My First Mammogram Experience

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My First Mammogram Experience

I am not exactly one to go to the doctor for.. well, anything… but when you find that mysterious lump on the “girls” you don’t mess around with that stuff, so off to the doc I went. My doctor checked it out and scheduled me to get an ultrasound. Why not schedule a mammo? Well because it was more under my armpit area instead of where the “vice” couldn’t be clamped down so doc opted for a ultrasound. I thought, “Hey those were cool when I was pregnant, so sure why not!”

Mammo

Ultrasound appointment day arrived and we headed to the hospital. Did the normal check in and pay garbage, then headed up to radiology. Hubby & I set and watched a little Property Virgins on TV while we waited, then a nurse called me back to talk to me. I walked into another area and she asked me when was my last mammo. I responded with a coy, “Never.” She informed me that they don’t just do an ultrasound, we must first have a mammo then if there was something to look at, they’d do the ultrasound. They needed a “base line” mammo to compare things to in the future.  I was already very nervous (I always am about anything doctor related) and I already had to pay about $250 just to get the ultrasound and now they are wanting another procedure. My normal conspiracy mind starts racing to, “They are just trying to get more money out of us!” and I am about in tears at the thought of a mammo (yes I am a wimp.) I asked her about the cost and how long it would take. She ran off to check and comes back with a $300+ price tag and an hour wait plus another hour for the procedure. I was not very willing to do this. You see, I am a research junky and I research everything so I am prepared, I researched ultrasound of the ta-tas but NOT about a mammo. I grumbled about how my doctor didn’t say I would need this and  that I was not happy about it. Why on earth would I be getting a procedure I know NOTHING about… Ahhhh!!! Kicking myself for not bringing me some calming lavender oil, I looked at hubby who was no help and he just tells me (as always)  “Whatever you think.” I begrudgingly agreed and went to wait my hour before they could “work me in.” I waited and grumbled about how I could just leave right now and I don’t think the lump is a problem and I am not happy. (Yes, I’m a bit spoiled)

Finally my name was called… Hubby stayed to watch TV (I told him I wanted to go alone) and I followed the nurse. She directed me to this little closet…

IMG_4765
”Take off your top and bra put on this smock and lock your things in the cubby and take the key.”

I noticed a sign that said to wipe off your deodorant with the moist towelettes provided (deodorant apparently messes up the imagining) so I obeyed and got in my smock.
IMG_4770
I thought, “Well, it can’t be all bad… I made a good headband choice today, it matched the burgundy smock I was stylishly adorning!”
I walk out…. nobody around.
“Hmm, That is strange, I would like to NOT be all alone in here wandering around with the “girls” free and…”
The nurse walks back in and says ok lets go.

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To the mammomat… wait! The what?? A MAMMO-MAT… is that like a laundry mat?? I am sure when it is done I will feel like I have been through the ringer… freshly pressed… ugh! I bet they get a kick out of this machines name!!
So here I am, baring my … eh hem… “soul” to this lady I have met all of ten minutes ago. She tells me she has to place a few stickers on my… wait, where?? And these stickers have tiny bee-bee looking things on them… oh my, the things my mind thinks of, I pray, “Lord please don’t let them hook up any “leads’’ to me!” A few more stickers on some moles (to rule them out as an issue on the screening) and then she “positions” me on the machine. Down comes the vice, I take a deep breath and…. hmm, that wasn’t so bad! Four different angles later and I’m done! Not painful at all, only the side ones were slightly uncomfortable but that is because I am a “big girl” and my side fat was in the way of getting my “girls” close enough to the machine. Quite relieved that this day was not going to be a big deal after all, I sat in the small waiting room while she talked to the radiologist.

IMG_4767
The waiting room was small but thankfully peaceful and I had it all to myself. I took advantage of this time to get my pictures! A nice janitor lady came in and spoke about how I was all alone in here. I told her I didn’t mind I was enjoying the peace and quiet. She told me to have a blessed day and left! (I was thrilled some people still wish others “a blessed day!”)

The nurse came in and said the radiologist wanted me to go ahead and get the ultrasound, grab my things and follow her. I thought, “I paid for the ultrasound, dern right I am getting it!” So off to the ultrasound room.

