Monday, March 06, 2006

Yeah, Yeah...Squish

"Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is. The only way to approach it is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show."


Ok...I did it. My Mammogram is over with. What a bizarre day last Friday turned out to be. I was a little uneasy, so I decided to call the Breast Cancer Care Helpline, and speak with a volunteer, just to ask a few last minute questions. I am so glad I did. I spoke with a lovely lady named Sue, who was very patient and answered all my question with kindness and patience. She even made me laugh. I had told her, "I was a little unclear about what everyone meant when they said the test is more about feeling a pressure feeling then actual pain." So, she asked me, "How old are you dear?" To which I replied, "I am 43." "Oh," said the nice lady "well you aren't young anymore so that's good." LOLOLOLOL. I loved it! Finally someone was willing to say out loud, what I had been suspecting for a few years now. All those aches and pains, all that forgetfulness, all those weird noises I make when I get up from a chair...means I am OLD! :) Hey, you know what? As it turns out, older ladies like me, have an easier time with Mammograms because our breasts aren't as dense. My brain yes, my breasts...not so much. :) Cool!

So, off I went to Kaiser to face the test. Oh I was very brave, fretting my way to the appointment, and arriving with four minutes to spare. LOL. I stood in line, and then when it was my turn, went to register , except, YIKES, where was my wallet? I can't believe it...I had left home without my wallet. "Oh well, I guess you can't see me." I reasoned with the receptionist. "Oh no, we can still see you, what's you Kaiser number?" Yes, I knew the number by heart. Uggg. So she entered it into the computer and as it turns out, my test wasn't scheduled for the clinic in Hayward, no, it was scheduled to be done in Union City. It was a scheduling error. Sigh. "I can't get clear down to the Union City clinic in 10 minutes. I guess I will have to reschedule. :) "No, it's ok, we can work you in here," said the nice receptionist lady, "No problem at all." Oh goody. So I went and had a seat, and I was called back in 10 minutes.

The rest was pretty routine. Ugly hospital gown, strange little waiting area that sits at the end of a long corridor. It was all very...normal. I changed into the gown, and went to the little waiting area, and as I sat down, I realized how quiet everything was. No sounds of people crying out in excruciating pain. No bells or whistles going off indicating something dire. No, it was very, very quiet. Once I realized that peace, I felt my shoulders relax. Next the knot in my stomach untied itself, and for a moment I closed my eyes and began my meditation. I began to just let my mind wander. I thought about all the emails, and comments of support I have received from everyone. I thought about how caring the Internet can be in times like this. I even thought about what Karen said about squashing out that nasty Fear Demon. "Just say yeah, yeah and squash him with your shoe." I had to smile when I remembered that advice. :) About five minutes went by and they called my name. And now comes the waiting for the results. I feel really strong now, so waiting for the call isn't scaring me, in fact I am paying very little attention to it. The hardest part for me is now over...the part that was unknown to me. The test was so easy, that I am actually looking forward to next year, when I get to have one all over again, because I know I will be taking care of myself. :)

OK, here is where I get obnoxious. Have you had your Mammogram this year? Is it time to schedule one for yourself? And to my male aren't off the hook on this. Is there an appointment you have been putting off, that you are either due or overdue to schedule? How about a dental appointment? Or maybe an eye appointment? Let's make the month of March, about taking care of ourselves. Please consider taking care of yourself in some special way this month. Come back here and share with me, and others, what you did to make your future more healthy. If you have health coverage, it is a huge shame to not use it to make sure you are healthy inside and out. There are 45 million American's today, living without health coverage. Sigh. It would be a shame to waste something as valuable as health coverage, if you have it available to you. And listen, if you know someone who is scared, who is worried about their first ever Mammogram, you send them to me. If I can face it, anyone can. It really isn't anything to be afraid of, but to not have the test, to put it off, now THAT is something that should be feared.

"My Friday Night Date"
Hayward, California
March 3rd, 2005
Late Afternoon


DesLily said...

I'm glad you got thru the mammogram.. to me, I always got more nervous WAITING for the results then I do of the test itself. (any test).

Ohh, when I lived in CA I had Kaiser also! I liked them.

Ed Bremson said...

Loved your quotation at the beginning here. Sorry, though, I don't eat microwave popcorn since I heard about the chemical PFOA they put in the bag. Otherwise, I generally agree with the sentiments expressed. Peace.

sunflowerkat said...

My one friend who did have breast cancer said she got a call as soon as she got back to her office the day of the test. I think, if they see something suspicious, you hear about it pretty quick. I'll bet you're in the clear!


tess said...

If something suspicious is seen, you hear right away! Sometimes you don't get out of the office before the techs take further scans. Remember Ladies, being called in for more scans does not mean that anything is wrong either, they just need another view!

Karen Funk Blocher said...

I'm so glad you did this, and that I was able to help a little. I got my mammogram - a year overdue -last week because I was seeing my doctor so it was handy to get the referral, and because I couldn't very well egg you on and be a slacker myself! So I kind of have you to thank for getting me in for it.

This week (Thursday) isd my stress test, and later this month I see the doctor again. You can bet I'm saving up questions!


Steven said...

Forgot your wallet? Gasp!
When I'm all nervous about a pending appointment I get all worried before hand that I'll forget something I need.

Over planning to the rescue!

Glad you made it :-)