The new 'specialized' nurse practitioner at the 'specialized' breast center asked me all kind of questions, felt me up sufficiently, and received a gold star for saying, "You really don't have much breast tissue." I'm sure she studied for years in medical school to make that astute observation. Good job, nurse practitioner! After reviewing my previous mammogram and ultrasound films, she also stated "Your breasts are as dense as rocks." TOO COOL! I have dense, small ta-tas. Does that mean I'm special?
I was told this appointment would last a full hour [gasp! the luxury of having 60 minutes of their unsolicited time?] and yet, I got about 20 minutes. Then I was whisked away to another ultrasound where the nurse practitioner, doctor, and sonographer all stared at the demon screen. Again, to me it screamed "Creepy cancerous tissue everywhere" but apparently I'm not certified in reading ultrasounds. Who knew?
The NP wrapped things up by declaring my boob perfectly normal. Small, and dense, but normal. The thickening that we feel is simply fibrous breast tissue that just so happens to be a little more prominent on my right side. I told her that I felt a change since my last tests, in that the suspect area feels a little bit smaller. Just like I figured, cancer does not shrink away in a few weeks. If anything, it gets bigger and harder and worse---which makes me feel even more assured at my 'normal' diagnosis.
I wouldn't be a stellar Type A hypochondriac if I didn't ask for a few more minutes of her time, just as she was pushing to end our visit. I could tell she was ready to usher me out to the front when I whipped out my note card full of questions. Yes, I was that patient with The List, bombarding my health care practitioner until my mind was at ease. Hey, I'm sure I'll get a hellified bill for her time.....might as well make the most of it, right?
I asked if caffeine intake had anything to do with my fibrous boobs. The verdict? I don't have to slit my wrists while I give up black coffee. Thank the Lord! I asked if I needed to follow up in 6 months or a year just to be sure. She said I just need to 'get to know my breasts' and keep track of how they change throughout my cycle. Sounds like me and my girls have a shower date complete with a paper trail. Each month I'm going to jot down anything different about my thickening to see if there is a pattern. And no, I don't have to come back until I'm 35 for my next mammogram [since I do have a family history--otherwise it'd be 40] unless I feel changes.
She did not recommend a biopsy and unlike the last time, I felt very good about this decision---especially since the little bugger has been mellowing out lately. If it was getting bigger or even staying the same I think I'd push a little harder for the needle biopsy. But why push and invasive procedure if it's not necessary?
Overall it was a good visit. I feel satisfied with my care, happy that these specialists aren't concerned about my thickening, and ready to move forward with my life. I plan on getting really good at breast self exams and YOU SHOULD, TOO. Don't be scared---have the courage to take charge of your girls. What you don't know can hurt you. And now I'll step off my soapbox and let you enjoy your night, like I plan to do with mine:)