I got my first mammogram today

mammogram screening reminder

I had my very first mammogram today. Yay me! I should get one of those adult themed stickers. You know the ones that say, “I paid bills today” or something like that. Remember, I will be turning 42 soon. So most of you have already had this experience. If not, do it. Stop waiting.

I hesitated making the appointment for the mammogram. By several years actually. When I had a tubal done in 2014, the doctor gave me the order for one and told me to get it done the following year. I don’t know what happened to that order. Lost. Who keeps doctor orders for a year? Well, I had to change doctors this year and the new one also gave me another order for a mammogram. It’s time. When it came to call to schedule the appointment, I opened my schedule book and moaned, “UGHHHHH, I really don’t wanna do this.” My procrastination won that day and I found something else to do and I moved along. Another day came (it was probably a week) and I finally sucked it up and called to make the appointment. I don’t recall what the gal’s actual words were, but she seemed genuinely surprised I hadn’t had one yet. Ok, I get it. She prepared me with the usual: arrive 15 minutes early, bring your ID and insurance card. Oh and don’t wear any deodorant or perfume.

The morning came and I did as I was instructed and arrived 15 minutes earlier. Quickly answering a few standard questions, initialling a few documents. Oh crap, when was my last period.. She looked up and said, “oh, did you have a hysterectomy?” No, I just have crappy memory. I decided on a date and finished my forms. Do you have implants? *look at chest* Um, no.

 I sat and read a book for all of three minutes before the technician came to call me back. Strip from the waist up and put this open gown/shirt on, go through this door and I’ll be waiting for you.

 I sat next to the tech, who was also the same woman who checked me in, very nice lady named Rebecca. Thank goodness she was so nice and calming. I am still not really nervous. Just for the fact that a stranger is going to be handling my boobs and squishing them in a machine. I’ll just be honest now, I have fairly small breasts. I don’t know if that affects how painful or not this test is. But I was hoping it would be in my favor.

 Rebecca asked me to essentially name all of the females in my family. Starting with my sister to all of my aunts daughters. I did great! Good job, knowing all your family! My mother has 5 sisters so I was concerned when we started. She asked me about my family history. I have one aunt who is a breast cancer survivor and my maternal grandmother (rip grandma) passed away from pancreatic cancer. They put all of this information in a database and it will tell them statiscally how likely I am to get Cancer. She did not tell me the results.

 Rebecca also informed me that since this is my first test, there was nothing for the doctor to compare my results to. She requested I not be alarmed or “freak out” if they call wanting additional tests. Ok. No freaking out. Gotcha. On to the test. Let’s do this!

 The test itself really wasn’t as bad as I had been led to believe by some of my bustier friends. So, maybe this a perk for having smaller boobs? Like I said, I don’t know if that’s a factor in this or not, but it only was uncomfortable at one point. A little secret about me, I am a nervous giggler. I thought I would be giggling at this point. I was wrong. Rebecca asked me several times how I was doing, are you ok? Yep. I’m alright. There was a lot of repositioning, lean in, relax your shoulder, let me move your hair, hold your breath.

 All total it took 30 minutes, from the signing of papers to putting shirt back on. Not too bad. I  caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror (why do you have a full length mirror on the back of that door??) and thought, hmm, ok, I’m not that bad. And left the building feeling like a real adult.

 A few hours later, my phone rang. I got a call saying the doctor would like to get more images of my right breast. *silence* Remember don’t freak out, right? Ok fine. So, they will send the results to my doctor who has to order another test, which I will then have to call and schedule again. I will be calling on that tomorrow. In the meantime, I will continue to wait and not freak out. I’ll be sure to log the results.

So, how was your first mammogram?

Thanks for reading! We’ll talk soon!

Janelle

 

 

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