-The past 4 weeks or so have been interesting….to say the least. I’m sure it’s been rather obvious that I’ve been more up and down than usual lately. I told you a month ago that I was going in for a mammogram. Starting last year, they are having me do them every 6 months, due to some dense breast tissue. Each of the previous two times I’d gone in for a mammogram, they’ve had to take another look. I was never worried. This time when they called saying they
needed to do another one….I took it hard. I had a bad feeling. I actually fell apart at work. I went home for the day. It was so weird that the previous ones didn’t have an effect on me, but this one did. It was a really busy week for me, so I wasn’t able to come in until the following Mon. Brian knew I was having a tough time, so he came into that appt. with me. Previously, after the 2 mammograms, the person who looks at the pictures would come tell me that everything was okay, and just to come back in 6 mos. This time, they told me my Dr. would call me. I knew what that meant. The next day my Dr’s nurse called to tell me that there was a little concern over a small cluster of calcifications that had formed since the last mammo. It had nothing to do with the dense tissue they’d been keeping an eye on. Anyway, calcifications aren’t
too much to get excited over, as we tend to get them as we get older. It’s still so weird for me to think that I’m 40. It’s almost like the last 20 years never happened. The concern was that the calcifications came on more quickly than they’d like to see. So, it was the opinion of the person doing the mammo that I get a biopsy done, or because it’s still very small, wait 3 months or so, and then have another mammo to see where it’s at. I just remember Sheryl Crow
talking about getting a “bad” mammo, and them telling her to come back in 6
mos., which she had planned on doing. But she told a Dr. friend about this, and they said you never wait. Why wouldn’t you just get it checked now? So, I had that in my head, but then the Nurse said the Dr. wanted me to get the biopsy and not wait. So, it felt good that we were all on the same page.
It was this next stage that took forever. I had to wait a couple of weeks to get
in to see the surgeon about the biopsy. Leading up to that appointment, I had a lot of fear and emotion. I wanted to get it all over with. The two weeks leading up to the surgeon certainly took its toll on me. I
thought a lot (and still do think about Gail and all she went through). I also beat the absolute shit out of myself during the whole process. I was/am so angry with putting myself at higher risk for cancer, due to my weight and lack of exercise. It hasn’t been fun to be me, lately.
Brian went to see the surgeon with me. It was not a great first meeting. He asked why I was there, and then kind of cut us off and acted as if we were wasting his time. He said, they weren’t even looking for this. They were supposed to be looking at dense tissue. This tiny cluster could just be a difference in the way they took the pictures…. What do you want to do? I said, I want to know. He then did an ultrasound in his office and saw the cluster and realized it wasn’t just a difference in the way they took the photos…. He then
scheduled me (for the next day) another mammo. They also scheduled the biopsy at that time for another 2 ½ weeks out or something like that. I drove the hour each way the next day to get the third mammo in less than a month…. Of course that mammo came back with the same results as the other two. Only with this one I got a letter stating that I needed to meet with my Dr. to start a treatment plan and that this mammo was now part of my permanent record with the hospital. This pissed me off…. For the first time in my life, I am without life insurance. And now a mammo is part of my permanent record, even if it’s nothing? Which of course fucks me for insurance purposes. I’m still
pissed about this. Plus, there was/is no reason to figure a treatment plan before the biopsy. The whole process has been really frustrating. Most biopsies come back non-cancerous.
