Thursday, August 26, 2010

Good News And A Pain In The Boob . . .

So as an update to my last post on scanxiety, my mammo thankfully came back normal once again! Always such a relief. I don't have to go back to see the surgeon till next year and I am off the hook with breast MRI which I am happy about as well. So it was all good news.

Now on to the pain in my boob. Unfortunately I had a bad mammo tech for the first time in 9 years. I am certainly no stranger to mammo's. I have lost count as to how many I have had done over the past decade. What I am sure of is that I have never had pain during one. It is uncomfortable, yes, but painful, no, not for me. Until the other day . . .

I saw my doc first and then hung out for what seems like an eternity in the always fashionable hospital gown. When I was called in by the mammo tech and she proceeded to set me up in the machine I had no idea the pain that was about to ensue. When she clamped that sucker down apparently as compressed as it would go I felt nothing but extreme pain. Then I felt tears well up in my eyes. I was scared and felt as if I would pass out. I literally could not imagine what the hell she was doing that was causing me so much pain. It took my breath away. Not only was the compression excessive but the length of time for the compression seemed much longer. I felt as if all the color drained from my face. She had to sit me down. I assured her that I had never had pain like that before. She spoke to me as if I was a newbie and assured me that I was not the only one to ever have this kind of reaction. Well, let me say that if she has alot of patients ready to pass out then she is doing something wrong!

When it was finally over she assured me that I would now be able to relax out in the waiting room. I sternly let her know that I could not relax until I got the results. As I walked out of the room I turned as I heard her say "I got a really good picture though. . ." Hmmmm...."Goody for you" I thought to myself.

I have to say it was traumatizing. I never feared a mammo because it was not painful . . . that is until now. I hope that next time I have someone who knows what they are doing. The next day I got in touch with my doctor to let her know of my bad experience with the mammo technician. I can only hope it is followed up on as I would hate to see my experience happen to someone else.

Have you ever had a bad experience as a patient and been vocal about it? What happened? How did you feel speaking up about it?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Scanxiety . . . How Do You Deal??

So one would think that after 9 years I would be used to followup visits and tests. I stupidly thought I would get to a point where I would be scanxiety free. In the beginning I went for visits every 3 months, then after 3 years I went every 6 months and then when at the 5 year mark I graduated to once a year. And that included an oncologist visit, breast surgeon visit and annual mammogram along with an annual breast MRI.

Three years ago I went through a scare involving a barbaric biopsy in the MRI machine which thankfully turned out to be benign. But my anxiety reached new heights. Then 2 years ago my father died of cancer and I feared for my own life even more. Its almost like the more time I have where I don't have to go for that stuff makes it harder to go back.

I am sitting here wishing I didn't have to go for my mammo in a few days. Tuesday I will be going in for my checkup with the breast surgeon and then the mammo. I rescheduled this appointment back in March and had to wait all this time which is lunacy to me and yet I felt as if I committed a crime. Now I don't want to go at all. Yes I know I am sounding like a whiny kid. I don't want to think of my life in time to live between tests and appointments.

I need to create. I need to paint and sketch to help me with this fear. It always seems to help. So the next few days I will carve out time to do just that. Hoping it will quell some of my scanxiety. . .

What do you do to deal with scanxiety?

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Beginnings . . .

I have talked many times on this blog about how much creativity helps me deal with my life after cancer and all the fear that comes along with that. Recently I have decided to take my creativity a step further. I have been enjoying learning about painting and mixed media for the past 6 months. I decided to start a new blog just to focus on sharing my creative journey. I will continue to post here at In My Life about cancer related issues and my after cancer life.

I wanted to let you all know about this new blog for those of you who may be interested in following my art! So if you are then come on over and check out Artsy Butterfly!

Hope to see you over there as well!