Showing posts with label mammograms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mammograms. Show all posts

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mother nature is not playing by the calendar

Today I declared,  "Enough is beyond enough."  Spring must be allowed to catch up to the calendar, so I hung the spring forsythia wreath and anticipate passing of this  Marchlong winter.  Such a bizarre hold onto the wintry weather, return to the ice age, and fie to the ice and snow.  We have melt in progress but the last couple days frigid single digit temperatures in the early morning reaching perhaps the high 20 degrees by noon, then repeating the frigid records the next morning.  But at last it is  warming,  36 and 38 degrees and we are good to go walk outside, bundled but nevertheless in fresh air.  But wait, more on the way this week. Maybe the weather will not pay attention to the predictions.

I have good news too about my boob recall, all is well.  Yesterday with more intense diagnostic xrays and a sonogram, the radiologist admitted there was nothing there, but normal breast tissue. However he wants me to  return in 6 months for another sonogram so he is absolutely sure.  I could not see what he thought he detected on the screening until he ultra magnified.  I asked if it could have been calcification to which he responded no nor a cyst.   I think of Carol, Linda and Joan and Karen, friends in CA  who all lost their fights with breast cancer years ago, Carol especially dying a very long drawn out death, and others quickly taken, along with a  friend in PA  who is a survivor today.  So I am blessed to have this care from Mayo.  To my joking repartee that he had given me a headache for nothing, Dr Uy  replied that "I have a perfect record of diagnosing, I have not ever missed anything and I am not going to start with you."   The nurses warned that he is a perfectionist and has been known to stand looking over the shoulder of the technician doing the sonogram or taking over the xray machine to get photos.  Attention to detail, that's the right stuff.

Yesterday afternoon and this morning on my walks around the 'hood I took some ice, snow and melt photos.
Down the corner to south 14th, roads clear snow aside

Under all that whiteness is the track where I like to walk,
not possible this month
The shadow from the pine allows the melting to become treacherous
glassy ice.  One must walk carefully, like a bear over these patches 
Melt, ice, white prevail down the street at the hockey rink and ball fields
The shadow of the branch resembles an irritated person, weary of winter,
hair on end, arms extended, snapping at the grass under ice,
"be gone with you white and glassy hazard. Let the green emerge!"
This lamppost through the barren branches will not be
visible once the leaves come with spring.  It is
spring so says the calendar, Mama Nature,
pay attention.,


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beware the ides of March

That would be tomorrow,the ides, most famously recalled in the soothsayer's warning to Julius Caesar,  but perhaps tomorrow will arrive sans snow and full of sun.  For anyone unfamiliar, Google the ides and there is  a plethora of information and websites.  Today there was a pale cast to the sky amplified with an early AM phone call of not so welcome tidings, pre Ides.  Yesterday I had my annual mammography and this morning the radiologist office called to require my returned presence--my left boob is in question, recalled, if you will.  This has never happened before to me, so while I am keeping a positive front, I am concerned.  I have learned that 1 in 10 women have a recall on their routine mammography screening. 

Mayo clinic mammo photo  I have never seen this technician

The clinician  yesterday seemed not as about business as  what I've had in the past, she neither squeezed, compressed nor twisted me in standing and sideways positions as I have been  done to before.  She took only one frontal and one side shot per boob.  I am accustomed to more agony and photos and so perhaps I must return for my fair share.  
When the unwelcome call came that I would have to go to La Crosse where they have greater equipment, I  joked, "what my boob has outgrown Onalaska?  I have had no change in cup or bra size"  Both clinics are just across the river but I have preferred Onalaska, the newest.  While the clinician laughed, she proceeded to offer other times for my left boob recall.    I am concerned and thinking of what ifs simultaneous to making a joke and shrugging it off.  After all, why worry now, do not borrow trouble which can come time enough.  Still, my left boob, favored side on which I sleep, bigger of the pair, is in question; I have had no symptoms nor concerns.  I am blessed to have Mayo clinic and a doctor who is a professional worry wart and while it could be nothing I think about the women whom I buried after they lost their battles with breast cancer and I think about survivors and pink today and I say, "time will tell, wait and see...."    
A large study published in the New England Journal of Medicine proved that isn’t the case.  All women have a 5% to 15% chance of being recalled. It doesn’t mean you have breast cancer. In fact, the odds are against it.   Radiologists are looking for two main signs of cancer: mass (tumors) and calcification. When a woman gets regular annual mammograms the radiologist compares the current year’s views with last year’s. If anything looks different or develops, returns for additional views or studies are taken to tease out what is being seen. Women develop benign tumors which may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body and calcifications all the time. These are quite common and include cysts, fibroadenomas, and solid masses. Calcifications occur most often simply as a result of the natural aging process from the degeneration of tissue"

I think of that old comical Mammogram poem that has made the email rounds for ages and copied in old xerox machines  prior to that.  It is online for the looking but I recall some lines long ago memorized, .... For years and years they told me, "Be careful of your breasts."   Don't ever squeeze or bruise them, and give them monthly tests.  So, I heeded all their warnings.....and protected them by law.... Guarded them very carefully, and always wore a bra.....   and on it goes.....I do not want to repeat it in entirety because I find it tedious to have reiterations, just as some late comers to email repeat and recirculate old articles, jokes, fables....so I refrain. 

Uncle Carl  Third or Fourth grade
Another thing, the month of March now feels
Aunt Jinx, Virginia
Second grade photo 
strange because I have two less  birthday cards to send; two cards for which I would search to find just the right sentiment.  

 March had birthdays of my late Aunt Jinx and Uncle Carl.  She was born March 1, 1921 and would have been 92 this year.  She was mom's older sister.  Uncle Carl, Mom's older brother was born March 21, 1918 and would have been 95 this year.   She died in 2009 and he in 2011.  The last of my elderlies, the last of the old family.  Now I am the old family. 

Love this photo of my late  aunt and uncle taken on one of my visits, June 2008, sitting on his porch, their lives went downhill after this visit.  Notice both reflecting in the same pose, they laughed later, he saying, "oh she always copied me."  Isn't it always something.....hold the good thoughts.