Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Ok, I've been on a little hiatus not of my own doing. I had a cancer scare recently and I just had to take a break until things were figured out.

As some of you may know, my mother died of pre-menopausal breast cancer back in 1994. Because of that I've been having annual mammograms since I was 30 (37 now). I had this year's mammogram back on May 15th.

On the 20th I got a letter in the mail, which is what they usually do to tell you there's no change, but it said my mammogram was incomplete and I had to come back for more imaging. Well, I was pissed thinking that the technician didn't do things right. So, I made an appt. for the 22nd. I went in and the tech I had then told me that they wanted to do an ultrasound as there was a small round mass detected in my right breast. I was like, what!! The letter just said it was "incomplete" (they really need to change that). So, ultrasound was done and the doctor couldn't find it. She thought it might be a cyst and usually "fluid filled" masses can be seen. So, she had them take 3 more mammogram images. The mass was still there. I was told I would need to get it biopsied. Of course, with my family history I just lost it and all the way home. Talked with my husband and scheduled the biopsy as soon as I could, which was MOnday June 1st.

I found my self surprisingly calm during the week before. I guess I had resigned myself to the fact a long time ago that eventually this would come to be.

Monday June 1st...biopsy day. I was nervous but not too bad. They put me on this table with a hole in it..yes how original..where I had to stick righty thru. There's a mammogram machine underneath and I was "compressed" and they took images till they found the mass. Then they injected me with 200 ccs of ladocaine (sp). This is where things went really really wrong. Being compressed, I couldn't really tell if I was numbed up or not, I assumed I was. The doctor told me I'd hear a POP..well I heard it and I f'ing felt it too. It was very very painful. I felt everything....then the nausea hit and the panic attack, sweats etc followed. They took the needle out of me and luckily they got one sample b4 they removed the needle. However, they usually like to take 3 more. The doctor told me she was pretty confident the report would come back as a fibroid adenoma (benign fibroid basically). Results would come back in 2 days. The nurse mentioned after that sometimes women with fibrous breasts...the ladocaine doesn't work on them. Um, hello that fact has been in my files for like EVER! Could've asked me.

Wednesday, June 3rd. I got the call around 2pm from the nurse. She told me the results were inconclusive and it just said "fibrous tissue". Since the Dr. was looking for a more specific diagnosis, this was not good enough and I would have to come back for another biopsy. I was able to get in this past Friday the 5th at 7:45am. As soon as I got off the phone, I began my nervous breakdown. The first biopsy just traumatized me and I was scared to death about going for a 2nd..even though they would use a different medication for my local.

My good friend and neighbor, Suzie, suggested I call my GYN and ask for a valium prescription. I figured why not, I am freaking out anyway, might as well try something. So, she called in a 1 pill Rx for Ativan. Took it in the morning and I'm thankful it worked for me. I was drowsy and it put me in a "I don't give an F" type of mood. So, I didn't freak out when we got there.

I'm back up on the table and they're taking images again and I hear the tech and the nurse talking and saying, "I don't know, it was clear as day on Monday." I began to giggle to myself because I realized they couldn't find the mass. They must've took about 12 images and couldn't find it. The doctor had them take a few more on a regular mammogram imager..still couldn't find it. I was brought into a room to talk w/the doctor. There were two screens..the left had the images they just took and the right had the images from Monday. Monday's images, there's the mass clear as day. The images they just took, the mass is gone. Now, she doesn't know if it's gone or the previous procedure (blood or whatever) may be obscuring it. I asked about the pathology report, she read it to me and explained it. They found cystistic cells and fibrous tissue (the nurse didn't mention the cystistic cells) all benign. No atypical cells or malignant cells. She was truly at a loss as to where the mass went. But, I have to heal up and come back in 2 months (August 7th) for another mammogram and see what's what.

So, in a nutshell, that's where I've been and why I haven't had any posts/reviews. If you find yourself in the position I was and you have been diagnosed with "fibrous breasts", be sure to tell the doctors before they perform your needle biopsy. You do not want to go thru what I went thru pain wise.

I'm good and calm now so reviews will be back soon. I really wanted my readers to know where I was and why I was gone.

1 comment: said...

Wow. I got a little sick to my stomach just reading your story, I can't imagine what you've experienced. I too do the mammogram thing every year because of family history and that's bad enough, but your first biopsy story made me cringe. I'm glad you're OK now.