Sunday, January 15, 2012

the one where i'm glad i pushed for a mammogram

I arrived at the Women's Center for Radiology on Friday not really knowing what to expect. As I was signing in at the front desk, one of the women behind the counter was talked about what would happen "if no one showed up and we all got dressed up for nothing." I resisted the urge to say something until one of the other women asked for my name, which lead to an "oh" response. As in, oh shit... this girl did show up. I may have been a nervous wreck, but there was no way I would back out of having this test done.

After I filled out all the necessary forms at the front desk, I was escorted to the back by the founder of Libby's Legacy, the organization who arranged for my mammogram. I gave her and the center's director a brief rundown of my history, and then did it again when the radiologist came in. Meanwhile, the news crew arrived and worked on the logistics of how to film everything. Basically, I had to decide whether to have them film the actual mammogram or if we would reenact it. You might call me crazy, but I agreed to have the entire procedure filmed so long as the center could ensure that no men saw my upper lady parts (which we succeeded in doing - hooray!).

So, why am I happy we pushed for this mammogram? Turns out I needed it. The location of the lump is just under my left nipple, which is apparently difficult to see in an ultrasound. The 3D mammogram showed a difference in tissue there - a thickening compared to the rest of my breast and my right breast. They still did another ultrasound, which again came back normal, but the result of the mammogram was enough to warrant a breast MRI. Yes, it sucks. Yes, I'm disappointed and worried. But I need to look at the positives: not only was this worth all of the trouble, but I don't have to fight for it anymore. Libby's Legacy is going to arrange anything I need from here on out. They will pick up my MRI prescription and work with the Women's Center to book it sometime in the next week. And if I need surgery again, they'll be there for that, too.

I spent a lot of time these past few weeks wondering if I did the right thing by emailing the news station, and now I'm glad I did. I had major fears to overcome in doing this, but if I hadn't pushed through, I may have never received the care that I needed and deserved. I truly appreciate Mike Holfeld of Local 6, Robin Maynard of Libby's Legacy, and Vicki, Dr. Miller, and Cindy at Women's Center for Radiology in Orlando for all of their great care and support. I'm not sure I could ever thank them enough for what they've done for me so far.

I'll keep everyone posted on what happens after this. In the meantime, I can say this: take what you've learned about being your own advocate with infertility and make sure you are applying it to other areas of your health. We have all learned one way or another that REs don't always know best when it comes to our reproductive health, but this can happen with other medical professionals, too. Be vigilant, ask questions, and always stick up for yourself. No one else can do it for you.

24 comments:

Kelly said...

Oh, Katie. Tears for you as I read this. Why?Because as much as IF sucks, it's that lesson you've learned to be your own advocate that got you the mammogram that you needed. I will keep hoping beyond hope that it turns out to be nothing because somehow, sometime,you deserve to get a break.

Shannon said...

I know the mixed feelings that I had for you after reading that. I can't imagine what you are going through. I am so glad that you got the test done. Every woman, no matter her age, should have a right to proper health care. And thankfully you got the news involved. I will be praying that the nothing serious turns up from your MRI. Keep us posted!

amiracle4us said...

So happy you pushed for yourself!! Wishing you all the best on te MRI.

cOLey24 said...

So happy that you got what you needed. And lots of prayers your way <3

Esperanza said...

So impressed with and proud of you. I hope your struggle and the news coverage that will make others aware of it will ensure this doesnt happen as frequently in the future. I hope they don't find anything upsetting during the breast MRI.

JC said...

I'm praying for you Katie. And please let me know if you ever need anything! I would be there for you whenever. <3

Arlyne said...

Giant (((hugs)))! You are so incredibly strong & amazing! Praying with everything I have that you do not need another surgery! xoxo

Rach said...

Good for you to push for what you want. Hope all the results come back ok. Will be checking in on you.

Rebecca said...

So glad that you were able to get this done. I am so glad you acted as an advocate for yourself and found the support you needed to follow through. I am sending all my positive thoughts and love your way for the MRI.

It Is What It Is said...

It is maddening the lengths women have to go to in the name of diagnostic testing. So frustrated for you but so glad you stuck to your guns.

Here's hoping the MRI helps to definitively determine what is being seen.

Hang in.

Tammy said...

Wow, Katie. You are so brave -- so many people have learned so much from you. I'm sorry about the results of the mammogram, and so thankful that you are getting the care you need. You are in my thoughts and prayers that the MRI will show that everything's ok, and I'm wishing you peace and strength because I'm sure this must be very scary. Thinking of you with lots of love.

robin said...

Thank goodness you were able to finally get that mammogram, even though you had to fight so hard for it. I am keeping you in my thoughts.

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

I'm very proud of you!

BreAnna said...

This is my first time visiting your blog, I'm so so sorry to read this news. Good for you for fighting for a mammogram. I'll be thinking of you as you go into the next steps in this process. I hope that it turns out to be nothing. <3

AnotherDreamer said...

I'm sorry that it warrants an MRI, but I am so glad you pushed for the care you deserve. Thinking of you.

Figuring Out The Details said...

I'm glad you pushed for it to. I am so sorry you are going through this - all of this. I live in Orlando as well and will remember these organizations in case I know anyone who ever needs this services. Good luck to you.

Dawn said...

I'm so sorry that you are going through all of this, but I'm so happy that you are not fighting this fight alone anymore.

Praying you get great news after your MRI.

Egg said...

OY. When I was 19, I found a lump, and I'm so grateful I got a mammogram. Of course, I was met with eyes rolling (one nurse even told me that it was no big deal that my aunt had cancer at 25, it wasn't genetic! Seriously!) It turned out to be nothing, but it was definitely important to check out.

Fingers crossed. xoxo

foxy said...

Katie, I've said it before and i'll say it again, YOU ARE AWESOME. Really. Seriously. You are one freaking incredible woman.

While I hate that you've had to fight so hard, for way too many things that way too many people take for granted, I am so impressed with your strength to stand up for what is right.

It isn't easy to put yourself out there while you are dealing with such personal and private issues. I admire your bravery so much.

Trisha said...

You are so right about being your own advocate..with anything medical. We've had our experiences with that with Tommy. I'm praying everything comes out great with the results!

Logical Libby said...

Good for you! I hope that everything turns out well. And you had to know Libby's Legacy would help out -- it's all in the first name...

myinfertilitywoes said...

thank you for sharing your story with us. will be thinking of you...

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Keeping you in my thoughts. This point is so important: "take what you've learned about being your own advocate with infertility and make sure you are applying it to other areas of your health."

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I am so angry for women everywhere in reading your story... Sending you so many good wishes for your MRI.