Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Mammogram - Results are In

Last week I told you about my first visit to get a mammogram, and how awesome my visit went.  If you missed it,  click here to read about my experience.  So I took the first step by going in to get a mammogram screening done but I wasn't done there.  The results are the next step to this process.

I never planned on this being a blog post or me sharing more than I already did about how important it is for all women to have a test done but after my experience I want to share.  I remember always being told when I was younger - Knowledge is power.  Many women may be scared to get tested.  Maybe you don't have money.  Maybe you think this is a stupid test.  Whatever your reason for taking it or not taking it, I ask you to read my story.

On Friday, August 9 at lunch time.  I went to pick up lunch for the office.  I was in line waiting for my order to be ready.  I pulled my phone out and realized I had a missed call.  The number looked familiar and it happened to be from my OB/GYN.  I called back and asked to speak to my nurse.  Brenda and I have a great nurse/patient relationship after the many visit we had during my pregnancy.  Another nurse came on the phone and said, "Actually I called you."  Remember I am picking up lunch at a busy restaurant, I am in line while my food is getting prepared, and now on the phone.  She goes on to tell me that my results came back and I need to go back for an U L T R A S O U N D....  WHAT???  Everything started to go in slow motion around me.  I heard exactly what she said but was frozen in time.  An ultrasound.  After the phone call, I panicked and freaked out.  I grabbed our lunch, paid, and went out the door.  I sat in my truck crying.  I didn't know what else to do.  I sent out a message to my friends to please pray for me because of what had just happened.  They were awesome.  I started receiving kind words, and someone even sent me a song to listen to.  It was so beautiful.  I returned to work, wiped my tears, came in with the food, and put up a front as we ate lunch at the conference table.  I could not remember exactly what the nurse said but I knew I had to go back for testing.  I told a co-worker what happened.  She told me to call back the nurse and to ask her to explain it all over so I could process it.  When I called back, all she told me was that my tests were unclear and I needed to go back in for retesting.  My Friday was turned upside.  I could no longer concentrate.  I tried to listen to everyone's comments about them being sent for retest, test being unclear, and this happens all the time.  But all I could think about is this doesn't happen to ME all the time.  On my way home, I cried, cried, and cried some more.  I had already talked to my husband and explained everything to him but when I got home everything was suppose to be normal.  I, mommy, had to do mommy duties.  I, wife, had to do wife duties.  So when I drove up to the house, I wiped my tears, and walked in like normal.  The weekend flew by with all the things I had to do, basically "Ain't Nobody Got Time for THAT!"

See I think it is in our culture for Latinas to be handle all things.  My husband jokes and always says that I am like superwoman.  I do magic.  He doesn't know how I do it but I can handle so much.  Even at work they tell me I am not normal.  I work faster.  I am not cut from the same mold as others.  But I have always been taught to handle everything.  I have had a hard time saying NO to people.  I am a great multitask-er.  Maybe an overachiever or some sorts.  I said all this to say - I am suppose to handle this because I always handle everything.  But I don't.  When I almost lost my daughter, I learned I have no super powers.  I do not make magic.  I am human.  Everything changed at that moment.  I became weak and very emotional after that.  I have since been trying to get control back.  Back to handling and juggling everything by myself.  Even though I know, that I am only putting up a good fight.  Back to my story....

I had called to schedule an appointment and was told the earliest they could see me was Monday.  Monday has come around and I like my normal self and back to handling all things.  Diaper bag ready, dinner is in the crock pot cooking, lunch is in the refrigerator ready to be warmed,  and me headed to work.  I went to work as usual.  A little before my appointment I did start to panic a little but I didn't pay it any mind because I had so much work to do that it kept my mind busy.  My bestfriend offer to meet me at my appointment and also my friend who just happens to work in the same office. I got to my appointment with my heart beating like crazy.  A heard my name called as I was checking in and it was a familiar voice.  My girlfriend was there and had been waiting for my arrival.  My bestfriend arrived shortly after.  Here is where my story really begins...sorry I talk alot.

