Friday, June 30, 2017

Say Yes Ma'am to the Mammogram

A week ago Tuesday I had my annual mammogram done at Missouri Baptist, where I have been going for many years. I was given the option of a 3D mammogram versus the traditional screening. It is supposed to give better readings, especially for women who have dense breast tissue, which I apparently do. I was warned, however, that my insurance company may not pay the additional expense of the 3D test. The difference in cost? $60. That seems a small price to pay, and so absurd that the insurance companies do not feel it is worth that amount to catch breast irregularities early. I opted for the 3D test, though I can't say I noticed any difference in how the mammogram was done. The boobs still got smooshed two different ways.

The mammography office called me on Monday, which I knew was not a good thing. Normally they just send me a letter in the mail. The gal told me that they noticed a distortion in the right breast, which they felt needed to be looked at further. She scheduled me for a diagnostic mammogram, which possibly could be followed by an ultrasound. I have had fluid filled cysts in the past, so I've had the diagnostic test and ultrasound done before.

Later that day I received a letter regarding my mammogram results. It just said that the exam showed "an abnormality that requires further evaluation." Had I received the letter before the phone call, I would have seriously freaked out. I'm glad the office called so I could have the explanation to go along with the words.

Missouri Baptist Breast Health Care Center
This afternoon I went to Missouri Baptist Hospital (I have the annual mammograms done at one of their satellite offices much closer to my house) for the additional tests. The technician was hoping that the distortion would not show up with the mammograms she performed, but no such luck. The radiologist then requested the ultrasound. After reading those films (if they are even called that anymore since everything goes into a computer), the doctor came in to talk to me. She wanted to know if I had ever had breast surgery or experienced any trauma to the breast. No to both questions. She asked me if I felt a lump and I said no, and she said she didn't feel any either.

She then requested two more mammograms to try to get a better look at where the distortion had been pinpointed. Upon reviewing everything, she felt it was best to schedule a biopsy to see what we are dealing with just to make sure it is not a very early cancer growth. Three plus hours of multiple boob squishes, having it pressed upon by the transducer for 20 minutes, and lots of time sitting around pondering the "What ifs?" My biopsy is scheduled for July 5th, and then it will be 2-3 days before the pathology report comes back. More time to ponder.

With all the people you hear about getting diagnosed with cancer, do you ever feel like you are a ticking time bomb?

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