The biopsy was two days ago. What I expected from a core biopsy and what it is turned out to be are two completely different things. I hadn’t done any research on the internet as I found it all to be too scary. I had searched the
calcification cluster and learned that “only “ 20% of them turned out to be
cancer. I was really hoping/thinking the % would be lower. I mean, if someone told you that you had a 20% chance of winning the lottery, you’d be totally stoked and excited. So, 20% was just too high for me to hear. That was the end of my internet research. What I thought they’d do is go in with a needle and just take a sample out of one of the calcifications. The first step is to get you all set up on the table. You’re lying flat on your belly, with your boob through a hole in the bottom of the table. Then a bunch more mammo pics are taken to figure out what angle to come in, etc. Once everything got set up, the surgeon came in. This time he was much more personable and dare I say, caring. I knew of 2 techs/nurses in there, the surgeon, and then I could hear the voices of two other ppl, but I’m not sure who they were. The mammo tech and nurse take turns kind of being up by your head to make sure you’re staying still and for overall support. They kind of stroke your hair and act in a very compassionate manner. I was very surprised to find myself emotional during the actual procedure (which is about 10-15 mins long). I thought of Gail and others I’d known with breast cancer. I thought about the fear that must’ve gone through them. I thought of how many times Gail must’ve had to go through this, as she’d be cancer free for a while and then the fucking thing always came back. I thought about the anxiety she must’ve felt every single time, and how it would be worse, because she knew the road ahead. Thoughts of her and others, along with the disappointment of how I’ve treated my body caused me to have some tears. Really, I could never have anticipated that. So, during the procedure he went in and cut out the 5 or 6 tiny calcifications I had, along with some surrounding tissue. I didn’t realize they would be taking it all out during that procedure. As I mentioned, I thought it was just a tiny test. I felt fairly good afterward, but I bled more than they normally see. That was odd to me, because I’ve never been much of a bleeder (outside of Aunt Flow). After keeping me for a while, they finally had to wrap my boobs tight with some large Ace type bandages, over some gauze. I was then told I was going to be sore for a while, because the bleeding was going to cause bruising. All told, I think from the time I went back, to when I came out was about an hour and 15 mins or so.
From there, Brian and I drove home. I was a little nauseous, and of course sore, but overall it wasn’t too bad. I was super tired and drifted off when I got into bed. I woke up pretty quickly when Brian came in to bring me something for my tummy. I wasn’t able to go back to sleep the rest of the day. Man, I was
pissed. I was so dang tired. I heard from some concerned friends that day. My friends are such a big part of my life, they’re like family to me. Brian stayed home the rest of the day with me. I iced on and off through the day. Ryne was also home, sick, but was totally clueless as to what was going on. Brian was very concerned about me, I could tell on the drive home. He was good about holding my hand while he was driving and stroking my fingers. Once we got home, he kind of went into his man mode, watching t.v., etc. He did do some cleaning, though, which was good to see. He wasn’t great about checking on me or bringing my ice, but that was fine. I wasn’t helpless. Oh, he also made dinner that night, as they Nurse was sure to tell him I couldn’t do any lifting, not even laundry or cooking. Haha.
I stayed home yesterday. I’m so glad I took that day off, too. I was pretty darn sore. I did some reading (finished the 3rd Harry Potter book) and text with some friends and my sisters. I treated myself to some take out from the local Mexican restaurant and even did some cleaning. Being it was Halloween day, I actually pulled out some of our decorations, too. Nothing like being a procrastinator! I got it a little bit decorated outside, too. It was a good day
overall. Oh, and I rec’d 3 dozen roses from Amy and a really cute Teddy Bear from H.P., which she never actually put her name to. But I knew anything addressed to Jennifer Weekley Stefani was from her. And despite one of G.S’s biggest fans, I’m sure Gwen would never write me a note quite like what came with that bear. Lol. (BTW, I lovingly named the bear, Titty Bear). The storm caused the flowers to come a day late, but I was just so happy to get them. I felt really blessed to have ppl like that in my life. I didn’t tell many people about what was going on, but I’m so blessed to have those that I did keep me in their
And here I am today (Thursday, back at work). I’m still sore, but it’s a different type of sore today. It’s not as bad if I made contact with the tit, but it’s just sore in general even without being hit. Hoping to have it be all the way gone in a couple of days. I’m supposed to get a call today or tomorrow with the results. I then have an appt. with the surgeon on Tues morning. And I know I’m
supposed to do another mammo in 6 mos. So, my fingers are crossed that’s it’s good news. In the meantime, I thought I’d write out the process in anticipation of it all being good news and that I can share the last 4 or 5 weeks with you. It’s been hard for me not to say anything. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I tend to say what I have on my mind. And this has been on my mind ;)
****I’m still floating on Cloud 9 at the results. I really did expect the worst. I just had a terrible feeling…. But praise be to God. I get yet another chance to
turn my life around to a healthy purpose. And best of all, H.P. won’t be forced to have her hair shaved. I know how much that would’ve killed her. Again, thank God for friends who are like family to me. They’ve helped me through this and kept me laughing along the way.
All my love,