Round 2 - Note-No pretty, fancy spa robe.  My deer in the headlights slash everything is gonna be ok smile.

Nurse L took to the mammogram room.  She told me they saw something on my mammogram on my left breast.  STOP.  BREATH.  I was in shock.  I said what did they find.  The found something on my left breast.  She said the doctor would explain everything to me after the screening, not to worry, and that everything was going to be alright.  Nurse L was so kind and nice.  She explained everything every step of the way.  She said once the doctor saw these frames he may not order an ultrasound.  That's when I remember that the word U L T R A S O U N D is what originally freaked me out on Friday.  I know when a doctor orders ultrasounds, they have a reason to.  My brain started to go a million miles.  After a few shots were taken, she went and reviewed them with the doctor.  She came back and said the doctor wants me to go to ultrasound.  THUMP. THUMP.  Nurse R comes and takes me to the ultrasound room.  The ultrasound room...hum...a bed, a machine, and the nurse.  It is like a ring, a boxer, and a bell.  Anyways.  As I laid there and tried to relax the nurse kept assuring me everything is ok.  But everything is not ok or else I would not be there, right?  I stared at this machine.  I have no idea what I am looking at but I am watching the nurse, every move, every click, every stroke, everything.   She kept going over a certain area and after so many ultrasounds with my pregnancy I know something is up in that area she keeps wanding.  Afterwards, Nurse R had explained the doctor would come review her work and come in and wand himself.  He did.  I was sent back to go to mammogram for more screenings.  The doctor asked for more frames.  He then came to assist Nurse L with my frames.  He wanted some specific shots to be taken.  This entire time I am freaking out.  I have no idea what is going on.  I am letting them do their work and I guess I figure the less I know the better for now.  They are informing me of what they are doing it just not WHY?  Here comes the WHY?  On my mammogram there is something showing up.  This is the reason they asked me to come back and retest my left breast.  The reason they have me going back and forth from mammogram to ultrasound is because whatever they are finding (Cyst/lymph node/?) they cannot find on the ultrasound.  The last frame they took was for the doctor to mark the area where the ? is at.  X marks the spot right.  I headed back to ultrasound with the doctor and nurse R.  We proceeded to look for this unknown ? spot.  Fast forward....  the mammogram shows a spot of concern but for some reason the ultrasound is not finding it.  (That is like when you are pregnant and they do a sonogram to tell you there is a heartbeat.  But when they do the ultrasound, there is nothing there.)  The doctor is not concerned so I will not be sent for a biopsy.  I will have to return to be screened again.  We will check to see if it it shows up again on the mammogram or if this spot grows.  For now, I should not be concerned is what they are telling me.  The doctor did all this testing because he wanted to be 100% sure that it IS nothing that he sees.  The only way to tell is to keep checking it and to continue to monitor.  I left the doctor's office breathing.  I was so glad that my friends were there for me.  I think I would have broke after the hour and a half of testing if I would have been by myself.

I am 35.  My mammogram of my left breast helped my doctors to early detect something.  Early detection is key to me fighting for my life.  Not that I have to fight for my life but if there is something, darn straight I am ready to put up a fight.  And you should too.

Now I ask you, have you had your mammogram?  Do you self test?  Do you have any pain, discharge, or concerns?  CALL YOUR DOCTOR!!  Please schedule your annual well woman visits and take care of yourselves.

Thanks for listening.  I hope my story opens your eyes.  There is not history of breast cancer in my family.  I answered no to all the screening questions.  And they found something.  Think about it.


Vanessa, De Su Mama said...

Wow girl, this is CRAZY! I am so happy to hear there is nothing major going on, but how scary nonetheless. I totally didn't know we should be getting tested at 35. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Keep us posted! Abrazos, amiga.

latanya t said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad they did not find anything.