Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Biopsy Day!

Okay so that's sarcastic. The only thing that's happy about having a breast biopsy today is that it's over. What's not over is the waiting for results. And the soreness, which isn't so bad really, though I won't go running tonight or tomorrow or maybe even the next day. The procedure itself, while not terribly painful, was nonetheless traumatic for me. There was a scalpel involved, which came as a shock to me. In explaining what was to come, the surgeon neglected to mention this.

I couldn't see exactly what he was doing (and maybe I didn't exactly want to see) but from the motion of his arm, he seemed to be mincing a little section of flesh, which he explained was to make an easier path for the needle.

How do they get away with that word, needle? It's really much too thick to be reasonably called a needle (unless you're talking about a knitting needle, in which case it's accurate). Attached to this is a plastic handle that reminded me of an electric toothbrush, which is in turn attached to a cord leading to a blue and white machine the size of a bedside table, a brand new "state of the art" vacuum-assisted needle core biopsy extractor (though I'm sure that's not the technical name for it). In fact, I was the first contestant, the guinea pig. Lucky me.

The nurse, beforehand, asked if I minded if Debbie was in the room during my procedure.

"Who's Debbie?" I asked.

"The owner of the machine," she replied, blinking at me, wide-eyed, to which I don't remember what I said but it was something along the lines of: "Huh? What?"

Debbie, the nurse finally explained (after a few more rounds of "Huh? What?") was the representative from the surgical equipment company. Did I mind if she was in the room? Yes I did mind and said so.

Being the first in line for a new machine worried me, but I quizzed the surgeon until I felt confident that he had worked with similar machines and didn't think Debbie's presence was necessary for the safety of the procedure. And then I held onto J~'s hand while the whole thing went down. Thank heavens he was with me, I don't think I could have done this without him.

The surgeon's words are echoing in my mind - he checked out the lab report, felt the lump, called it "very suspicious." But when I started to cry he changed that to "a little suspicious." I'm trying not to read anything into this. Who knows, maybe he thought I needed to be scared into doing the biopsy. Maybe he didn't want Debbie to have made a trip out to his office for nothing. Or maybe I will be embarking on a whole new blogging chapter as I navigate the treacherous terrain of breast cancer. Of course I was hoping he'd feel the lump and say he wasn't concerned, but I knew that was unlikely and I was prepared to go through with this today. If luck is on my side, I'll get good news Friday (or Monday) and that will be the end of it.

Thanks to all those who wrote such sweet comments in response to my last post. It may seem hard to believe that words from strangers could mean so much to me, but they do.

I will, of course, keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

Good vibes being sent to you for negative results on this biopsy. I'm so sorry you have to wait these next few days.

Anonymous said...

I'm pressing my thumbs and hoping it's benign and if not, very, very early pre-cance stage. I hate the waiting part ... distract yourself as best you can.

Paula said...

I'm sorry you're still waiting for results. I hope you only get good news.

I know women on both sides: those who've gotten news that their multiple lumps are benign and not to worry and those who've gone through chemo and so forth and come out of the other side all right.

Doesn't it seem we're always waiting for something? It reminds me of that Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You'll Go. I hope you only go to good places in your mind and body in the coming week.

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