Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Breast Specialist

My appointment with the breast specialist was week before last. Remember I had seen one boob expert who said I needed a stereophonic In and Out Burger and Dr. Wonderful had a twisted thong. Don’t remember? Go here and read this Gladys Goes Animal Style and I’ll wait.


Tall and tan and young and lovely the girl from Ipanema goes walking and when she passes Each one she passes goes, “Ah”.

All done? Okay now that you have that lovely song stuck in your head, I’ll proceed. Kahuna and I arrived at the boob expert’s office in lovely Newport Beach. We arrived early and I filled out the three thousand four hundred and seventy-two pages of questions. I signed here and initialed there and then waited to be called into the inner-chamber. I spotted a couple of current magazines on the table and thought “what kind of doctor’s office is this, with current magazines? How am I supposed to catch up on all my People Magazine gossip from 1999 with current issues? How am I supposed to read articles about how to wear shoulder pads and spiral perm my hair at home?” I reached toward the table to pick a current issue of Self when the inner-chamber door flew open. A friendly smiling woman in flowing skirts came out the door and said “Gladys?” I smiled thinking this aging hippy woman must be the receptionist. She ushered us into the examination room and stuck out her hand “I’m Doctor Stebil.” She then turned dumped out the two thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven pictures of my lady hangers and said “now why are you here?”

I looked at Kahuna and he at me. I cleared my throat and squeaked out “they want me to have a stereophonic In and Out Burger and maybe even a massacre-ectomy with no fries.” She blinked twice and looked down at my chart. “I have looked at your film and am confused. I have also read your history and your family history. You don’t look like a dwarf to me.” I smiled and went into my explanation of how I was deemed a pre-adolescent boy and a pituitary dwarf. She nodded made some notes then she explained that she was a breast oncologist and as such she deals with breast cancer only. She also explained the progression of the cancer and how it does and doesn’t grow. She gave us her long and impressive background. Then she did the unthinkable. She took the mammogram pictures and she stuck them in the Light Brite fixed to the wall. Don’t you love Light Brites? I always wanted one when I was a kid. I would ask for it for Christmas and my birthday but like that elusive pony, I never got one. I mean they made all kinds of cool pictures with little light bulbs. What’s not to love? A kid, electricity along with glass light bulbs sounds like a good combination to me. I digress.

Dr. Stebil stuck the pictures on the Light Brite and said “see this here? Yes this area here? That is what all the hub-bub is about. Now see this thing right here? Yes this thing that looks like a peach pit or maybe it’s the root of a hair. I just don’t see anything that looks scary, are you sure this is what they were getting all upset over?” It was about that time that a load lifted from me, well that and a hot flash hit. Dr. Stebil came to my aide she looked in my eyes and felt my pulse. “How long have you been having these episodes” she asked. I tried to catch my breath and wheezed out “since they took me off my hormones.” She cocked her head to one side like a cocker spaniel being called to dinner and said “why did they take you off of your hormone replacement?” I told her how they all panicked and told me that hormones would cause the cancer to grow faster, bigger, better like the six million dollar man and become invincible. She shook her head and assured me that this was not the case. Then she said the most wonderful words “go back on your hormones.” That was when Kahuna began to cry and thank the good doctor profusely. I thought it was a bit much and was going to say so but a cold flash hit me and I couldn’t stop my teeth from chattering. The doctor looked a bit afraid what with all the effusing and shivering but continued on with her assessment. She told us of a new genetic test which will tell if I am even in the danger category and then she told me she didn’t think I had anything to worry about but would like to track my history. I was relieved, elated, ecstatic and hot again. She explained that she needed more smashograms in order to fully and completely know whether or not I needed a stereophonic In and Out.


