I am honored to be a guest blogger this month for Breast Cancer awareness. I lost my grandmother to breast cancer and saw first hand how awful this disease can be. I hope to help raise awareness with my story.
About a year and a half ago I discovered a small lump in my left breast. For some reason I wasn’t overly concerned with it at first. I remember talking to a couple friends about it and one friend said she had a small lump and had to have it biopsied. For whatever reason, this made me a little uneasy.
I lost a good night of sleep over my little lump and decided I needed to get it checked out. (Side note: going to the doctor is not always an easy decision for me because we are on a high deductible plan…so it’s never a cheap decision! Sad, but true.) My sister, who is a urgent care PA at Broadlawns, recommended I have an ultrasound to at least look at it and see if it needed biopsied.
I was able to get right in and got an ultrasound with Dr. Tetinger (a radiologist at Broadlawns, I highly recommend him). He recommended doing a mammogram and needle biopsy based on the edges of the lump (or at least this is what I remember him saying). He seemed confident that it would most likely be nothing, but again it’s impossible to know until you get a biopsy. I made an appointment for the next week to get the show on the road.
Mammogram and Biopsy:
In my opinion getting a mammogram is no big deal. I didn’t experience any pain with it but maybe that’s because I am small chested?! I could see how someone would feel uncomfortable if you are highly modest! But truly, don’t wig out over a mammogram! It’s true, they do pancake your boobs, but again it’s not that big of a deal…there are a million other things that hurt worse!
The mammogram was slightly stressful though for other reasons. After it was done I had to go back in for more pictures of my right side because they found some calcifications.
Enter the pounding heartbeat!
The nurse told me not to worry, but you just can’t help it! Luckily, Dr. Tentiger decided the calcifications looked okay/normal but still wanted me to follow up for another mammogram in 6 months.
Your first mammogram is considered a baseline and doctors can make better judgements about calcifications if they don’t change. I have since had the 6-month check up and got an okay again but to follow up with one more just because I still have several years until I do yearly mammograms. I will have my final one in November and am hoping and praying for no changes!
Next, I went in and got the needle biopsy. Luckily, my sister works there and got to come in with me for my procedure. I had a good attitude, but I was a little nervous. They numbed me up and then did the biopsy. I’ll be honest; it hurt. It wasn’t terrible, but I wouldn’t sign up for it either. They cleaned me up and told me they would call with results. I was sore and I bruised a little bit afterwards, but overall I would say it wasn’t all that bad.
They called me a week or so after my biopsy with great news that my tissue sample was normal. Praise the Lord!
I tell my story because I know there are women who haven’t received great news after a biopsy. I can’t imagine taking in the news of breast cancer…but I do know the earlier you catch it the better.
Breast health is important! Do your self examinations, know your breasts, and tell your health care provider about any changes. And if you are over 40 get your mammograms!
Katie Evans is a native of Des Moines. She is a wife to her husband Jon, a mom of 3 kids (Hallie 9, Harper 7, and Bowen 6), and a photographer. She loves to tackle DIY projects around the house, try new restaurants around DSM, coach youth sports, and stay fit! She graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Communications.