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I climb on the table and wait. She pulls out the ultrasound wand thing and, “Whew that’s chilly!… yep, I remember that cold slime used for this machine. She asks me where I felt the lumps (of course I couldn’t find them now) but she ran the wand over the area. It wasn’t too long before I realized I would MUCH rather have the mammo than this. I swear she was trying to press the wand all the way through my chest cavity to see the other side!! I told her baby ultrasounds are MUCH more fun! She laughs and pushes harder! Ugh, this went on like this forever while I watched the little screen show my ta-ta tissue and, wait… why are you focusing on that spot… what is that … why are you measuring??? …mommy?
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I keep my cool, I only let a few tears slip, mostly unnoticed, out my eye. I was afraid and of course, she would not tell me anything. After it was over she left to get let the radiologist see her findings. I was really wishing my hubby was in here with me now. I wasn’t sure if the radiologist would come in this room where I waited in my smock feeling vulnerable or if I would have a chance to get dressed, get my hubby, and sit in an office. Nope. In comes nurse lady and radiologist man…. he informs me that they didn’t find anything where I felt something, and that where it was painful under my armpit was a very normal looking lymph node, BUT… (why is there always a BUT…) but the mammogram did find three cysts and the ultrasound confirmed. One was a “simple cyst,” it is to be documented and nothing else really has to be worried about it, however… (of course there is a however…. ) … however the other two cysts are what they call “complex cysts.” These are ones that have a chance to turn into something more, we will have to watch them…blah blah.. come back in six months… blah blah… I kind of couldn’t focus anymore at that point. I caught that he said a complex cyst could turn into a simple cyst or they could turn into… blah blah…. Stress induced ADD was in full force, but that is ok, I will just research it when I get home… (thoughts) no offense fella but really I don’t want to hear anything else right now… Bec, remember the words he used… simple and complex cysts…. ok… now be polite and thank him, good…. and breathe.
The nurse (way to cheerfully) says, now see aren’t you glad you had this all checked out. (Half grin) “Yeah, where can I get dressed?” I go into the bathroom and change, I find my way back to the waiting room that I left hubby in and nod him a “let’s go” nod. He is by my side in seconds wanting to know everything. I tell him in a nonchalant way, “Oh they found three cysts, one is a no biggy the other I have to come back in six months to get checked again to make sure they are the same.” Yeah, why worry him before I get a chance to look it all up and understand what a complex cyst is.

So as soon as I could get to my laptop I run a Google search for Simple and Complex Breast Cysts.

Basically it is this…
Simple
A “simple breast cyst” is one which is obviously fluid filled, and has a very regular oval shape with thin, smooth walls. These are the most common and the most obviously benign breast cysts.
Complex
If a breast cyst does not appear to be uniformly fluid-filled, but appears to have some solid elements, this changes the picture considerably. Cysts with a combination of fluid and suspended solid elements are usually called ‘complex’ cysts, and if the solid elements are really prominent it might even be called a ‘complex cystic mass‘. Complex breast cysts will be taken quite seriously by the physician, and will most likely be biopsied. About 5% of breast cysts take on this ‘complex’ presentation.

Well that doesn’t really make me feel much better but other places I read said the chances of a complex cyst turning into something bad is 2% or less.
So what is a girl to do?
I read that a BBC article about frankincense, it says…

“Cancer starts when the DNA code within the cell’s nucleus becomes corrupted,” he says. “It seems frankincense has a re-set function. It can tell the cell what the right DNA code should be.

“Frankincense separates the ‘brain’ of the cancerous cell – the nucleus – from the ‘body’ – the cytoplasm, and closes down the nucleus to stop it reproducing corrupted DNA codes.

I decided, I was NOT going to focus on the scary chance It COULD be something one day and I was going to focus on that it isn’t THAT yet and do what I can to make sure it doesn’t develop into “something else”.
I am praying that God turns these cysts into simple cysts or eliminates them all  together and started a nightly routine of 2 drops of frankincense essential oil mixed with maybe a teaspoon of “naked salve “ and applying it to my “girls”. A few minutes after application I feel… something. Not really a warm feeling but almost like an energy feeling and it seems to be more intense on my left ta-ta where the cysts were found. I suppose I will not know exactly what it is doing for six months (and I will update this post then) but until then I am standing on faith!

I had to share this experience because I know a lot of women, including myself, fear the mammo. Early detection saves lives, just do it. The mammo really was not that bad at all! Now granted, I am almost 40 years old, well endowed, postmenopausal, and have ta-tas that has been through three kids.  But I would have done it sooner had I known it wasn’t painful.
I also wanted to share my experience so that others know what to expect if you are told you have a complex cyst (so it  doesn’t scare you like it did me by not knowing) and maybe have an essential oil solution to help promote the cysts to turn into the simple cysts or go away all together (we will see in 6 months!)

I know it is personal and some what embarrassing for us ladies to have to do it but if you would like to share your mammo experience in the comments below I would love to hear if my experience was the exception or the norm!keep-calm-and-have-a-mammogram

For more info on Frankincense for breast cysts check out these articles…
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/aromatherapy/aromatherapy-frankincense.htm

http://www.naturalhealingnews.com/learn-self-breast-massage-for-breast-health/#.U-2MDvldWoM

UPDATES:

3/8/15

I rubbed Frankincense EO mixed in an“naked salve on my breasts for a month after my initial mammo, for some reason it made my breasts ache. I pray it was doing something positive but the aching got to much for me so I stopped applying the frankincense. Now, almost 7 months later, I go to get my follow up ultrasound (yes, I am very nervous)… I wasn’t really worried about it because I had no ta-ta issues all this time until this last month. I am not sure if I am stressing myself into pain or if there is pain for a reason but now my ta-tas are a bit painful. Not constant, but off and on. Honestly, I was planning on blowing off my appointment until they started hurting again the last few weeks. I pray it is just in my head but what ever the out come, I will post my results…

