CCRM requires new patients over 35 years old to get a mammogram. I wasn't looking forward to having my boobs smashed between two cold metal plates but it had to be done. I'm turning 36 in 5 days so I wasn't expecting them to find anything.
I went into the clinic and the x-ray technician took the images she needed. Afterwards, she placed me in the waiting area and left to show the images to the radiologist. About 15 minutes later, she came back and asked if she could take some different angled shots of my right breast. Sure.
She took the images and back to the waiting area I went. She came back after another 10 minutes and said that the radiologist would like to do an ultrasound on my right breast. Hmm. Okay.
The woman with the ultrasound wand was very thorough - going over each breast until she got to the area on the top of my right breast. She kept going over the same area. Over and over. Taking shots from different angles. She said that she'd go show them to the radiologist who might be back to look at the screen herself.
At this point, I'm starting to freak out. Imagining hearing the words "you have cancer" when she returns. Wondering what that would mean for our fertility treatment. Wondering how I'd handle the news. It was the longest 8 minutes ever.
When the ultrasound lady returned, she was alone. I thought that must be good news. She told me that they found a benign cyst on my right breast. Whew. What a relief! Apparently, they want me to return in 6 months so they can monitor it. Not sure what that means exactly. I probably should've asked. But I was so happy to hear that it wasn't cancer that I wanted to get the heck out of there as quickly as possible before they changed their minds.
Here's the thing about this story. I conduct self-breast exams regularly. A few months ago, I told my husband that I felt that lump in my right breast. He told me to get it checked out. But I thought it was nothing. Plus, I'm too young to get cancer, right? So I did nothing. The only reason I finally went to get the mammogram was because CCRM required it.
But if that lump had been cancerous, I'd be kicking myself that I lost precious time to start treating it. With breast cancer, it's all about early detection. The reason I wanted to write this is because I don't think I'm alone in this. I doubt I'm the only person that has ever felt a lump in their breast and ignored it. This is a plea from me to you...if you find a lump, get a mammogram.
I got lucky this time.
But this situation could've been disastrous if I had waited and it was a cancerous tumor.