I'll start by telling you to get your 'girls' checked. Check them yourself monthly, get a yearly mammo. If you have to pay extra for the 3D imaging, just do it. Your health, your family, your friends want you to do it. Early Detection is Your Best Prevention.
Last November, I went for my screening mammography, as I've done yearly since I turned 40 (and once in my late 30's as allowed by my health insurance). After that was done, I got called back for a screening ultrasound for 'dense breasts' as sooooo many women do. Nothing to concern myself with... really, I work in radiology, so I know this is the norm. So, I went for that ultrasound, and found the technologist spending a LOT of time on my right breast in 2 areas, and seem to fly through the left, in comparison. After that ultrasound, I immediately wanted to cry. She didn't say anything, as she shouldn't - she's not a doctor, she's a tech - but I got scared. Of course, I was called back for some targeted views on the right breast and the radiologist felt it was nothing. So, cool, right?
Well, my gynecologist just suggested that I follow up with a breast specialist. Not that she didn't trust the radiologists opinion. She just isn't a breast specialist so she was just suggesting I get one. Now, I'm in no rush, and I want the best doc in the area, so I set up an appoint for February. I see her, no lumps and she agreed with the radiologists' assessment, but because of family history (an aunt and grandmother, both on my father's side), she suggests I get a baseline MRI of both breasts. So, I do. This part was kinda funny. When you get a breast MRI, you lie on your stomach and drop your girls into holes and then put you in the MRI machine (I went in head first, not like this picture, but whatever).
Now, the MRI shows "enhancements" in my left breast. WTF does that mean? Well, to start, another ultrasound. The ultrasound shows a mass, and bibopsy is recommended. You can imagine my fear at this time.... through the roof.
Let's now talk about the truth about a "bibopsy". I honestly went in thinking it'd fairly easy and I could head back to work when I was done. This was a mistake. It started out easy enough, they numb you, tell you what to expect, sign your waiver, etc (not in that order). Mine was an ultrasound guided bibopsy (they come in different forms, some get MRI guided, others mammography guided), so they use the ultrasound wand to find the mass to guide the doctor to get their samples. I am NOT looking at the tool they're using to take the sample. While I gave birth to 2 kids without the use of even an epidural, I still don't want to see a needle of any sort stuck in me, let alone one big enough to suck a sample of tissue (or a few) out of my breast. In the end, I think my issue was that this procedure lasted longer than I was anticipating. I do yoga, so I started to focus on my breathing. OK, a couple more minutes passed. What now? I'm getting to the point where I just need it to end. Doctor is asking me if I'm ok, I'm saying yes because I want her to get it overwith, but really, I'm now sweating and feeling lightheaded. I don't recommend lying to the doctor. She did get it done and when she was done, I finally admitted I wasn't feeling well. The call in the nurse, take my blood pressure (too low), give me ice packs and orange juice and she sat with me until I felt better. Of course, now the whole thing isn't quite over. I still have to have a mammography because the last thing they do in the bibopsy is insert a clip. The clip is really just a marker in your breast so that on future mammographies they know where you previously had a bibopsy. Ok, mammo done (that was a piece of cake after the bibopsy, and I'm still numb), they give you an ice pack and send you on your way. I did go back to work. I should've gone home to bed.
Bibopsy isn't a word, you say? Well, it's the word I used because it's less scary and somehow kept my attitude more positive during this process.
End result, which I felt took years to come in were filled with words like "negative" and "benign". All I needed to hear. I truly couldn't focus on anything else in those few days. I know in my head that this is most often the case, but needed to see it. I believe most doctors these days will err on the side of caution and suggest you get the biopsy. I 100% agree. How else do you know for sure?
In a couple of weeks from now, I'm go in for my screening mammography, and follow up ultrasounds. Wish me luck!
After this was all done, I keep thinking, I'm not getting any younger and I really need to focus on my health and my weight. I continued with Yoga and added some walking in when/where I could. Exercise just isn't enough. It wasn't until October that I accepted that it's so much more about food. Healthy food, whole food, real food.
Disclosure: I am an Independent Beachbody Coach. I do receive a commission or discount on all products, but I spend my own money on these products because they work. All opinions are my own.