Here in BC they recommend women start getting the “old boob squish” when you hit your 40’s. In all honesty I hate going to the doctor, any kind of doctor, so I avoided going for as long as I could get away with it. I finally went for a mammogram for the very first time at the urging of my GP sometime around a year and a half ago. It wasn’t as bad as I pictured other than the embarrassment of having a stranger pick up and heave your bosoms on a plate and push/prod you into position before they are squashed to oblivion between two plates. Okay maybe not to oblivion it is a tad uncomfortable, but isn’t THAT BAD. I guess. Certainly not as bad as the OTHER thing women have to go through on an annual basis but again, not high on my hit parade of fun things to do in a day. That first year I got my letter in the mail a couple of weeks later saying all was well in boobie-town and I put it out of my mind.
A few months ago I got my reminder notice that it was once again time to visit but because we were going through the whole Sean lymph node thing I left it on the fridge where it gave me an admonishing look every time I got a drink or started dinner. In all honesty I couldn’t deal with another type of medical appointment when all I had on my mind was Sean. Once that was over and we came back from our vacation I finally bit the bullet and called for my appointment and I got one pretty quickly as I was flexible and could take a cancellation from someone else. Like last year the process was simple enough, though this time I knew enough to not wear antiperspirants, lotions or perfumes and I definitely knew what I was in for.
A couple of weeks later I got my letter from the BC Cancer Agency like last time but this time it was a little bit longer. Seems my screening mammogram showed that I needed further testing. Oh. Well that was a surprise! The letter is quick to point out that though a small percentage of women, around 6% of the women who are called back for further testing are found to have cancer, that leaves a whopping 94% of women whose “girls” are just fine thank you very much. Generally it is something like a cyst or calcification or just denser tissue that they see and want to have a closer look at. The letter also stated that I would be contacted shortly to be advised of what the further testing would consist of. I contacted my GP at the urging of my lovely husband and they let me know that I’d already been referred to the local hospital and they would be in touch. I took advantage of the call to the GP and bit that OTHER bullet (why not I’m on a roll right?) and booked my annual nether-region prod as well.
I got a phone call a few days ago from the local heath authority to come in for a diagnostic mammogram which in fact will take place tomorrow morning. My appointment with my GP for the, well, you know, was today. Along with the, you know, he also ordered up some blood tests for my thyroid (hypo is rampant in my bloodline and I’ve been tired, foggy and just all around not myself lately), blood glucose, iron, cholesterol etc, basically the full gamut of middle-aged women tests. May as well check the fluids while you’re under the hood right?
Light blue just isn’t my colour.
Anyway, he had the results of the screening mammo and he said that the mysterious whatever it is that triggered this second look was on my right side and pretty small. Probably too small to feel (it was cos neither of us could find it) and it is classified as “low risk” so that’s good. He said basically what the letter said, it is most likely nothing of concern and if anything I may be called back earlier for another mammo to keep an eye on things. Fair enough. He said in fact depending on who is there I may find out sooner than in the past (like maybe on the spot) as there is a new facility that handles these tests out our way and hopefully I won’t be waiting for a letter that may not come for a while (Canada Post is on rotating strikes which could turn into a full-blown strike or walk-out at any point) and that would just suck.
So anyway, true to my word my life is a pretty open book. I am not really worried, the stats certainly are in my favour, but if worst case scenario there is something there, I will deal.. it is what I do.