Thursday, January 13, 2011

My First Mayo Mammogram - Part 1

I started Wednesday with an annual January tradition, at least for me, my annual mammogram. 

The appointment truly started my Wednesday as the appointment was at 7 a.m. (yawn....) The very friendly women at the appointment check-in desk was both systematic and passionate. Her warm southern-accented voice asked me if I had had previous mammograms at Mayo. "Nope, this was my first."
My first mammogram? "No, I had previous mammograms."

Did I bring the films? "No, I requested them to be transferred here a couple of months ago."

She quickly looked at the database. HealthPartners hadn't yet sent them, even tho I requested them two times. The appointment lady grabbed a form and started to fill it out as I murmured about being ticked off at HealthPartners. She told me that Mayo would get those films from HealthPartners and judging from her tone, I believe her. Sounded like she had done it before.

I waited less than 5 minutes and was taken back to the changing room. After another five minutes, the tech called my name and took me back for the exam.

Mammograms are an exercise in "acting-casual-while-someone-is-flattening-your-breast-in-a-vice." My tech was great as she made me comfortable by chatting with me. Questions like "where do you work," "what do you do," and "where do you live?" It only took five minutes before we were friends as I learned that her daughter graduated with my niece, both from high school and dental hygienist school. (There are 31,000 people who work at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and I always seem to run into people who are either from my home town, related to someone I know, or know my sister and her family)

Although, I had prepared myself for the exam to take some time (my appointment sheet said to plan 45 to 90 minutes), it turned out that I was on my way to my office by 7:30.

A previous HealthPartners mammogram required a follow-up appointment, but it was almost a week after the appointment when HealthPartners called me to come back in. (Obviously, no rush to read the films and follow-up) 

So, I was surprised when the Gonda 2 South appointment desk called to tell me that they wanted me to come back for more films. I started looking at my calendar and asked about scheduling something during the last week of the month. The woman on the phone gently let me know that they would be able to get me in for an appointment much sooner than that.

My follow-up appointment is Friday morning (and they said that it might take up to 90 minutes). I don't know why they are asking me to come back - it could be that they don't have my other films as a reference and want to do more. Maybe they saw something that raised a flag. My goal for the next two days is to stay away from worst case scenarios (although I've been told by my "Debbie Downer" friends that when you expect the worst, everything is good news). There is no history of breast cancer in my family, so that's a positive in my favor.

If they do find something wrong, I'm already at Mayo Clinic. That's a huge comfort for me.


Krystal Suzanne Himmler said...

Ugh, it's gonna be a long week. I'll be thinking about you.

LutherLiz said...

I've had that happen. It is hard not to go into mental overdrive but it is probably nothing serious. Afterall - they can't compare to other films to see if you have cysts or lymph nodes (my issues) in there. Those show up as spots too. So don't worry and go in Friday. I'll pray all the same!

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