Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Squishes and wishes

Two weeks ago I went for my yearly torture session at the mammography center. Some of my friends have told me that they don't find this test so torturous. Me? I'd rather go through child birth. I find it SO painful that it brings me to tears. You would think my expression of fear and pain would lead the tech. to be more sensitive and compassionate?? NOT so! They become abrupt and impatient. This time she said to me.. Listen.. we can be done in 5 minutes or I will continue this for 10 hours if that's what it takes! (i wanted to yell...bitch!!) Somehow though, when they have your boob squished in a machine while they are being so rude, it's kind of terrifying to stand up for yourself and tell them off. I try to be very cooperative, hoping to stir up some warmth.
Anyway, After a scare last year which led to FURTER torture and a biopsy but thankfully a good outcome, I became so upset again this year, when they called two days after the squash-fest to tell me I needed further testing (smashing) due to the finding of 'asymmetric density'. For two weeks, I've imagined the worst scenarios (nearly had a car accident while doing so) googled asymmetric density, lost sleep, confided in my best girlfriends, and basically worried myself sick. Yesterday, I was tortured in that obscene machine 5 more times, the last 40 pounds of pressure hurting and pissing me off SO much that I left there swearing Out loud to my husband that I am done with being loyal to preventive health! "NeVER again!!!""

Thankfully I found out once again... I am okay... nothing unusual was seen on the films.
So, How timely was it for me to see the announcement in the news yesterday morning that government scientist are now recommending NOT beginning routine mammograms until you're in your 50's, unless you are in a high risk category. One of the reasons being TOO many false positives. For the past 10 years, I have had at least 3 false positives which led to too much stress and unnecessary radiation and procedures and TOO much SQUiShing! Seeing this new recommendation should then make sense to me, right? Yet, it doesn't. Upon hearing this, I immediately thought of three women who I love who thankfully are alive today, due to a mammography finding their breast cancer while they were in their 40's. I have to believe that these last 10 years of torture couldn't have been needless. Like the pain in child birth, you must get a natural amnesia to mammogram pain, because already today, I feel like if smashing our boobs in a torture chamber once a year can help save just one precious woman, someone's loving Mom, a cherished daughter, a sweet sister or a special friend, then We should continue to listen to the american cancer societies recommendation and continue with these early screenings and of course with self examination. I can't believe this new study is telling us that this is a waste of time too. I, myself discovered a tumor, thankfully benign, in my 30's. I always tell my ladies (my hair clients).... if you don't want to self examine... let your partner or spouse do the exams for you. Not only are you taking preventive measures for your health, but also healthy measures for your relationship!

What also has me worried about this new recommendation, is I am SURE it won't be long before those bastard health insurance companies consider this a very convenient loop hole as to why they shouldn't cover screenings, even if a patients doctor believes in recommending it.
And what I am wishing for... Is a more humane alternative to the Mammogram. My friend was telling me about a painless test called a Thermogram.
Although after researching this, it seems it is best not alone, but in conjunction with the wicked mammo.
To surmise.. I am so grateful that my test findings were good. Breast cancer is so prevalent, especially here on Long Island, that if any change is needed, it's that we need to be More conscientious in finding a cure and doing whatever we can to prevent the devastation of being diagnosed and dealing with breast cancer.

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2cats said...

If I had a tech that was that insensitive and rude I would call the office once I got home and report her/him. There is no excuse for bad behavior.
I agree with you. I think the standards for mamography should stay where they are. This will be a huge thing for the insurance companies, who probably paid for the study in the first place.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

quite honestly since i have no intimate relationship I don't check anything from one end to the other. Seems like whats the use when no one is using them.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

oh yes and im happy you got good results and sorry the hell youhad to experience. i'd write a letter.

Thom Gabrukiewicz said...

Thanks for sharing this - for men and women. Get checked and talk to your significant other to get checked.

(Sorry about the rude tech, tho. I would have reported her.)

Lucy said...

thanks everyone... I should have mentioned that I Did report it, not right there but in the survey that they handed me to fill out when I left.
I am actually thinking about finding a new location, because it's been one rude tech after another at this place.
thanks for commenting! :))

Giggles said...

If men had to have their equipment squished like that it wouldn't happen! There would have been a better more delicate system for testing, guaranteed. I have a huge problem with the trauma the breast endures during this procedure!!! One can only wonder does it exacerbate changed cells?

Sorry you had to endure such crap!!! It's blatantly wrong!!!

Tumblewords: said...

Sorry for your discomfort but jumping joyously for your good report. Rules keep changing. Changing and changing. The only constant. So glad, again, that you're good to go.

Barb said...

I agree that being bitchy to the tech while in the squish-o-matic is not good timing. Mammograms DO hurt like hell.. but not as much as being told you should have had one.

Thanks for reminding me I need to schedule one.

Bone said...

I try to be very cooperative, hoping to stir up some warmth.

That was cute.

I'm sooooooooo glad you got good news, Miss Lucy. I hope you and Mr. Petals celebrated by going to Arby's.

~willow~ said...

I've had two sessions with the boob-squisher, and ugh, they were definitely unpleasant. Didn't help that the second was a follow-up because of something they wanted to take a closer look at (it was fine), so yeah, I too was quietly panicking. I think I'll work on making sure I'm not in the high-risk category... no history of breast cancer in my family, thankfully - now to just live a lot healthier ... prevention is better than cure, but ice cream is so tempting! :D

when the musics over said...

Very timely subject, Lucy. I sympathize with the agony. If I had to put my balls in a vice every year I might decide to leave it up to chance. As it stands, I have no shame in the self examination. Health techs can be a__holes.