Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Relief

     So yesterday was my breast biopsy.  I woke up feeling a little nervous and extremely tired.  I hardly slept thanks to a thunderstorm, scared kids, and an 18 month old insomniac!  What a start to an already scheduled crazy day.  After the older kids got dropped off at school and Lily was with Grandma, Ryan and I headed for the hospital.  We talked the whole way there but no mention of the upcoming procedure.  I think know that we were both uncomfortable with what could happen.  Depending on the outcome of the biopsy, our whole world could turn upside down.  And that was a thought that we didn't want to have unless necessary.
     I had decided to take part in a blood-marker case study.  A nurse would be drawing some blood and it would be used to test for a cancer gene, probability of developing cancer, possible cancer treatments, and alzheimer testing and treatment.  The case study is completely confidential and I do not receive any of the results of the testing.  It is strictly to help advance medicine.  I figured that I'd already be getting poked several times, so what's a little more!  Plus I got a gift card for Panera Bread.....totally worth the blood work!  Thanks to my boobs, I could get a free lunch.  I'm always thinking about the silver lining!
     Once again, I got to wear the really cool gown that ties in the front and totally keeps you warm. NOT  Anways, I got into the procedure room and the ultrasound technition asked if I minded if one of the students could observe.  I had quite a few thoughts popping into my head...what is this the "Kelly Shows All" day, sure everyone wants to see my boobs what's one more?  and a few other thoughts that won't be shared!  I figured why not, it's not going to affect my self image, there were already three other people in the room, not including me!
Can you picture the look on
their face?  hehehe
     The really nice nurse started a pleasant conversation and started rubbing my boob with iodine to clean it.  The way she was going at it, I wondered just how dirty is my boob. I mean I do shower and yes I use soap.  Afterwards, the technition used the ultrasound to locate and mark the masses.  The student worked really hard to stare at the monitor screen and not at me.  What a kind girl.  The doctor then came in and got right to work.  The first mass was only 5 mm big small.  He first used Lidocaine to numb the area.  He stuck the needle in and moved it around to numb several areas without having to stick me multiple times.  After I was numb, he used a different needle to insert into the first mass.  Since this one was small, the doctor thought that he would see if the mass could drain.  If it did, that meant that the mass was a cyst and definitely NOT cancer. 
     I was really hoping that that little mass would spring a leak like Old Faithful!  So he inserted the needle and instantly the technition said "Where did it go?"  Seriously, I'm like well my boob is only so big, so it's got to be there somewhere.  Apparently, as soon as the needle hit the mass, it started to leak into my boob.  The doctor said "Wow, that quickly deflated."  Wait, what deflated the mass or my boob.  Because if I walk out of here with my boob being smaller, my husband is going to be pretty upset!  I let out a little snicker and the nurse sounded worried and said "Are you ok?  Are you in any pain?"  I sucked in my laugh and told her that I was ok.  I was actually more than ok.  If the mass is leaking into my boob, that means that it is not tissue....it is not cancerous.
     The doctor then removed the needle and started to numb up a different section.  After locating the second mass with the ultrasound, he honestly said "Well, this one looks more promising."  I did not have a good thought at this moment.  Looks promising for what?  The doctor said that this mass was a little bigger and located extremely close to my chest cavity.  The nurse asked if he wanted to try to drain this one also or do the core biopsy.  He decided to attempt another drain!  The nurse then asked if he wanted the Regular Needle OR the SPINAL Needle.  What?!?  Just how big is a spinal needle.  I'm thinking...are you trying to go into my chest cavity or what?  I couldn't actually see the needles, but a spinal needle just sounds scary.  (When I got home, I researched spinal needles...the biggest one on the left!)  He thankfully decided to attempt to use the regular needle.  He did have a hard time locating the mass, so the technition pushed on the underside of my breast while he pushed on the top side.  It wasn't painful, but definitely uncomfortable.  The doctor was finally able to reach the mass and inserted the needle.  Once again, it immediatley began to get smaller.  The nurse was the first to confirm this and told me to relax, these couldn't possibly be cancerous tissues!  I had a huge smile on my face and instant relief was flooded through me.  The drainage will be sent out to be tested, as per procedure, but I should not expect any bad news.  I go back in in 6 months for a check up and will continue my yearly mammograms and home breast exams. 
     I had been spending the past week thinking through this procedure and making plans for what I would do if the results weren't good.  I knew exactly what I had to do to prepare my children, their teachers, prayer groups, etc.  I have been blessed with a wonderful family and group of friends who instantly fell in line to support me.  I am thankful that I do not have to endure bad news and the procedures that would go along with it.  However, this experience has reminded me how fragile life is and how lucky I am.  I pray that I will continue to live a long and healthy life surrounded by terrific friends and family.  I pray that I use this experience to remain careful about my health and home breast exams.  I pray that I will use my life to help others.  I want to thank all of you who were praying for me and sending me your positive thoughts and comments.  It would have been much more difficult to make it through without you.
     Please take the time to perform monthly breast exams.  Just imagine if I hadn't have discovered the lump on my own and it was tissue.  I may have not found out until it was too late.  There is no way to completely prevent breast cancer, but there is a way to catch it early on.  Do your montly breast exams and don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions.  It could very well save your life.  Do the exams for you and for your family.  You are important and you are worth everything!

1 comment:

  1. You are right, what a Relief! I am so happy that all is well and I want to thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. This is such an important topic and one that thankfully is being talked about much more openly. By the way, I love the little bits of humor, laughter every day is great medicine!
    Stacey

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