Tag Archives: mammogram


1 Dec

It all started in 2008. I didn’t notice it, but Aaron felt a lump in my boob. About the size of a cherry. Straight away, I booked an appointment with my GP. I took my top off and laid before him as he pressed on my boobs in a small, circular motion, feeling for any lumps. Yeah, awkward. But stuff like that always is. He sent me for an ultrasound and core biopsy at the hospital.

Not cancerous. Phew.

A few months later, I got pregnant with Hannah and the lump grew. The doctor told me it was just the hormones.

When I started breastfeeding Hannah, it grew even more. To the size of a golf ball. I was sent to a specialist who sent me to a different hospital for a mammogram and a fine needle biopsy. Have you ever had a mammogram?

Let me enlighten you on the whole experience. First, you get your gear off from the waist up.  Then someone grabs your boob and places it on a flat thing sticking out from a giant mammogram machine. You stand there in an awkward position whilst a moving plate comes down and squishes your poor booby to approximately pancake width. Yeah, not fun. Add to that breastfeeding and you get a pancake that’s squirting EVERYWHERE. I’m not talking about just a bit of leaking, I mean projectile, flying-across-the-room-like-a-fountain squirting. The machine that was perfectly clean when I started was dripping in milk.  The floor had a great big puddle, and the mammogram technician (whatever they are technically called) also copped some breast milk. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting to be showered in milk when she went to work that day. Needless to say, I was rather mortified.

And that was only the first go. Then they put your boob on there kind of sideways, with the machine plates turned, and then they have to do both front and side on the other boob. When I was finished the room pretty much looked like the murder scene of a milk carton.


Getting a mammogram

Still, no cancer. Phew. But due to the lump’s size, I was supposed to have it out anyway, after I finished breastfeeding Hannah.

I didn’t want to wait on a huge long waiting list for “elective” surgery to get the lump removed and not be able to have another baby for who knows how long, so instead, we had Daniel.

When I stopped breastfeeding him, I went to a specialist who did a quick ultrasound and sent me to have more tests done. He thinks the lump could be in the ducts, and such lumps have the potential to turn cancerous. If it is that sort of lump, I’ll need to have the lump (and the others, I have more, they just aren’t nearly as large) removed, as well as all of the ducts. If not, then just the lumps.

I went for my tests on Thursday while Hannah was at preschool, and Daniel was at daycare.

As soon as I sat down in the mammogram room, I noticed a poem on the wall. I should have taken a photo of it for your pleasure (er…more like pain), but basically it went on and on about how much mammograms hurt and suck. Thanks for that, I was already dreading the pancaking, and that just made me feel like bolting.

There is no modesty with mammograms. It’s “Ok, take off your clothes from the waist up, then come over here.” Completely topless, I sashayed over to the lady, boobs hanging out everywhere (well, not really, since I don’t really have much in the boob department, after they deflated from nourishing 2 kids for a year each). She positioned me in front of the machine, then grabbed my boob and attempted to stick it on the flat plate, which wasn’t so easy since I don’t really have any boobs for the plate to hold up. At least this time, the lady, the floor, and the machine remained milk free.

I, on the other hand, held my breath and clenched my fists as my lack of boobs felt like they were going to burst as they got pancaked.

As soon I was done getting flattened, it was time for my ultrasound and biopsy. According to my specialist, I was to get a fine needle aspiration. I know because I read it on the referral slip. The technician thought it would be of benefit to biopsy another 2 lumps as well.

She started with the smallest lump. First, there was a shot of anaesthetic. Which surprised me because last time I had a fine needle biopsy, they just went for it. It stung, but it was pretty quick.

After the anaesthetic, they put the needle in and moved it around for a while, collecting the innards of the lump. Then, they did it TWICE more for that lump. Then another shot of anaesthetic for the next lump, followed by 3 more biopsies.

And finally, they got to the giant lump. “We’ll do a core biopsy for this one.” They told me. Great.

First came the anaesthetic. When I looked up, she had the scalpel. Or razor blade. Or whatever that sharp cutty thing is.

“I’m not going to feel this right? Because last time I had a core biopsy, I could feel the cut and they had to give me another shot of anaesthetic inside the cut, which was horribly painful.” Seriously, it sucked.

“We’ll just test now. Does this feel like just pressure, or does it hurt?” She asked as she pressed the point of the scalpel on my boob.

“Hurts.” One more shot of anaesthetic did the trick. I couldn’t feel a thing when she made a small incision in which to put the gigantic core biopsy needle into. It’s not just a needle, it’s more like a gun thing. They press a button and it makes a very loud noise, much like a piercing gun, taking a cylindrical sample from the core of the lump. I was expecting the noise this time though. The first time I had a core biopsy, I nearly jumped off the table.

