Wednesday, February 10, 2010

boob day.

So, I'm gettin' a mammogram next week. Awesome. Yessirree, nothin' like havin' your boobs squished under 19 pounds of pressure. When you're a B-cup. Barely. I also really love walking into the waiting room with all of the other ladies sitting there, mouths open, jaws on floor when they see how old I am.

Being 32 years old and a high-risk breast cancer patient is great fodder for conversation. (And blogs, I might add.) Women twenty and thirty years older than I am find it unbelievable that I'd be getting a mammogram before the age of 40.

Next week, I'll be getting my fifth mammogram in three and a half years. Four years ago, I found a lump in my left breast. Turned out to be an atypical papilloma--a lesion that, according to my surgeon, is right between cancer and non-cancer. They took that bad boy out, left a gorgeous scar (my surgeon asked, "So what type of modeling do you do? Just so I know what I'm working with."), and occasional jabs of pain that feel like lightning bolts zapping at my boob.

And the doctors said, "You're now 5 times more likely to develop breast cancer in your lifetime."

Again, awesome.

They watch me like a hawk. I get my mammograms and they examine those digital images like nobody's business. My first mammogram? They found linear calcifications. That looked like cancer was nearby. I was in surgery again...two days later. Benign, thank God, but terrifying. I wasn't even 30 years old then.

I have little boobies. I like them, actually. If they were any bigger, I'd look funny. I'm nearly 6' tall, thin, and big boobs would make me look, well, odd. But the part I don't like about my boobs?

Puttin' 'em in that damn mammography machine.

"Here," says the technician, usually a middle-aged woman with cold hands, "lemme just see. if I. can get this in there. a leeeeetle more, " while she tugs and pulls at my teeny, tiny boobies.

There's nothing much to get in there, darlin', I want to say back to her. But instead, I laugh. Because I'm nervous.

But, like magic, she does. And I hold my breath, because that's what you're supposed to do.

Each boob, three different ways. Squeeze, press, tug, pull. It's more annoying than painful. And I have to laugh when I think of my teeny, tiny boobies going anywhere.

The days leading up to Boob Day, as the Ross-a-tron and I affectionately refer to the experience, are nerve-wracking. I'm convinced I'm going to get breast cancer someday. It's not a matter of if for me, but a matter of when. My oncologist calls me an anomaly. Atypical papillomas are rare. But, oh--will I fight. I will fight and fight and fight.

February 19th at 12:45 p.m. Think of me. And in the meantime, feel yourself up, ladies. Do those breast self-exams (BSEs). For me. For you. For everyone you love and who loves you.

By the way, I'm a guest blogger over at Krista's today. Head on over. I promise you'll love her.

with love from Pittsburgh,

{oh,'re a hoot!}

9 lovely bits o' feedback.:

Your New Best Friend, Linda. said...

Really frustrating, scary, weird, not fair. Don't like it. At all. I'm gonna go find a bucket of sand and put my head in it.

krista said...

oh, man.
i always do those self-exams and am totally convinced i find stuff in there. turns out it's nothing.
i have a love/hate relationship with mine. i think they enjoy themselves a little too much. i would like it if they would downsize.
and here's a ridiculous fact for you:
when i was pregnant i grew to a size g.
motherloving G!!!
that was a hideous experience.

Akirah said...

I wish you many blessings on your mammogram. I'm so glad you're being responsible and keeping an eye out for anything abnormal. Good job! I do my exams once a month. I found a lump once and had to get a mammogram and ultrasound. Turns out, it was nothing. I was 23 at the time. It's a scary thing, but necessary. We gotta keep ourselves healthy.

3StinkyBoysAndMe said...

Hi! I found you over at Krista's blog today. You're post was so sweet! I'll be back! Tasha
p.s. I'll be sending you all sorts of some good vibes Feb. 19th. : )

laureen said...

love that you are a guest blogger. love that you blog about connecting. love that we have stories to connect us, and boy howdy do we have stories. love that we can say the word breast in public. also hate that part. my girls are doing well, hope yours are too. having a mind melding day, so gotta go gotta fly.

Petunia Face said...

Wishing you happy, healthy boobies!

Angie Muresan said...

Getting a mammogram sucks! But cancer sucks more! So sorry to hear about your breast issues. The mammogram will be over before you know it, and you'll sleep so much easier after. Here via lovely Krista.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I had my first mammorgram last month at age 42. HATED it. I'm small too. Somehow, I can't help thinking that makes the experience worse. :-) Good luck on the 19th!

Anonymous said...

You must be very fascinated with your boobies. You know they are just fat tissue and man/baby pleaser.