I need to thank Whoopi Goldberg – April 22nd
It was late April 2015, I’d been out of work for a few months after being laid off in January and I was watching stay-at-home mom TV. Well, that’s my impression of the mid-morning TV shows. They’re chatty, a bit fun and can be helpful and informative. If I was surrounded by munchkins day after day, I’d have the TV on in the background…if only to hear an adult voice. Anyway, I had my iPad searching for jobs and The View on. They were talking about new regulations for mammograms that stated once a year was not necessary. The group were not in agreement. I don’t remember exactly how the discussion went because it was just in the background, but I did hear Whoopi Goldberg say something like “Just call your doctor and make an appointment!” It has been (ahem) over a year for me, and it sounded like it was directed at me. It pinged something in my subconscious that knew I was overdue for some boob squeezing. I took the order from Whoopi well. I stood up, went to my home office, found the number for the Imaging Center and made an appointment.
The mammogram was uneventful. It wasn’t awkward, it wasn’t painful. I went in, got topless, got squashed and zapped, and was out in under 45 minutes.
In early May I received a letter requesting further evaluation. They wanted to do a repeat mamo and ultrasound. This didn’t faze me. I’d had an ultrasound for pain in my left boob that turned out to be just be a few small cysts; a nonevent that required no action. Recently I’d felt the pain again, so I was happy to go back and see if they could aspirate the cyst(s). I mentioned this to the radiologist during the second mammogram and her response woke me up. “Dr. McAleese is not worried about the cyst, she wants to take another look at the calcification in your right breast.”
My right breast had always been the good kid, no pain, no lumps. My right boob was the problem child and has always been lumpy, it hurt during my period and was a reason I gave up eating bananas and kept my coffee consumption low. If I was ever going to have a problem it would surely be in my right boob. Crapola! Don’t panic until you understand what’s going on.
After the second mamo Dr. McAleese came and took me into her office. “This is a very common condition” she said. Calcification of the milk ducts, I had never heard of it. She continued, “And about 75% of the time it’s benign.” My star spotted boob was lit up on the wall. It looked like the milkyway. She pointed to a star close to the edge and said, “I want to biopsy that. It would be so easy.”
My biopsy was scheduled 2 weeks in advance for the end of May. During the wait I continued to search for jobs, I turned 52 and the Hubs and I went to Santa Fe; he rode in the Santa Fe Century, I gave myself a pedicure.