The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Cheri’s Mammogram Misadventures

on July 6, 2011

Today it feels like I can finally breathe.  What should have been a comical post a year ago ended up being a psychological trauma that I really haven’t recovered from until today.  And even now, I’m just sitting here on the couch with my chihuahua at my side, laptop on my lap and taking deep breath after deep breath.

Last year I got my first mammogram.  You turn 40 and blammo! there it is.  Now that I’ve had time to process what happened, I should have thought all along, “Um, you’re Cheri.  Your blog is ‘The Misadventures of Cheri.’  Not ‘The Totally Normal Adventures of Cheri.’ Not ‘The Everything’s Always Easy Adventures of Cheri.’  Shouldn’t you have been expecting this all along?”  But alas, none of that occurred to me until a few minutes ago.

I ended up with the somewhat mentally imbalanced radiation tech.  Of course I did.  She didn’t stop talking the entire time I was getting the mammogram done.  Then she decides I need to know absolutely every possible thing that could go wrong with my results.   Then she brought me over and started showing me possible problem areas.  I told her, “Um, I’m really not in a good place right now.  My mom died last summer from cancer and everything you’re telling me is really freaking me out.”  *I don’t even think she paused to take a breath* and she kept going on.  I looked at her and said, “I’m they type of person who really doesn’t need all the details.”

I think she would have come into the dressing room with me and kept telling me useless yet terrifying information.  Lucky me, she waited right outside of the dressing room and walked me to the front door.  She decided at this point I needed to know that I would probably be getting a call back for a second scan, maybe an ultrasound and to “try to not worry too much.”

WHAT.  THE.  CRAP???  What makes people act like that??  And there began my Summer 2010 Mini-Breakdown.

Yes, I did get a call to come back in.  I told the scheduler to not even think of letting her be my tech again.  She said she would give me to a wonderful woman and she did.  I went back in and had a grandma-type tech who I wished was my grandma.  I told her everything about my previous appointment.  I might have talked a little too much.  Anyway, she took what felt like 20 different mammograms.  At the end she giggled just a bit and told me not to worry.

I did have to have an ultrasound and I kind of was freaking out all over that tech.  She said the doctor would read the results immediately and I asked her to get Tyler from the waiting room.  Because I hadn’t properly freaked out and needed him to receive the end of my panic attack.  The wonderful doctor came in with a big smile and said not to worry.  If she had the same thing going on, she wouldn’t be worried at all.  But just to be safe I did need to schedule a needle biopsy.

{Picture me doing an inward ear-piercing scream.}

I was a good girl and scheduled the biopsy even though everything inside of me was screaming to just skip it.  I knew that would be about the dumbest thing I could do.  The biopsy could be a post all by itself . . . . the assisting doctor and techs were ticked off that the biopsy doctor was taking his precious time to get to the appointment.  I wasn’t knocked out – I just had local anesthesia – and I wondered if they thought maybe I was unconscious by the way they were talking about him.

I lived through that and at the end THAT doctor told me not to worry.  The tissue in question wasn’t in an area they typically see cancer and it didn’t have the characteristics of anything malignant.  A couple of days later we got the call that my problem is ultra-dense breast tissue.  And it’s not a problem at all; it’s literally nothing.  So I passed out on my bed, thankful that I lived through all of this with my mental capacity intact.

Fast forward to this year.  Guess who had micro-meltdown before my mammogram last week?  Yep, me!  I got the results today that everything is normal.  Since I hadn’t heard anything from my doctor or the radiation clinic, I figured all was well.  Thank God it was.

Now I can get back to my regularly scheduled neurosis, irrational fear of birds and all the other quirky things that make me, me.

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2 responses to “Cheri’s Mammogram Misadventures

  1. Harriet says:

    Hi Cheri… Thanks for this inspiring blog!!! I’m going in for my annual mammogram today, and you probably know how I feel about it! I’m glad I can get them and that they found my cancer early. Hopefully, everything today will be hunky dory normal. 🙂

    Glad everything turned out OK with you. That’s the kind of news I like to hear. (Sorry you had to do the needle biopsy, but at least you can rest easy now.)

    H

    • Cheri-Beri says:

      Harriet,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I thought of you both times I was going through my mammogram stuff. I’m so thankful they caught yours early and it was relatively easy to treat. I’m praying for you today!!

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