It is pretty much an accurate description to say I have the grace of a Great Dane and the composure of a chihuahua on my good days, much worse when I am nervous. I was nervous and broken out from the stress. I sat for a while, and I waited. The mammogram machine looks much like a futuristic robot, a stoic and cold version of a condescending old-school English teacher type, unfriendly, uninterested in my story of why I am even here. The stories told by our mothers come to mind, stories of squashed boobs and cold plastic. Stories of humiliation and defeat by cold hands replay in the mind of women in the presence of these machines. I went into the dressing room to get undressed.
The gown was just like an old diaper shirt, minus the buttons.
I had my last mammogram in 2011, when I had adenocarcinoma. I do not remember much about the experience, other than it was done. It didn’t hurt, it didn’t feel intimidating, it just was. With a nurse who had an exceptional way about her, I stepped up to the machine, and she squished, and she took pics. What I do not remember from before was the way it pulled the skin all the way up my neck. The thing is, it really did not hurt. It was uncomfortable. It is not the monster drones of women before described. It is also a different machine. Besides, we are women. We endure pushing and pulling, poking and prodding, and squishing. Like I said, the nurse was exceptional. She had a way about her that just put me at ease, so when she said to me there was a lot going on in that breast and needed another pic, I was still at my normal Great Dane/chihauhua nervousness.
I cannot stress how amazingly awesome the ladies who I saw in the hospital were. The ultrasound tech did her best to make me feel comfortable and warm as she scanned my breasts, looking for suspicious spots. I had to hum when she took shots of a few of the 4 black dots she found in my right breast. Then I had to do the same for the 4 black dots in my left. I have had one black dot before. We removed it in 2011. It was some kind of fibrous breast tissue.With 8 black dots, I was feeling okay in thinking those may just be what we saw before. What I did not like, nor have I ever seen before, was this grey irregular area she was measuring and taking pictures of. I have no idea what this is, how could I, my only experience before being in seeing black dots. Most of me says no worries, so that is where I will try to keep my mind until I hear back from someone.
In the meantime, I have to say THANK YOU to Moncrief Cancer Institute and the people who give to people like me who are uninsured and in need of medical attention. Thank you to all of you. Without you, I am not sure where I would be.And so, I wait. I am sure I will let you know what I do as soon as I do, I kinda have that habit. Thank you for your support.
Steph and Steph’s Life.