I know I treat menopause as a normal stage of life and hope that most of us can take the changes it presents to us and turn them into positives in our marvelous female journey. I've written about how I became a rock climber and EMT and now am in nursing school, all as a result of re-examining my life during menopause. Others have written about how they dug deep into their souls and made positive changes, too. But this week I wasn't taking menopause so lightly.
A scary mammogram can really put you into a tailspin. You know, when the technician looks kinda funny when she looks at the image on the screen and then says she's going to take "a few more views" just to be sure.
Then you're forced to wait in this room that is cold and frightening, in a hospital gown that opens on the front, and you don't know who's going to walk through the door or what they're going to say. So you wait. And imagine what you'll do if the news isn't good.
In my case, the next step was a sonogram, and as luck would have it, the person working the machine was a doctor who takes her job seriously but who isn't afraid to talk to the patient. I learned so much from her. We watched the screen together, and she explained that your breasts change as the estrogen in your system changes, and she showed me where the estrogen receptors are and we talked about those receptors, because I've always heard such horrible things about estrogen receptors and breast cancer.
I can't say enough about how great it was to talk to someone openly and honestly about what she was seeing, and how our breasts change as we age, and next steps. My next steps are an appointment with surgery but just to get a really thorough exam. Or that's what they told me. I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, if you have an appointment for a mammogram, KEEP IT. If you don't have an appointment, MAKE ONE. And talk to the technician. Keep talking until you find answers to your questions.
Published On: August 15, 2008