A Day of Waiting- My 1st Mammogram at 30

Thursday, September 25, 2014

When everyone was picking a word at the beginning of this year, I resisted to pick a word simply because everyone else was doing it. I like to be a rebel like that. That is until the Lord placed the word trust on my heart. And He was pretty persistent about it, so I caved and decided to make trust my main goal this year. 

And I have definitely had to trust Him this year. With a BRCA 1 and 2 diagnosis and a journey back into foster care, I have needed to trust Him more than ever this year. 

Today was spent doing a lot of waiting and a lot of trusting. It was the day of doctor's appointments that needed to happen after the whole BRCA discovery. 

So today, I had an ultrasound of my uterus and ovaries. I had a blood test called a CA125, and I had a clinical breast exam and a mammogram along with a session with a high risk specialist. 

Here's what I learned:

I'm getting pretty good at waiting, and none of it was as bad as I made it out to be in my mind. 

The ultrasound was uncomfortable, but not painful, and the blood test was no big deal at all. 

After those lovely tests, I had to go across the street to the Breast MRI center for my session, mammogram, and breast exam. 

They treated me like a celebrity over there. Apparently my mom and I are the only two people in this particular high risk program (that follows hundreds of women in our area) with both BRCA 1 and 2 mutations. We're like super famous in the boob world. 

I was informed with new research on my gene mutations, a full list of my current options, and an explanation of what to expect in the coming months and years as we continue surveillance. Turns out that I'll have to be super serious about tracking my period since my next appointment (in 6 months) will be for an MRI and it will need to be done during a specific time frame in my cycle when the estrogen in my body is at it's lowest. Tracking my period is now on the To-Do list I guess. 

After the session, I was taken to a room for the clinical breast exam where Sharon was very thorough and explained to me exactly how I need to do my own exams. She was even sweet enough to remind me how how small I am. She assured me that she would still be able to feel things. 

Thanks, Sharon. I appreciate the reminder of my small chest size. 

I actually liked Sharon and couldn't help but smile when she commented on my small size. I was even more impressed with the non-paper gowns. I fully expected those horrid paper sheets they make people wear on TV. Nope. This was a real life, not paper sheet (or maybe it was old curtains or a tablecloth) with a hole in the middle for my head. I really did like it. 

Well, I liked it until they made me wear it to go to "the other side" as they called it, where they do the mammograms. 

You could totally see all of my side as I walked through the office. I'm sure of it. But I walked with pride through that office where I was, by far, the youngest person in the room. 

I had to sit in a waiting room all by myself and watch general hospital while wearing my floral patterned sheet. It seemed like I sat there for hours, but I think it was only 15 minutes. However long it was, it was just long enough to make me so very glad that I have other things to do in the middle of the day besides watch General Hospital (if you're a fan, I'm sorry). 

And suddenly, there was a lady in the doorway. She had obviously come for me since I was the only soul in the room. She said my name anyway, just to be sure, and off we went. 

The room with the mammogram machine in it is quite intimidating. I had to wear a giant and heavy lead skirt around my waist. 

Once the lead skirt was secured, it was time to face the machine. While I did not take this picture, this is exactly what it looks like. 

I've heard mammograms are painful. Maybe that's the case for some, but it wasn't painful for me. Maybe it's the size of my breasts (see above comment) that made it bearable for me. I don't know. 

It was incredibly uncomfortable. Mostly because there is no place to put your face when your boob is smooched in that machine. The hardest part (aside from where you're supposed to put your face) is that you have to hold your breath, and since you don't know what to do with your face, it's hard to hold your breath. If you have nice sized boobs, it may be more painful for you than it was for me. I really don't know. But I know it's short. Very short. Only takes a minute, and it's no big deal, so if you need one, you should go get one. 

And after the boob squishing, I was done. The day of waiting was over. For now. 

I really am learning more and more about waiting on the Lord. I'm not sure I understand where I fit in yet in this BRCA journey, but I'm okay waiting until the Lord shows me where I fit. I trust Him. I trust the process. I trust the journey, so here we go. 


  1. A good period tracking app on your phone (DROID or apple) my days tells you everything. :) good luck


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