“This sample is bigger, so I’ll just need to get two samples.”

After the second, they looked at the sample for a bit, whispered a little and decided to go in for a third.

“Does it look weird?” I asked. “like it’s milky? Because last time I had a biopsy, the lump was full of milk.”

“There is a milky substance in it.”

That doesn’t worry me at all. At my last fine needle biopsy, they stuck their needle in and it filled right up with milk. I know it was milk because they tested it.

So, Four needles full of anaesthetic, 6 fine needle biopsies, 3 core biopsies, one cut with a scalpel, and 2 hours later, I was free to go. After 20 minutes of laying half naked on the table putting pressure on my boob with some gauze to stop the bleeding, of course. Now I await my results. I’m quite sure they haven’t turned cancerous, but I’m also quite sure I’m going to need to have all my ducts out. Sigh.

If you, or someone you know has, or had cancer, www.someonewith.com is a great online shop for specialist products (i.e. mastectomy bras), and so is HopeFULL, who specialise in nutrition for people undergoing chemo and find it hard to eat due to nausea and other side effects of treatment (but they also have kits for toddler nutrition too).

*This is NOT a sponsored post. In case you were confused.

Also, please vote!

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Like my blog? ‘Like’ it on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mommy-Adventures/203964682967827?ref=tn_tnmn

Pin It You officially have my permission to pin this (as long as it links back to my site).  Just don’t act like you wrote it. Because you didn’t….

Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

The Best Mom Blogs

my first mammogram

2 Aug

Time since birth: 4 weeks 1 day
Total weight loss: 9.9kgs (21.8lbs)
Total weight loss this week (well, for the last 2 weeks): 2.9kg (6.4lbs)

Yay, I can finally fit my bum into a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans. It’s so not the point that I can barley button them, they give me a muffin top, and they are too uncomfortably tight to actually wear anywhere. I did borrow a pair of size 10 (aussie size 10 that is, don’t get too scared my american friends!) pair of jeans so I don’t have to always wear the one pair of pants that I own that actually fit me (and they aren’t even jeans).

A good thing about being pregnant is that you don’t get your period. Unfortunately, what people fail to mention is the bleeding after birth (called lochia). It’s like you have to make up for all of those months of not bleeding. Some people are lucky and only bleed for 2 weeks. Me, not so lucky, I’m still bleeding. Of course, it’s a lot lighter then right after birth when I got it all over the hospital bed in my sleep (I’m sure they get that a lot), but it’s still annoying.

I had my boob ultrasound last week. It took a while as I have so many lumps, and you are laying down, so I pretty much fell asleep. I did actually drift off a few times. She understood that I am a new mom, and we don’t get as much sleep as before, so she was very understanding. She told me my big lump is now 4cm long, 4 times bigger than it was last year, and filled with fluid. They don’t think it’s anything sinister, but recommended further investigation.

Further investigation lead me to my first mammogram. I felt very out of place in the waiting room, amongst all the old ladies, and even more so as I also had a crying baby with me. Hannah couldn’t come in with me because of the x-rays, so all the ladies who worked there fought over who got to watch her. Lucky she’s cute, or I might have had to leave her screaming in her pram outside the door as no one would have wanted to watch her. I never tire of people telling me how cute she is.

I have been told that a mammogram is so painful you almost pass out, so I was quite nervous about the whole thing. Also, I wasn’t too crazy about the thought of having my boobs pancaked.

First, you take your top off and bear all to the mammogram technician (who, lucky for me, was a woman). Next, place boob (with help of woman) on flat plate thing and wait for top plate thing to come down and pancake boob. Then, watch as your milk sprays all over the mammogram machine and narrowly misses the technician. How embarrassing…. Repeat with other boob. Next, the flat boob squisher plate turns sideways. Slot your boob for squishing from the side this time, watch milk go everywhere, including dripping all over self this time, and repeat with other boob. It didn’t actually hurt that much, and was over quite quickly. I haven’t gone back to the doctor yet to get my results, so tune in next week to find out.

Little Hannah also made a trip to the hospital this week for her appointment with the cardiologist. What an expensive week (cardiologist $400, mammogram $200). She still sports a hole in her heart between two ventricles, and it is unlikely to close. Luckily though, it is not causing her any problems and shouldn’t in the future. We do have to keep an eye on it throughout her life and we have to go back in 8 weeks (when her systems are done making the womb to world transition) to make sure all is well.

Saturday we took Hannah for her first long car trip to Penrith. We thought she’d love it as she loves the movement of the car, but she did a poo right after we left and then cried the whole ride. Can’t say that I’d like to sit in poo either. On the way home she slept the whole time and then continued to sleep for another 3 hours before waking up for a feed. She doesn’t poop at night so we didn’t have that problem on the way home.

%d bloggers like this: