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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Get a Boobie Squish---It's for Your Health

I recently had my first mammogram. I've reached a point with my family history where it is recommended. I will also admit, that I've been terrible about doing a monthly breast self exam (BSE).

Since this was my baseline mammo, I was warned that a great majority of first-timers get called back to double check the slightest thing. They want a good, strong, accurate baseline.

So I got the call to say, "There's a small area of undetermined concern on the mammo. We want you to come back for additional views and an ultrasound to make sure it's nothing." Went in a week later for quite the ride.

Keep in mind I believe fully in the healing power of God. I know health and healing is His will. I had no nerves about anything until the night before and day of the follow-up. Of course, Rebekah didn't feel totally well that night so Sean was up with her until 3-3:30 and I took the 3am onward shift. I slept in 15 minute snatches while she watched more TV than kids should be allowed. It was a hard night with a lot of 'what if's' that I was trying to pray through.

I went in for the follow up and after the mammo, they still wanted an ultrasound because there was definitely a mass. The ultrasound tech told me that surely I could feel this. Hmmm---maybe since I hardly ever do a BSE it's a little hard to feel. I promised her I would do better.

The radiologist came in to talk with me and there is a mass there. He is convinced it's a benign mass (thank God) and it's very common in women my age. I've opted for the recommended course of action which is to wait for 6 months and do this again to make sure there are no changes. I could have a biopsy done on it, but he assured me there's not one thing that looks cancerous or suspicious about it and I don't feel the need to poke needles into my body unless it appears to be needed.

That evening, both Sean & I tried hard to feel this tiny mass. While both of us could tell there's a difference in the tissue between the breasts, neither one of us could feel the small mass. I'm reminded why we are told mammos save lives.

Now my next order of business is to talk to my friend Tonya (who will see this blog post) and ask her if she can check at Curves for a product I saw. Olivia Newton John, breast cancer survivor, was on Rachel Ray and spoke about a new product she helped develop. It's a plastic thing to put on your breast with a jelly-like material inside. They swore it made all the difference in magnifying what you feel so you can feel lumps sooner. I want to find/buy one of these for myself.

I've learned a lesson and hope all women will learn from what I didn't do. I did not know the new guidelines are to start a BSE at age 20. Age twenty?!?! Now I know and will make sure my daughter knows, too. I want everyone to get going with their BSE before they have a scary incident. And go get your boobies squished. It really wasn't that bad and it's only once a year for most women. Do it for yourself, your family and to possibly save your life.

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