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.