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The Scary Side of 40: Mammogram Time. Update!

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You know that way over-played phrase “Shit just got real?” ? Yeah. That happened with a phone call today.

Ring ring…?

Ok, it was the iPhone. ?So… buzz…buzzzzzz….

Cheery Voice says, “Hi Patricia!”
No one that knows me actually calls me Patricia so this can’t be good, right?
“I’m calling from XYZ Radiology,” Cheery Voice continues.
Longest. pause. ever. Me thinking- did I have scans sometime I can’t remember? Thyroid again? Seriously a little stumped here…
“I need to schedule your…” (insert dramatic pause) “Mammogram.”
?
Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn.
Mammogram. ?With a capital M in her voice.

This will be my first since, you know, I just turned 40. ?I mentioned it to my new doc last week all casually like a good little former American Cancer Society employee should. It’s time! I need to get checked! Early detection saves lives!

In my rear-view mirror

I’m flashing back to the hundreds- no, thousands of times– I’ve said to callers on the phone in my former position, “It’s usually nothing! They often ask for a second mammogram just to make sure.” ?I tried to be calm and helpful to those callers.

I apologize, callers.

I get it now. ?This shit is scary. ?Look at me- I’m already skipping over the first scan to the time the office calls to ask for a second one. ?Just to make sure. ?And I know better! I was a professional, dammit! But here I go jumping to C when I haven’t even made the appointment for A.

Lawdy, Shenanigans.? Get a hold of yourself

This is a case where knowing the stats is not a good thing. ?The odds aren’t always in our favor. ?One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. ?The odds are higher when a direct family member has been diagnosed. ?I’m not in that higher odds group, thank God. ?The closest I have is two aunts who were diagnosed, one related by blood & one by marriage.

But it’s enough to scare me. ?And sadden me. ?And make it all way too real.

Confession time. ? Friends, please don’t hate me. ?But as we get older I’ve been holding my breath so to speak. ?Waiting for one of you to announce your diagnosis.? Not hoping, mind you, but waiting to hear the news.? Yeah. ?Not cool, I know.

But the odds. ?The odds say…

Clearly there’s a Dark Side working here.? See, now you know the truth: Shenanigans isn’t always fun, games, & Disney.? She’s actually a glass half empty kind of person at times.? Even though I knew this day was coming and the phone call shouldn’t have caught me off guard, but, whoa, did it ever.

40.? Man, 40 is a big number.? I think I said that before, right? It’s now a shit just got REAL big number.

So I’ll take my place with the millions of other 40 year-olds this year getting their first squish. ?Do you think Kate Moss is having her boobs checked this year? ?Or Tiffani Thiessen? ?They should. ?They turn 40 too.
As if the actual procedure doesn’t sound like torture, I have visions of them taking twice as long to get every angle of my large, flappy, 5 times over breast feeding milk machines placed just right. ?Hawt, right? ?Just didn’t want anyone getting too excited with the boob talk here.? Shit getting real, yo!

I’ll go in Friday. ?I’ll get squished. ?I’ll then wait for the all clear phone call that means I beat the odds.

This year.

Update 5.16: ?Done! ?And it was more uncomfortable talking to Chatty Cathy about why I know I’m not pregnant than actually getting squished. ?That part was nothing!
?
Though she must read my blog. As I was getting dressed she says,”Since this is your first, expect a call back for further testing. Either another mammogram or ultrasound is probably needed.”
?
Errr… Ok. ?
?
Not sure if that helped or freaked me out more! Stay tuned…
?
Talk to me, Goose. ?How was your mammogram experience?? Is this reaction “normal”?? Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes…

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Veronica Lee

Friday 16th of May 2014

I am 52 but never had one done!. About time I did! All that squishing that I hear from my pallies who did theirs kinda scare me a little. Sending you lots of positive thoughts!

Patty Holliday

Friday 16th of May 2014

Oh yes Veronica- don't be scared, or, it's ok if you are... but get it done anyway! It's an important tool in managing your health for sure. Thanks for the Positive Thoughts!

Jennifer Butler

Friday 16th of May 2014

way ahead of you....had my first one about a year and a half ago at 36!! No history, my dr just stressed the need for a "baseline" to establish what is normal while they are still young enough to look normal. So I went in all good and happy and being super pro-active.....and got the dreaded call back!!! So now i have 2 sets of "normal" looks to my girls and hopefully am set for a few more years. Definately a wake up call.

Patty Holliday

Friday 16th of May 2014

Baselines used to be the norm, then docs and insurance changed to the hard and fast 40 rule. I was hoping for one early like you for peace of mind. Ah well- today will be a day to remember I'm sure! ;)

Kim

Friday 16th of May 2014

Though I've never had one, whenever I have an exam that gets very personal I just try to remember that the tech does this every day and sees tons of people. Keeping you in my thoughts!

Patty Holliday

Friday 16th of May 2014

Thanks Kim!

April Shuping

Thursday 15th of May 2014

I had my first one a couple of months ago. It wasn't fun, but it wasn't too bad. I think the machines are much better than the ones our moms had to use (mine terrified me with boob squishing stories). The tech who "handled" mine (see what I did there, LOL) was really nice and made me feel as comfortable as possible, considering... The best part was that it was quick and the doctor reviewed the results while I was there and came in and told me everything looked fine. It was nice not having to wait! Good luck, pixie dust and positive thoughts!

Patty Holliday

Friday 16th of May 2014

Now that's nice- that they reviewed right away for you. I have no idea how this works here. The waiting and phone call is what I don't want to deal with- the squishing,well, I can deal with that part.

Kristen Smith

Thursday 15th of May 2014

Totes not looking forward to this; thankfully I've got time. Maybe between now and then they will make the process a little more, eh, enjoyable??

Patty Holliday

Friday 16th of May 2014

There's always hope!

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