So I don't really know if this is appropriate to blog about, so maybe just don't read it, its my blog :) But if you do choose to read, especially my sisters, moms and girlfriends, tell me what you think.
I have had this lump under my arm since I was pregnant with Hugo about 3 years ago. When I was prego they sent me to get an ultrasound to check it out. They said that they were slightly concerned about it but since I was pregnant they couldn't really do anything about it and to come back after not being pregnant if it gets worse. Well at first it was this hard marble like lump with no feeling really. I only noticed it shaving my arms. I didn't really want to go back though because that place was awful! They had me topless on the table for about an hour with doctors in and out. I think the technician must have been new and didn't know what she was doing, but still it was so embarrassing and I was scared the whole time. Well anyways, the lump grew bigger and softer and I was going to bring it up again to my doctor but I got pregnant again pretty fast so I pushed my concern away and left it alone. I know too sometimes with all the hormones and milk, etc. it probably wasn't a big deal. Well I had Jack and it was still present. So I went it for my yearly exam a couple weeks ago and brought it up to the Dr. He recommended I see a specialist, so I called the specialist who required me to have films from a ultra sound and mammogram first. So I called to get that, which a needed a prescription from my doctor. SERIOUSLY!!!
Anyways... I finally got in to get a mammogram and an ultrasound (different place from before) and they have me fill out a ton of paperwork and listen to a million risks. They have me scared out of my mind now. They call me back have me change into some tissue paper and come and get an ultrasound. The technician takes a zillion pictures and seems to be getting lots of info??? she then says she needs a radiologist to come in and let her know what she can tell me. My heart is racing. So he comes in and is so irritated and quick with her and doesn't care one lick what the crap I have to say. He looks and is asking her "is that what you see, is that what you see, is that what you see?" He then tells me to get up, tells me that some lymph can get swollen when you have a cold and I can get dressed and leave.
I was MORTIFIED! First off, I don't have a cold, or have at all this season. I have had this lump for 3 years!
I had a friend that had a lump and they stuck a needle through her chest to lift up tissue in order to move it to find the lump better which sure enough needed to be removed. That is not what I want (ouch!), but he seemed to not even give a rats you know what. He didn't ask me to move into the "position" where I can feel it, nothing! I wonder if he thought it was my age- I was clearly at least 15 years younger than anyone else in the waiting room. Was it because I am on AHCCCS? I don't know.... In my heart of hearts I don't think I have breast cancer, but how many times have they been this insensitive and not given patients the attention they deserve. I think of Susan dying of colon cancer in her early 20's. She was a super healthy college track athlete. Its scary!!!
So anyways, My mom and Shawn both think I should write a letter. I'm no good, so actually my mom wrote the majority of it, but this is what I have so far....
To whom it may concern.
I have many concerns about my recent visit to your facility. I came on the recommendation of my doctor after I had found a lump under my arm. I was to receive a mammogram and an ultrasound. I did not receive the mammogram. I filled out all the paper work, read the warnings and I signed the form saying that I understood the risks. I did receive the ultrasound. The technician seemed concerned and helpful. I told her that I could only feel the lump in certain positions and that I have had it for approximately 3 years and that I have been observing it grow slowly. The technician allowed me to move into a better position so that she could get a better picture of the area. After she looked for several moments she suggested that she would like the radiologist to look also. She seemed genuinely concerned. A doctor came in, I told him my same concerns, but he did not allow me to change my position to better view the lump and he seemed very unconcerned. He said that lumps are common and that getting them with a cold is of no concern. I told him that I did not have a cold and that I had the lump for several years and that it is changing. He told me that I could leave and not to worry about it.
I have read several self exam instructions and they tell us to check yourself laying down, with arms above the head, in the shower, sitting, standing, every position except standing on one’s head. I have been very concerned about this lump for some time and feel like I was dismissed curtly, possibly because of my age or circumstances. In any case I do not feel that I was given the best care, I left feeling embarrassed and pushed aside.
I am simply still concerned about a lump in my underarm that I feel still needs attention. Thank you for your time.
Anyway.... sorry for the long rant. I usually try to be such a positive uplifting blogger, but hey, this is life! Tell me what you think. Should I bother even sending the letter? Should I change it? Am I over or under reacting?? Tell me honestly.