I went for more smashograms at a special facility. They took me into the smashogram room and told me to put my left foot on the red dot and my right foot on the green dot then put my right hand on blue and my left hand on purple. The technician then told me to hold my breath while she shoved my boob between two ice cold glass plates and slammed them together. “Mrs. McGuillicutty, I need you to put your left foot behind your right ear and your left arm under your right knee” she would say sweetly as if I were Braja the blogging yogini or something. They did this for four and one half hours. I was exhausted not to mention having a hot flash in a freezing cold room with no clothes on. The sweet little technician told me to go sit on the couch in the waiting area. She gave me a gown to put on that must have been made for Martians or something because it had three arm holes. I tried to figure out how to put it on but gave up and walked out with an arm through two of the holes and an arm hole in the middle of my back.


I sat on a couch with a group of women who looked as if they have just been asked if they would like to take a shower at Hotel Auschwitz. Isn’t it funny when you are in a situation where it is so tense and so frightening that no one talks, except for me. Some people giggle when they are nervous, some hyperventilate, I talk. I tried to chat with the woman next to me who had somehow figured out how to wear the three arm-holed gown stylishly. She just looked at me with blank eyes. A technician walked in the room and said “Gladys, we are ready to take you for your Stereophonic In and Out Burger now.” I sucked all the air out of the room in one gulp. WHAT? WAIT! No one said I was having a Stereophonic In and Out Burger today my mind screamed but instead I just stood up to walk blindly with the technician. I started toward the door when I realized the other two women in the room also had stood and were going with me. Oh how sweet. What a show of solidarity! These strangers, women I had never met were going to hold my hand and be my support. I was verklempt. Then the technician took a step back, looked at her clipboard and said “Gladys Jones, which one of you is GLADYS JONES?” I grabbed my purse and looked at my driver’s license, it said Gladys McGuillicutty. I smiled and said “not IT.” The other woman grabbed her purse looked at her driver’s license and screamed “not IT!” The third woman lowered her head and said “dang it! I’m always IT first” and scuffed her feet out the door. The other Gladys and I sighed a big sigh of relieve and went back to watching Regis and Kathy Lee.

They called my name a little later and took me into another room that was about the size of a coat closet. They put me on the exam table and the girl told me she was going to give me a Sonic-gram. I was jazzed because there really aren’t very many Sonics here in Southern California.


I love the chili cheese tater tots from Sonic and even though they aren’t on my eating plan I was nervous enough I could eat a truck load of them. Unfortunately there weren’t any chili cheese tater tots involved in the Sonic-gram, heck there wasn’t even a corn dog. No instead they sent sound waves rippling through my mammary glands. The technician made a few tisking sounds and then smiled and left the room.

Oh shut up they are not gross they are scrumptious.


Next thing I knew another lady in a white lab coat came in the door and sat down next to me. She took my hand in hers and said “Mrs. McGuillicutty, I’m the radiologist. I have read your films and what they thought was a cancerous growth was in fact the root of the seventeen foot hair growing from your left nipple. We were able to see all the way around it and it looks like it has been there since you had that hair removed 19 years ago.” Then she put the smashogram on the computer and showed me what she was talking about. Sure enough there on the screen was the root of that hair and I could see something else in the picture. “Doctor, what is that over there” I asked as I pointed to another figure on the screen. She squinted at the place I pointed out and said “oh that’s nothing to worry about. That is just a peach pit.”

9 comments:

VE said...

Ha! You know...I always wanted to be a breast expert...

AngelMay said...

Gladys, you are a hoot! I think I love you.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Only you! seems like almost anything you do turns out to be a scream!

Coffee Bean said...

Seeing as I had a follow up mammogram on Monday from last July... This post hit a bit close to home. I thought about writing a post about my experience but... naw. I'll just send people here to read yours, LOL! I go back in another 6 months. Good times!

The Texas Woman said...

Thank you, dear Gladys, for making me laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh some more!

lagirl/sweet tea said...

I got a hot flash just reading about your experience. Sounds like GREAT news. Woo Hoo!!

RosieJo said...

Honey, yours is a God-given talent!

qandlequeen said...

Still doing the happy dance? I'm soooooo very happy for you. Now, the peach pit, it's nothing, right?

lettuce said...

ha you manage to make it funny.

i have a mammogram appointment waiting to be booked, must get onto it...