I Had the Bobopsy


December 14th, 2012 10:53 PM -05

In early December, I went for my first mammogram since August 2010.

Em’s arrival in August and subsequent breastfeeding meant skipping the 2011 checkup.  When I went to my 2012 well woman exam, it was decided that I’d need to delay my mammogram three months to allow the girls to return to their pre-BFing condition.  I went for my test on December 7th.

That resulted in a callback.  I was told the technician didn’t get the right angles of the “calcifications.”  I went back this past Friday, considering it more of a nuisance than anything.  I figured I’d walk in, they’d capture the same benign cyst I’ve had tracked since 2005 and walk out.   I went into the post-exam room and waited for the nurse to release me.  Instead, a radiologist walked in and closed the door behind her.

She started explaining “suspect breast tissue” and the biopsy procedure to me.  I interrupted her to explain I knew all this…I’d had a needle aspiration in 2005…yada yada.  She only had my 2010-2012 chart, so she excused herself to look at my entire history.  She came back in, smiled and in an oddly enthusiastic thick Eastern European accent said “I see what you meant.  Nuh!”

“Nuh?” “Knew?”  What was she saying?  Oh.

New.

Instead of a lump/fibroid, I had small calcium deposits (microcalcifications) throughout.   While there was the option to wait 6 months and chart their growth, she suggested a stereotactic biopsy.  ASAP.  This is where I started to panic.  She then told me she was 80% certain it was benign (whew), but if it wasn’t, we would discuss treatment based on the pathology report.    A nurse walked in with a Monday morning biopsy reminder card.  As if I would forget over the weekend.

I went in this past Monday morning while Dan’s mom watched Emme.   After caffeine-loading in the waiting room, I realized that might not be a brilliant idea considering the process involves laying still atop a table at length.   Luckily, the procedure went quickly.  There wasn’t any pain thanks to the 3 local anesthetics.  The first comes before the incision, the second as the needle drives through the tissue and the third as a pen tip-size permanent marker implants.   The anesthesia burned slightly, but it was nothing compared to the 14-hour IV antibiotic drip I had during labor and delivery.

They sealed the incision with Steri-strip tape and a dressing and sent me to mammography.  I’d been in a good place mentally until I started talking to the technician. Upon asking my age, shook her head and solemnly said “You’re just too young to be dealing with this” as she stared at my films.  Friday’s utter terror returned with a vengeance.

I was sent on my way with 3 restrictions: no showering for 24 hours, no anti-inflammatories other than acetaminophen and no heavy lifting, including 19-lb toddlers.   Dan worked from home Monday afternoon and Tuesday to hold me to that last one, but it was a lost cause.  Em wasn’t having any of that “no lifting” BS.

The biopsy center told me to start stalking my doctor on Friday for the results but said it would likely be Monday before I heard anything.  I knew it would be a long week.  Thankfully, I was kept busy with Em and work.  Dan was super-supportive, reassuring me things would be okay…telling me to focus on that 80% chance it would be benign.  Still, I had my moments.  I was reading “Night Night Little Pookie” to Em, had a vision of me not being there to read it to her and started choking up.  I held the book up so Em couldn’t see the tears as Dan quickly picked up where I left off.

My 2005 biopsy lacked two major factors that weighed heavily on my thoughts during this ordeal:  Dan and Emme.  The thought of how a cancer diagnosis would affect them was pretty horrific and led to many sleepless nights spent making plans for the worst case scenario.  Plus, there was the added dread of knowing chemotherapy and/or radiation at my age would make Wiggles II an impossibility.  I want Em to have a sister (or brother) to help her through life, and the thought of a cancer diagnosis ruining that experience for her exponentially increased my dread.

I went into my office this morning only to have my mother tell me I needed to just have baby number two already.  As she went on, I was thinking “Oh, if you only knew…”   I made a point of telling no one about the biopsy, especially family.  I’m a private person.  (And yet you have a blog?  Yep, filled with things I choose to share)  I figured if there was something wrong, I’d need time to research options and take it all in.  If everything were okay, then why needlessly worry loved ones?  So I listened as my mom urged grandchild numero four’s conception and danced around the topic.

When Dan suggested I start calling the doctor’s office, I left a message for the nurse, not expecting a callback until Monday.  Within the hour, another nurse called requesting the biopsy center’s phone number and assuring me she would have an answer by day’s end.  One hour later, she called back, explaining she had the doctor’s permission to give me the results over the phone.

Panic.

Panic.

Panic.

Her exact words were “First, he wants me to start off with ‘GOOD NEWS!'”

Move over, Rolaids, there’s a new way to spell relief!  G-O-O-D-N-E-W-S.

She went on to read the pathology report that described the calcifications as benign (KOW) and the radiologist’s recommendation that I be put on an annual mammogram schedule.  I’m already on an annual schedule, so wahoo!

So now I need to get serious with getting my act together.  I have 20 pounds to drop, a caffeine addiction to shed and a vitamin regimen to kickstart.   I’m giving myself until August to meet my goal.

That’s right… it’s time…

F.T.S., Part Deux!

3 Responses to “I Had the Bobopsy”

  1. carole says:

    Dude. Although I get why you didn’t tell anyone, it’s still a bit annoying knowing that you let me ramble on about stupid shit all week while you were dealing with this!! I’m glad you’re ok. But next time I may have to kick your ass. 😛

    I need a FTS part 2 as well…only I won’t give up my coffee! You are brave to attempt to start during the holidays – this is no time to diet or go without caffeine. However, wine is considered to be good for you now, right? 🙂

  2. tara says:

    Ninja, please – you had problems enough this week! You didn’t need this needlessly pushing you toward ulcertown. 😀 And FTS doesn’t start until after the holidays with a one-day hiatus for your birthday! 😀

  3. carole says:

    Ok good. Whoo hoo!! 😀

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