Why I Had A Mammogram At Age 32…
Hi Friends! I would first like to apologize in advance, this one is a bit lengthy. I’ve debated my personal comfort with writing this type of post which divulges super personal details with you all but then I asked myself…what if it helps one of my readers? What if they skipped their annual “woman” check-up last year? What if they have gone through something similar? What if they’ve felt a lump and are just too scared to go get it checked out? So, here goes a little insight as to why I have been MIA lately…
Lets begin back in January 2017. I went to the doctor because I was having a few issues that I felt I should address. I had been having a recurring pain in the lower left side of my stomach, which I originally had checked out by my ob/gyn a couple years prior. My GP said it was normal and that a lot of women get that pain during their menstrual cycle, especially since it was isolated to one side and alternating every other month. Honestly I didn’t even know we ovulate every other side, I know you are probably laughing at me, but hey I know now. The doctor also mentioned that it is common to have IBS which can also be tied to my menstrual cycle, I am thinking, ok…I am all kinds of messed up, lol.
The other two issues I went to see the doctor for was a lump and pain in my left armpit and a swollen gland in my left upper neck under my jaw and into my ear. So back then ( Jan 2017 ) they did a breast exam and found no lumps and said the gland in my neck was allergies, but my vitamin B was very low. I was happy that the outcome was to take a daily vitamin B, use Flonase ( allergies ) and just go about my life. Everything is feeling fine and fast-forward now to this past October, my annual “woman” exam was perfect and they didn’t find anything remarkable.
The following month, in November, I started going to yoga 3-4 times a week. I noticed the pain and swelling of the gland in my armpit getting worse when I would do a vinyasa ( if you are a yogi, you know what I am talking about ). Also, the pain in my ear/throat would still intermittently flare up. More of the same until just three weeks ago when I made another appointment to see my primary doctor about these issues once again. I decided to see a woman doctor at the same practice because I knew they would probably want to do another exam and I would feel way more comfortable. She did an additional breast exam and didn’t feel anything but wanted me to get into my ob/gyn asap to rule out ovarian and breast issues. She also recommended that I see an allergist for my neck/ear glands.
So I am not really getting anywhere between all these doctors visits, but luckily I sent over all my records and they got me in to see my ob/gyn the follow day. She did her normal “woman” exam, everything up there looked great, then she did a breast exam and took her gloves off and said, “Okay, this is what we are going to do, I found a lump in your left breast and I am going to go walk over and get you in right now for an ultrasound to check your ovaries”. I immediately felt like someone punched me in my gut and tears began to swell in the corners of my eyes as my mind raced with scenarios. I collected myself , walked over and had an uncomfortable ultrasound, while quietly freaking out the whole time while simultaneously trying to stay positive, praying it would all be okay. Post ultra sound, the doctor comes back in and reassured me that my ovaries in fact look great, which was one thing checked off the list and I started feeling much better.
The doctor then proceeded to tell me that she was sending me for a mammogram and ultrasound to address the lump she found in my breast. At the age of thirty two, I was pretty shocked, but I remember my mom saying that in her thirties she had a bunch of cysts that also had be checked and even biopsied – all benign thank goodness. I knew I had dense tissue in my breasts, just like my mom, so it’s not uncommon to have similar issues. The doctor also suggested I go plant-based eating ( more info on this and using safe beauty / skin products coming to the blog VERY soon ). At this point all I kept saying was, what if the foods/alcohol or even the skincare/beauty products I put in and on my body are toxic and causing all types of health issues. I wanted to stop everything at this point!
To make this long story a little shorter, I went two weeks ago for the ultra sound of my left breast and even though she didn’t see anything concerning, she still wanted me to come back for a mammogram because I was over thirty and had dense breast tissue. I was relieved by the ultra-sound results and felt more comfortable that she was going to be thorough and if anything was an issue, they would find it.
So this past Friday, I went for the scary mammogram of both breasts. It just so happened my husband, Brian was in town and could go with me (thank you baby Jesus). Luckily my mom gave me some insight on how the whole procedure works because I all knew is they press your breasts into pancakes, like how could that even happen? After the first set of pictures the technician went to go talk to the doctor and came back saying they needed more images at different angles. After more pictures she then leaves again to talk to the doctor and comes back in saying they need to do an ultra sound again but this time on my right breast. At this point my anxiety definitely started kicking in. They make you lock up your purse, so I had no way to contact Brian who was going on an hour of waiting out in the lobby. After the right side ultrasound, the doctor came in which I had met the week prior, so I started to feel a little less anxious. She came in and actually had a look for herself and said my left breast looked fine, nothing was found in the mammogram so that was great. But the mammogram actually found an area in the right breast (which is why they wanted the second ultrasound). The main confliction is that the ultrasound shows none of what they saw in the mammo and she thinks it could actually just be dense tissue that looks suspicious.
There was no real conclusion but she wants me to come back in three months time to see if anything has changed or grown. She also mentioned that I could go see a breast surgeon which would do an in-depth exam and give her opinion as well. Alternatively, I could go get a breast MRI but she thinks it will be okay if I don’t, and nothing would happen in this three month timeframe. I do think I will go ahead and get the surgeons and my ob/gyn doctors opinions and go from there.
So this is what I have been doing these past two weeks, not to mention we had our best friends and their two boys staying with us last week. So we were running all around town to Universal, and St. Augustine, as well as a pool party at our house. 🙂
Once I decided to share this experience and journey with you I started looking at my blog in a whole new way. I want to bring awareness, and for this to be a community of strong, open-minded women who help each other get through life as safely as possible. We all need to stay on top of our health and exams because you know what, you just don’t know, we are not invincible. I personally know a few women who have had breast cancer and beat it! One is a beautiful young woman who was diagnosed in her early 30’s. She has two very young daughters and thank the lord, she beat cancer!! To this day, she is probably the strongest woman I know. The last two weeks have been so eye-opening, just an emotional roller-coaster. It puts so many things into perspective and makes you realize what is actually important in life.
Thankfully, I feel optimistic that this is dense tissue and all will come out okay in my next exam. Remember, we are all going through this life together, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes but we never know what others are going through. So all we can do is be there for one another and be as kind as possible.
I would love to hear from you guys on whether or not you’ve also gone through something similar and how you dealt with it. You can comment below, on my most recent IG post, e-mail or even DM through IG.
If you made it this far, thanks for stopping by and reading!!