“Naked Salve” From Camp Wander

Ingredients
  • 1 cup organic solid coconut oil
  • 1 cup organic olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons beeswax pastilles
  • ½ teaspoon vitamin e oil (optional)
  • PER 4oz JAR add the following amounts:

UPDATES:
3/8/15
I rubbed Frankincense EO mixed in an“naked salve on my breasts for a month after my initial mammo, for some reason it made my breasts ache. I pray it was doing something positive but the aching got to much for me so I stopped applying the frankincense. Now, almost 7 months later, I go to get my follow up ultrasound (yes, I am very nervous)… I wasn’t really worried about it because I had no ta-ta issues all this time… until this last month. I am not sure if I am stressing myself into pain or if there is pain for a reason but now my ta-tas are a bit painful. Not constant, but off and on. Honestly, I was planning on blowing off my appointment until they started hurting again the last few weeks. I pray it is just in my head but what ever the out come, I will post my results…

3/9/15
Today is a very dreary rainy East Texas day and I spent most of the day running between hospital imagining to the doctor and back (but some of that was my hubby having appointments too.) Good news is…. nothing has changed. Cysts are the same number & size they were 7 months ago. I am happy, that is a good thing, though I would have preferred that the doctor would have been wondering why the cysts disappeared and I could have said Frankincense EO!! LOL But with me giving up after a month I am not sure if the Frankincense just doesn’t help, or I didn’t give it time to help. I need to do more research on it!
I have to be back in 6 months for my third check up to make sure all remained the same (I have to keep getting check ups for two years). Thank you all for your prayers!! I felt peace going in and the ultrasound was much better this go around, the last one I thought I was being impaled!! Back with an update in August 2015!

UPDATE: September 2015
Mammo & Ultrasound check up… all is the same 😀 One more check up before I get the “All Clear” and then just my yearly mammo from then on.

I do have to tell about the other lady in the waiting room though…
As I set in the waiting room between getting the mammo and the ultrasound there was two other ladies in the room. One lady looked like she was very nervous and was really wishing to be alone. She stood facing the wall looking at a picture for the longest time. Finally she sat and did her best to ignore me and the other lady (who was Spanish). The Spanish lady smiled kindly at me and I smiled back, I assumed she didn’t know much English because the mammo tech spoke to her in Spanish and she spoke to me in one word phrases saying, “Cold!” as she rubbed her arms because it was pretty chilly in there. The other lady continued to stay to herself. The tech walked by and said to me, “You’re still here?” I smiled, and said “Yeah…” Then I mentioned, to no one really that it usually doesn’t take this long. The lady who was staying to herself looked at me for the first time and said, “You have done this before?” I told her this was my third go around. She was listening then, so I went on and explained to her my situation, that I had a couple complex cysts and a simple one and what the differences were. I explained to her that it really isn’t a big deal, that as long as the cycts don’t change it was no biggy. Come to find out her dad had died of cancer recently so she was terrified having found a lump. She said one of her lymph nodes was swollen and she was worried that it was cancer. I told her that is what I went in originally for but the node turned out to be nothing at all but they did find the cysts that we were keeping an eye on but really I didn’t feel I had anything to worry about. I think telling my story, and talking to her about her story helped calm her and help her have peace for the moment. I felt good knowing that just sharing what I had been through may have helped someone else. It helped me remember why I want to blog. I wished her the best and went on my way to the ultrasound room. I pray she had as good report as I did! Never feel shy to share your heart to another person who may need your kindness to help them through their trials.

~Becky~

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About Becky Husband

Becky is a Hebraic Christian homeschool mom blogger that lives on a small farm in Deep East Texas. When she isn't homeschooling her kids, she is busy documenting her family's life on her blog. In her blog, she writes about her faith, family, homeschooling, and homesteading. She also shares the family's abundance of hobbies such as geocaching, hiking, biking, birding, nature photography, and most recently her art! She is always eager to answer any questions others may have so feel free to leave comments and inquiries!

Posted on August 15, 2014, in Family, My Journal, Oils & Herbs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Reblogged this on Oh Happy Daze and commented:

    UPDATES:
    3/8/15
    I rubbed Frankincense EO mixed in an“naked salve on my breasts for a month after my initial mammo, for some reason it made my breasts ache. I pray it was doing something positive but the aching got to much for me so I stopped applying the frankincense. Now, almost 7 months later, I go to get my follow up ultrasound (yes, I am very nervous)… I wasn’t really worried about it because I had no ta-ta issues all this time until this last month. I am not sure if I am stressing myself into pain or if there is pain for a reason but now my ta-tas are a bit painful. Not constant, but off and on. Honestly, I was planning on blowing off my appointment until they started hurting again the last few weeks. I pray it is just in my head but what ever the out come, I will post my results…

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