Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A bump in the road

I wasn't expecting this at all so here goes.  Last week, during my normal physical, I voiced a concern to my doctor about some pain I was feeling in my right breast.  It wasn't constant, it came and went with my cycle, but it seemed to be getting worse, and i should note there that I have a very high pain tolerance.  My Dr felt like a baseline mammogram might be a good idea, and surprisingly got me scheduled for the next monday (two days ago).  After the couple of shots they normally took, the tech came in and said the radiologist wanted some shots with a different plate.  I thought, okay, these people are thorough, great.  After several more shots and some waiting, I was ushered to a sonogram room to have a sonogram.  The tech seemed to have trouble finding what they were looking for, so the Dr who read the mammograms came in and took a look.  After they consulted, I was told I needed a biopsy and could I come the very next day (yesterday).  They even called back later that day and scheduled me for an earlier time.  Let's just say I was very concerned with their speed of scheduling.  After sitting in the parking lot of my work for a while sobbing and talking to my mom and hubby, I decided to head home and take it easy for the rest of the day.  We have a very light schedule this week in the lab, so I had some wiggle room with experiments.

I slept well after a few little minor break downs.  Thank God my mom in law is here so she could be my driver and care taker.  I of course did lots of research about biopsies and the results.  Knowledge is power for me, especially being a scientist that dabbles in cancer research.   I know all the stories, good and bad.  The morning of the biopsy, I put it out on FB that I was going in for a biopsy.  I did that not for sympathy, but more for prayers and for similar stories.  I got over 100 comments, many about people having the same issue after their first mammogram.  Believe me, hearing over and over again about women having the same issues and it being nothing, plus tons of prayers and positive vibes really helped calm me down.

I wanted to write about the procedure here, more for information for others that might go through this.  Again, the more I knew, the calmer it kept me.  I am NOT a fan of needles.  I choose to not look at any of the needles, to just to close my eyes and go to a happy place.  I have to say though, getting to watch on the screen was kind of cool, and actually didn't freak me out at all, BUT I never watched the Dr, just stared at the screen.  Let me back up and explain the process.  The first step was looking for the lump again and taking some pictures.  Then the Dr came in and set up a sterile field and starting the numbing process.  After the initial prick of that needle, I really didn't feel anything, and the numbing needle is LONG!  I am so glad i didn't look at it's size till afterwards.  Once you are all numb, the Dr uses the ultrasound to watch as he guides the coring needle in.  A very small incision is made and the needle is inserted, all of which I had no feeling of.  My Dr took 5 or 6 cores out very quickly.  He constantly asked about my pain level, and was prepared to put more numbing agent in if needed. I only had one core that sort of hurt, but it was not a very bad pain at all.  Total time the needle was in,  maybe 5 minutes but no more than 10, just like they had told me.  He even made a comment that he thought he sucked the lump right out as it was so small.  Afterwards, he inserted a very small clip into the site where the lump was and then the nurse started compression, as I was bleeding a bit at this point.    Nothing was painful, as I was numb, so we chatted while she got the bleeding stopped.  That took probably the longest time of anything.  As soon as the bleeding stopped, I was taken to a mammogram room and had two mammograms done to make sure the clip was in place.  Again, I was numb so I didn't feel a thing.  After more compression, since the mammogram cause the bleeding to start up again, I was bandaged in a compression bandage and sent home with tylenol and ice packs and no lifting advice (including dogs and kiddos).

Honestly the procedure was smooth, the pain was minimal and I am back at work today feeling fine.  I took the aftercare instructions to heart, and followed all of them, so I can get back to running and working out.  The worst part is the compression bandage.  My poor right breast is squished to the max right now.

Andrew had lots of questions as he was suppose to get to stay home yesterday and that plan quickly changed. I tried to keep information minimal telling him that I had a dr's appointment and that they were going to use a needle to look at things.  I showed him the bandage last night, and he thought it was pretty cool.  He is doing really well with the no picking up thing and he slept down stairs with daddy last night so I could rest comfortably.  The compression bandage is the only part that is keeping me uncomfortable, not the pain of the biopsy.  I should know something thursday morning so stay tuned.  I am confident that it is nothing, but if it is something, I am ready to fight.

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