides of my family.  Add to that that we all have really dense breast tissue so it makes it more difficult to feel the bumps and lumps. I resigned myself long ago to the fact that at some time in my life I was probably going to personally deal with breast cancer.  I never thought I'd be dealing with "faulty boobies" at the young age of 30 though.  I went for this routine baseline mammogram about 2 weeks ago thinking nothing of it.  (For the record, it is NOT as bad as everyone makes it out to be!)  They said, "If we see something, we'll call you in the next day or two.  If not, you'll get an all clear letter in the mail in about a week."  Days went by and I heard nothing so I assumed that everything looked fine.  Until I got that call.  "Mrs. Terry.  There are some suspicious spots on your mammogram that don't look like scar tissue or normal breast tissue.  We need you to come in for further testing."

Stop the press.  I'm only 30.  I quickly convinced myself that I was going to be leaving three precious children without a mother.  I called my husband and cried until I gave myself a raging migraine.  I had to wait 4 days to get back into the doctor.  They did a breast ultrasound and more diagnostic mammogram.  They plastered images of my lady lumps all over the exam room wall.  The doctor came in and studied them and studied them and flipped back and forth between the pages of our family history of breast cancer and then studied them some more.


Now this post can go down as the one where I posted a picture of my breasts on the internet :-)

There is a "weird area" on the images.  My doctor says areas that look like this are hardly ever cancerous but that I'll need to be on the every six months mammogram and ultrasound track to watch the spot. Wait and see.  Ugh.  My official diagnoses is this:

Probably benign.  I told my friend Ellen about it and she said, "Probably not comforting".  She's right.  Probably is rough.  Waiting another six months is weird.  And then six more months.  And then mammogram after mammogram every 180 days for the next couple of years when I'm only thirty years old.  (Have I mentioned that I'm only 30?)  In hind sight, I wish that I had demanded that they go ahead and do a biopsy, and I still might. I may also consider having the genetics testing done for the BRCA gene. I've had part of my breasts removed before and I'd do it again if I needed to.  Sometimes I think that living in oblivion would be nice, but when it comes to your health and you are mom, you can't afford that luxury.    

All this to say, no matter how old you are (or aren't) make sure that you are doing your monthly self exams and if anything is off- take the time to go and see about it!  Consider this your public service announcement for the day!  Take care of yo girls.

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