This is My Story
So I hit 40! I am actually pretty excited about 40. I feel I know myself better than I have ever known myself and I have grown tremendously from my life experiences!
With 40 also comes some new experiences and over the last few weeks, I have jumped into a medical first, a mammogram. I know there is plenty of controversy out there about mammograms, but this was the right decision for me with my medical history. Please respect that.
I need to be upfront from the beginning with you all!
- First ~ I appreciate that you have come to my website and have trusted my words and my story enough to read them. I appreciate you!
- Second ~ This story is not easy for me to write and might be a bit raw from time to time. Please understand that my emotions are real and new to this experience.
- Third ~ In some way, writing about this as I am going through it is somewhat therapeutic. Thank you for allowing me to do that!
With that in mind, this story is my story and my hope is that I encourage everyone to not skip their mammograms and to really embrace this procedure.
My story might frighten some, it frightened me and my family. I am going to be as honest as possible with my emotions. If I can help another person with what I am going through, then I will be happy with that.
This is my story…
Getting Some Blood Work Done
I recently had a procedure done that requires me to get some blood work done so we can further evaluate my health.
My specific day was here to have my blood work done and I grabbed my 3 girls (Kenna, 9 and Aubree and Brynn (twins, 7) and headed to the hospital to have my blood drawn.
I mean really, how bad could it be taking 3 girls with me. I thought this could be a great lesson teaching my girls about health and better yet how to behave in a quiet environment.
The Pink Ribbon
So while I was waiting in the waiting room, I saw a little pink ribbon and I immediately recognized it as the breast cancer ribbon. I am a very spiritual person and believe in signs in whichever form they may come to you.
I looked again at the pink ribbons and felt very drawn to it and walked up to talk to the receptionist. I explained that I was 40 and needed to make an appointment for my first mammogram.
To my surprise, she said she could take me today. Well, I have my 3 girls with me, not sure if I can do it today. She gave me a warm smile and said, lets see what we can do.
After a few phone calls, she assured me that the girls would be fine to come back into the “quiet room” and wait for me. What, do you know my girls? They are nothing quiet!! So I sat my babies down (yes to me they are still my babies)and explained to them that mommy has to make sure that she is healthy and that I needed to get my first mammogram.
I explained to them what a mammogram was. I think it is so important to communicate to your kids at a young age that it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves. Not only do you take care of yourself with quality food and exercise, but it also includes yearly pap smears, mammograms and other screening test.
Heading Back To The Quiet Room
So my girls assured me that they would be on their best behavior and I needed to trust that they could handle this challenge.
I was directed into a changing room. I didn’t know that I was getting a mammogram this day, so the nurse asked me to remove my deodorant. Not sure why that is important, but it is…so if you are planning a mammogram be sure to go in without deodorant. I was instructed to remove my clothes from the waist up and put a robe on with the open part to be opened up front, not in the back.
I have to chuckle. I came out of the dressing room with no bra on and my girls said “mommy we can see your boobies!” Gosh, why must they make those robes so thin, right? I assured them that “boobies” were natural and we should be proud of them and walked proudly back to have my mammogram.
My First Mammogram
Not knowing what to expect, I have to be honest…I was a bit nervous. I just had this uneasy feeling, maybe the unknown or the what if…but I knew that I had to tackle this milestone.
So let me share with you all, I have never been a shy person. Undressing in front of someone wasn’t a worry to me. My technician had been doing mammograms for 40 years…now that is a lot of breast isn’t it? So I relaxed and embraced the process.
We first started with the left breast. We did three images. One from the side, one from the top and one from the bottom. Now my technician had no problems moving my breast around and handling them rather freely. Who knew they were that flexible. 🙂 It was easy peasy until she took an image from the top of the breast. It didn’t hurt, it was just uncomfortable. The machine squeezes them pretty hard. Not sure I have ever had them squeezed that hard before.
We proceded with the other breast and she informed me that they would call me later with the results. She showed me to the door, and I have to tell you I was quite excited that I didn’t hear my girls once…they really were amazing and were on their best behavior!
So we headed off to the grocery store. When I got back home, there was a phone call from the facility, but no message. My heart sunk. Good news, they’d leave a message…bad news they would want to speak to me (or at least that was my thought process). I think my heart skipped a beat.
I didn’t even unload the groceries. I grabbed a phone and called the technician back. After being transferred 3 times, I finally had the right person on the phone.
I was informed that my mammogram did not look normal and that there could be a mass on my left breast. What? Is this for real?
Post to be continued…You can read part 2 here: This is My Story ~ Mammogram Part 2 – The Ultrasound
image credit: http://www.upmc.com