Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Breast Cancer Journey: Mammogram and MRI Experience [Video]

Welp, It's been a couple weeks since I revealed to the world my Breast Cancer diagnosis.  Since I first learned of my diagnosis, I've decided to switch Breast Surgeons and have a second pathology opinion.  Since the switch I've felt more confident with my care and treatment plan. This breast surgeon is part of an entire cancer team at a great hospital.  On our initial visit she made me aware of a Pathologist at the hospital that specializes in breast tissue (and breast cancer diagnosis) and immediately made a request for the tissue samples taken by the hospital that performed my biopsy was sent out.  Also she recommended that I see a Medical Oncologist (MO) that is part of her team.  I have no plans on dropping the Oncologist that I have found on my own, but I have agreed to an appointment with the MO.  Various looks, perspectives and knowledge can't hurt in this situation.  She also actually addressed my Lymphedema concerns and said that they have therapists that specialize in prevention, treatment and maintenance of Lymphedema that I would be introduced to closer to the date of surgery.

My new Breast Surgeon also suggested a treatment plan, (which I will make an entire post on later).  First step was to continue with diagnostic procedures: the second opinion on pathology, a mammogram and breast MRI.  The pathology results are pending.  The imaging, I spent an entire Friday afternoon handling.

The mammogram included 3D imaging and was not at all what I expected (Luckily)!  I was so afraid of the mammogram!! I called the Breast Surgeon a few days prior to the appointment and asked her if we could just skip the mammo.  She eased my fears and I found myself in a room getting the gentle squeeze around 12:30 on a Friday. Absolutely no pain!  It was fabulous, ladies!  DO NOT BE AFRAID!  

If you've been putting off mammograms because of fear of a terrible squeeze, don't fear.  Seriously.  I think that maybe if you talk to the technician performing the mammo, and voice your apprehension and fears, he/she may be able to prepare you for what to expect and this may also cause him/her to be mindful of your concerns and to work in a manner which eases those concerns.

The MRI?.. that was uncomfortable.  Took a total of 40 minutes or so from when I was called to the back to when I was all done.  The way the body is positioned for the MRI made it a bit nightmarish for me.

If you want to hear all about my experience check out this vid:

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