At least the "girls" are normal

First things first. I will admit that I failed miserably at 31 days of blogging. But, I stuck it out much longer than I originally thought I would. Ultimately, it was blogging or my sanity. I chose my sanity, largely in part to Jeremy's guidance. I won't be trying that again any time soon.

Jeremy and I are poised to begin fertility treatments once again, starting when the new year rolls around. We haven't tried any with Dr. D, so we are going to give it a go, knowing he wants to try new meds, a new approach and I am a whole lot lighter. So, I guess it's worth another try... even if my heart doesn't really hold much hope at the moment.

One place where hope seems to remain supreme in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary is inside the office of Dr. S. Each time I have a routine appointment with him, he talks about "when" I get pregnant. After 2 years, I really think he would be tired of the fantasy by now. But, he props up my delusion and makes me feel like there is some chance I can some day hold my own, genetic children.

The latest stop on the "inspecting every inch of my person" tour, curated by my trusty OBGYN, landed me at UNC Imaging and Breast Center. Yes, folks, at 34 year old, I had my first mammogram.

You see, 35 is my magic number since mom was diagnosed so young. But, since hope springs eternal in the medical practice of Dr. S, he encouraged me to pursue the mammogram earlier because I would not be able to have one if I was pregnant or nursing. So, against the voices that tell me I'll be just as not pregnant in 12 months, I scheduled the appointment and went ahead with it.

I expected to be incredibly nervous when the day of the appointment rolled around. I mean, this was the test that gave my mom her death sentence. I thought I should be terrified.

Incredibly and completely out of character for this neurotic Type A, I was cool as a cucumber.

Maybe it was the increased Zoloft dose or maybe it was the series of pep talks from Jeremy, or maybe still it was the way Dr. S prepared me for the notion that "abnornal" would be normal for someone my age. Whatever the case, when Tuesday morning arrived, I wasn't really nervous.

I have heard horror stories of the pain women endure when going through mammograms. Women dread it. It's one of the litany of things that makes being a women difficult. However, I have some news for you.

Mammograms are no big deal.


Not even a little bit.

Was it awkward?

Yup. I mean, who thinks that will feel normal.

But, as I said in my email to Dr. S post-mammogram, women who complain about mammograms apparently have never suffered through the indignities of infertility. Getting your girls squeezed pales in comparison to the routine "internal" ultrasounds that happen monthly, if not more often.

So, if you are 40 or older and you haven't had your "girls" inspected, I'm internet shaming you. It's really not that bad.

I got the "all clear" letter in the mail today, telling me that the girls have "no signs" of breast cancer and everything "appears normal."  Write that one down, folks. Something about me is normal. I'll take it, even if it is just the "girls."

So, I have checked one more thing of the "to-do" list of being hyper-vigilant about cancer.

BRCA Gene Mutation tests. Check.
Baseline Mammogram. Check
Twice Annual clinical breast exams.Check.
Two normal "girls." Double Check.

So, in the words of my mother, if you are putting off routine exams like a mammogram, suck it up. Your life might depend on it.


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