Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Biopsies - Or If You've Seen the Movie, "Bobopsies."

Dr. Terrell came in to do her own scans.  She smiled at me a little tensely, and then proceeded to make quiet comments to the tech for the next few minutes while pressing the ultrasound wand firmly and painfully into my right breast and armpit.

Finally, she turned to me.

"You have a worrisome mass in your breast, and enlarged lymph nodes, as well."

She was compassionate, but very direct.  She recommended immediate needle biopsies, and suggested she contact my referring physician to see if we could get them done right away.  She and the tech left the room, leaving me with a nurse, who immediately started to ask about my medical history.  I have no family history of uterine/ovarian/breast cancer, but I have colon cancer on both sides of the family, and apparently there's a genetic link.  I had no idea.  She told me that having that in my record meant that insurance approval for testing would come through more quickly than if it was missing.

Around that point in the conversation, it hit me that it was likely that I had Cancer.  That I wasn't fine after all, and that I was going to have to tell my family that I had cancer.  The tears began and I think I started to go into shock.  Telissa, the amazing nurse, saw what was happening and came over with a box of Kleenex and tears in her own eyes.

It turns out that she had been through breast cancer herself.  She was diagnosed at 39 when her kids were 2 and 5.  And she made it through.  And she kept reassuring me, "You can do this.  You can."  She took me to get my shirt back on while waiting for the doctor and insurance approval, and I got my phone so that I could let Jamie know what was going on.

Jamie was at the yearly vet appointment for the cats.  He had both cats and both kids with him when he received my texts - my increasingly frantic texts that included the words "worrisome mass," "immediate biopsy," and "oncology."

The biopsies were painful.  The axilla (armpit) one was fine, but the breast biopsy was horrendous.  I was given injections of lidocaine to numb the area, but the lidocaine burned - it probably included dextrose, and I'm allergic to corn - and didn't numb the breast at all.  When the samples were taken, I felt as though I'd been stabbed, and sobbed through the procedure.  The doctor said she hadn't had a reaction like that before, and thought that the breast tissue must be incredibly inflamed.  Lucky me.

Next up was recovery from the biopsies and waiting for the official results.

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Andrea said...

Best nurse ever, and the right person at that time to be there to support you. She’s absolutely right, you CAN do this, and you have all the love and support in the world to help you every step of the way. You’re stronger than cancer could ever be - try not to hurt it’s feelings too bad when you stomp all over it ;)

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