But who knew that the best words you could hear all week were "it's a cyst!"
Last week I found a lump. So being a well-behaved patient I made an appointment pronto, and spent the next few days worrying, envisaging ghastly scenarios etc.
And today I presented myself at Kaiser to find out what it was. I am now home and relieved ("it's a cyst!) having been prodded, poked, squeezed and generally felt about a lot. I've had two breast exams, a mammogram, and two ultrasounds.
Things I've learned:
- Kaiser rocks - really rocks. At least two of the gropings were without appointment and after just over 3 hours I was sent on my way having seen at least three doctors, two radiologists, the woman who did the mammogram - what is that job title? I call her the "reluctant torturer" because the mammogram hurts a lot and she apologizes a lot - and lots of other efficient and friendly people.
- Mammograms hurt - see above. Also if you're a boy, imagine putting your softest but most sensitive tissue between two cold smooth pieces of plastic and then squeezing really hard and then holding your breath for ten seconds. If you're a girl, just don't think about it. It will come to you, and it's not very pleasant. Also annoyingly the mammogram didn't show anything - hence the ultrasounds.
- Ultrasounds rock - it's that same fuzzy, can you see a heartbeat picture we've seen before except this time "it's a cyst" and there wasn't a heartbeat just what is apparently technically known as "crud" "junk" "gunk" and my favourite "schmutz". Fortunately said "schmutz" can do no harm, may go away, may not but can do now harm.
- Being undressed in front of lots of people is okay. Actually it has always been okay with me (hippyish parents...) but there is something vaguely absurd about the woman who has just ladled gel on your tit and rubbed a plastic scanner over it, then getting all proper and leaving the room so you can put your bra back on in peace. Really I don't care. Tits, schmitz, or is that schmutz?