To Thine Own Breasts, Be True

The Mammogram

My yearly visits to the torture device, also known as the mammogram, started in 1998 when my right breast began to leak fluid due to a ruptured mammary duct.

That diagnosis cam by way of a general surgeon after visiting a “breast specialist” who, after administering a breast ultrasound told me “Oh, that’s normal.” Good thing I sought out a second opinion.

Never accept a doctor’s word at face value when you know in your heart of hearts that what he/she is saying does not ring true. Do not be afraid to seek out a second, or third, opinion. Be your own advocate!!

During a self breast exam in 2003, I discovered a lump. A mammogram, ultra sound, biopsy, and eventual lump removal revealed there was no cancer. All was good and the torture device visits continued.

Sitting in a meeting at work about 12 days ago (a Tuesday) my upper right arm grazed my breast when I reached for something on the conference room table. I winced from the pain and tenderness and my first thought was “What was that?”

Immediately after the meeting I called to schedule an appointment for a mammogram. (The yearly visit was last August.)

Thursday morning found me at the Cobb Women’s Imaging Center for a mammogram and a breast ultrasound.

There are no words to accurately describe the anxiety. I barely ate and had a headache that laughed at the Tylenol I ingested. Despite trying to remain positive the internal dialogue could not be quieted.

What if it is cancer? How will we decide to treat it? Is it early enough that I won’t lose my breast? Chemotherapy? I’ll lose my hair!! Just when I decided to let it grow out again. I rocked a natural look surely I could rock the bald look too. If it is cancer, they’ll just have to remove the lump ASAP and I will start chemo after I return from Thailand in March.

Then there was the Monday afternoon appointment with the surgeon.

Tuesday -Hit auto-replay and shuffle on internal dialogue.

Wednesday morning – an ultrasound guided needle biopsy.

Thursday – Hit auto-replay and shuffle on internal dialogue.

The call came from the doctor’s office on Friday. It is not cancer.

OH HAPPY DAY!

I am forever grateful to the universe and will continue my monthly breast exams and my annual mammogram. If you’re a woman over 40, you should do the same.

If you’re a woman under 40, or a man (YES. MEN, you can get breast cancer too!), self breast exams are a must. Learn to do them correctly!

Visit the following links for more information on mammograms and self breast exams for men and women!

Here’s to happy healthy breasts!!!

Women click here. Men click here.

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4 thoughts on “To Thine Own Breasts, Be True”

  1. Thanks Chocl8t-
    I had NO idea that men could get breast cancer. I’m 51 and have read all my life, and even talked with various female friends about their experiences with mammograms, etc., but this is a first for me. Thanks again for sharing! -LT

  2. I visit often but never leave a message. Because I know so many sisters who have dealt with Breast Cancer, and a few unsuccessfully, I thank you so much for sharing this. Soooooo much.

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