I remember being about 14 years old. It was a July 4th gathering at the lake with great fireworks ready to go off.  I was in a bikini!  But then I was a small girl and could wear things like that.  I remember someone saying that I had walnuts for boobs.  I wasn’t sure what to think about that but my first thought was “damn! only walnuts?”

Like all young girls I wanted to be curvy but I wondered if I’d be stuck with walnut boobs forever.  Well surprise! Those little walnuts turned into melons. Sometimes they feel like watermelons but they are all mine.

I’ve nursed three beautiful babies with those babies.  I recall getting infections while I was nursing and it hurt!  But I pushed on and all was right with the world.

Now I’m 49 and I’m wishing for walnuts again.  Big boobs are not fun.  Guys might like them, but let me tell you they are now nothing but trouble.  I don’t get cute bras anymore, mine come in boxes.  They don’t match any underwear unless you get plain cotton ones and sometimes I go a little crazy and get something other than white.  Like beige or black.  Living on the edge I tell ya!

Throughout my adult life I’ve lost weight and gained it back more times than I think a body is supposed to.  My breasts have adjusted with the weight gain and loss but they have always been there. When I was pregnant and nursing I swear I could put a plate on those puppies and it was only a few inches to my mouth!

When I was about 20 and had stopped nursing my first son I noticed that I was still having discharge.  My milk had long since dried up and gone the way of my flat tummy and skin with no stretch marks.  I didn’t put a lot of thought into the discharge until it turned into blood.  Scared the holy hell out of me.  I knew something was wrong.

Now, mind you, that was almost 30 years ago and medicine has come a long way since. I think?!  I went to the doctor who sent me for all kinds of tests.  I don’t remember them all but that’s probably a good thing. I finally had a procedure where they stuck a long needle (I’m sure it was like two feet long) into my nipple into the milk duct.  I had a local but it hurt!  Maybe it was just the thought of some random dude sticking a two foot long super huge needle into my milk duct that made it hurt more than it did.

The doctor came back with results and I had an intraductal papilloma in my milk duct.  It was pre-cancerous so I had to have it removed.  I still have the scar to prove it. It didn’t change my breast in any way other than to remove the bad and leave the good.  Didn’t even change the size. I’m glad though – didn’t need two different sized boobs!

The weirdest thing about it all was that when surgery was over, I felt very violated as a woman.  There are parts of us ladies that are special to us and breasts are two of them.  To have one of them operated on is hard. But I got over it.

I had to have regular mammograms starting at age 20.  Long before they would normally be necessary, but they were all good.

About 12 years ago I stopped getting mammograms.  I guess in my mind I thought that they would come back ok and I really didn’t need them yet. Then two years or so ago I had a mammo and my left side came back not quite right.  I had to get a follow up mammo on my left breast and they found about seven or eight cysts.

I was referred to a radiology clinic that did a new mammogram and ultrasound.  Maybe it’s new technology but I didn’t remember them hurting like this.  They squeezed that thing so much and in so many different ways I really thought that it would stay that way.  I saw no way it would bounce back to a normal shape. But alas, they did.  Way to go!

The radiologist confirmed that, yes, I did have multiple cysts but they were probably nothing.  I couldn’t feel them or see them.  The only proof I had were the test results.  The radiologist said I could just wait another six months for another mammo and see if there were any changes or I could have a needle biopsy.  Seeing that I don’t like waiting, especially for things like this, I chose the needle biopsy.  They numbed me up pretty good and they did it again! They stuck a needle in there.  I don’t mind medical procedures, and in fact, they intrigue me, so the procedure itself didn’t scare me.  Then they stuck something inside the needle thing and inserted a metal clip in there to mark the cysts.  It sounded like they were stapling something inside and I briefly wondered if they could use that stapler on my stomach for a quick tummy tuck.

I had my follow up mammogram this past week and, yay!, everything is fine.  However, prior to this follow up I found a lump on my right breast and had it confirmed by my GP.  Orders were sent to have a mammogram and ultrasound on the right breast at the same time they did my follow up.  Those tests came back and I was told it was probably just cystic breast changes.  I was just coming out of my panic mode when the surgeon called to say everything was ok.  I asked about my right side and the report they received said no cystic breast changes and suspicious shadows. Now what?

Now, I know I’m not a very patient person and I tend to go from hot to cold in 2.3 seconds.  My fear of everything bad came back at a whopping fast pace. Probably irrational, but still!

They said they would talk to the surgeon and get back to me.  That was Friday and they never called so I’ve been keeping myself busy so I don’t think about it.  My GP told me to not touch it and take tylenol? Huh?

So I wait again (remember – not a strong suit).  I’m sure everything will be ok but there’s always that feeling that something might be wrong and while I can feel this lump, I’m at the mercy of doctors for answers and guidance.

So listen up ladies! I know that medical tests are hard and most people prefer to just not know.  I’m the opposite.  Throughout all of this I’ve learned that your boobs, breasts, melons, whatever you want to call them, need to be tended to.  Get your mammograms! Your girls will thank you!

 

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