Monday, December 20, 2010

I've been keeping a little secret. It's about the size of an olive. I'm not much of a secret keeper and I'm a compulsive truth-teller so it's been hard. Several months ago I noticed a breast lump but then I thought it went away. Then it came back and didn't go away. I told John after that but I didn't mention it to anyone else in the family. I knew they'd freak out after what went on with my sister. Plus talking about it seemed to give it more importance than I wanted to give it, and draw too much attention to myself. So I started applying for insurance, couldn't get it at an affordable price, and applied for something else, and finally got it. There's still some question as to what they'll cover, and I'll probably have to borrow some money anyway, but that's life.

I talked to my doctor last week and he said it had to be checked, after what my sister had. Today I had a mammogram and ultrasound and they looked fine. It was the same radiologist who saw my sister, and hers had looked okay too, other than some tiny calcifications. Her lump was the size of an orange but it looked like fibroid tissue. It's common for Invasive Lobular Carcinoma to be hard to detect. He told her to wait and come back in 6 months. Then he sat there thinking hard, and he said, "No. I have a bad feeling about this," and sent her for more testing. And that saved my sister's life.

Today he told me he thought we should do an MRI. He said it's our call since the insurance company might give us trouble over it. I've got to call around tomorrow while they're open. But I'm going to do the MRI. I have to wait until next Tuesday, and then I'll get results probably by next Thursday. I have been mostly thinking the worst, but after good results today I feel a lot better about it. And really, how could it be that I'd have the same cancer in the same spot that my sister did, so soon after hers and at such a young age? It seems extremely unlikely.

By the way, some of you ladies who haven't had one might like to hear that the mammogram was no big deal at all. I've heard all kinds of stories about how awful it is, and it wasn't. Even with this sore lump I was totally comfortable. Of course it's different for everyone but that's my take on it, and I hope it reassures someone. The ultrasound was actually more uncomfortable, but only because my goofy shoulder started to cramp up.

And I have to say I love Pullman Regional Hospital. Every time I go there I'm amazed again at how great the people are and how nicely done the hospital is. The colors are warm and cozy and the artwork is really nice. It doesn't even smell funny. :)


Linda said...

I'm curious, but how much is a mammogram if you had to pay for it yourself. Did you find out? I sure wish medical costs were straight forward, but they never are. My mole that turned out to be melanoma--I thought it was nothing, too--a big joke, until I got the call that it wasn't. I think it's wonderful that you went in and got it looked at. Your life is worth so, so much!! No $$$ can define it.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should have mammograms - they don't catch everything and there are false positives, but they're a very good idea. Good luck in getting it figured out.

Anonymous said...

I agree that mammograms are no big deal. Mildly embarrassing, but not painful.
I am also very glad you are getting things checked out.
You are Loved by so many and our positive thoughts and many prayers will be with you.

Flying Cowgirl said...

I'm glad that you got checked out and your in my thoughts and prayers for a healthy outcome. I've not had a mammogram, so it helps to hear that it's not that bad. I'm not a prude and really don't care who pokes and prods me, so I don't think it with bother me much at all. I've had way worse happen.


arlene said...

Yes it does seem unlikely that the same thing would happen to both you and your sister.. same place and everything. To me it seems it's a good thing that it went away at one point, even though it came back. It might be a cyst that changes every month or something.

It shocks people in my country that Americans have to have the stress of paying for treatment when they get ill. lol, I will stop thinking about that now before I get myself worked up into a froth.