April 17th, 2023Just sayin’…
By Donna Kelly
THIS is a public service announcement. Ladies, check your boobs.
Firstly, I am all good. Yay. But not everyone is so lucky. And it is one of those
things, like so many of the health checks available, that if you get it early, you
have a very good chance of winning. And it is usually very simple. Usually.
For some reason I have been asked by a specialist to get a check every year.
Lumpy, bumpy breast tissue I think was the medical term. So every year in March
I go along to Lake Imaging, even during Covid, and get a mammogram done and
mostly after that, an ultrasound, just to be sure. That is their decision, not mine. They
always say it is just routine but once I only had a mammogram so I dunno…
Anyway, a few weeks before I was thinking about making my appointment I
thought I felt something, a little lump, and nearly died of a heart attack. I felt again,
and nothing. Again and something. By this time I was starting to feel like a sex
offender so I stopped feeling myself and called the doctor to get a referral. You need
one if you have more than one mammogram every two years.
They, the doc, were a bit like “why are we doing this” and “it is radiation”
but I mentioned maybe a lump and they agreed and I called to make the Ballarat
appointment. The closest was about three weeks away, and yes, I did try other places,
but they were all busy.
So the three weeks went by and some days I thought about it, and some days I
didn’t. Well, most days I did, just wired like that for health things. Kyle could tell me
we are about to go into bankruptcy – came close a few times over Covid – and I would
think “oh well, bummer” but health is health.
Anyway, the day came and I went in and stripped off the top half and plopped
my boob on the mammogram tray, leaned forward, with my right elbow back and my
left hand holding the rail at the front, and my bum back and my hips twisted to one
side and they lowered the top to squash my boob flat. A man made this machine.
And then I sat in the gown while they looked at the images and then they said
they would just do a routine ultrasound. Hmmm, here we go, I thought. And felt a
bit sad. Then I lay down and they pushed my boobs with the ultrasound thing and
then the person said “something of concern here” and I felt really sad. It was noted as
indeterminate and would need a biopsy.
So I went to another doctor the next day, the first one was busy, to get a referral
for the biopsy and also to that breast specialist for any findings. And the doctor said
it was already eight centimetres big and marked the referral with “urgent”. By now I
was pretty much getting my affairs in order…
I couldn’t get a biopsy for two weeks, even though it was marked urgent, but
finally the day came. They give you a local anaesthetic, which hurts a bit, which I find
strange because its only job is to stop pain, and then put in a big needle which pulls
out a bit of tissue, three times, making really loud clicking noises each time.
I had my next appointment lined up but not for a week. It was a long week but
eventually came along and then I sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes past my
time. I imagined the specialist was putting on his game face. And then in I go.
“Well Donna, what brought about this mammogram?” he asked. “You told me
to go every year,” I blurted. “And they found something?” “Yes.” “And then had the
biopsy?” “Yes…” “Well, it’s all good, nothing wrong.” F%$K! I mean, great news, but
who is training these people? “Was it 8cm,” I asked. “No, 8cm from the nipple, just
6mm, gee 8cm would have been a worry,” he laughed. Yeah, it was.
Anyway, boob check done. I think I will take April off health worries. Just sayin’…