The Big “C” or Not the Big “C”

2012-2013 weren’t particularly great years for me medically. They were pretty stressful and I’m glad my medical team was aggressive and I jumped on board sooner rather than later.

October 2012

10.3 — I had my first mammogram and I should have known something was up because they told me not to get dressed. The radiologist wanted additional images of my left breast. Well, of course I’m thinking, “Oh shit. What the hell is going on?” Belive me when I say I had a few more expletives running around in my head than that. So, I’ll let you fill in the expletive blanks.

I give the obligatory smile and follow the tech back to the mammography room. Whoever invented this blasted contraption should be whacked in the knee caps with an old-fashioned Louisville Slugger. Anyway, the tech arranges my breast on the glass and proceeds to bring down the gauntlet (the compression paddle). Bless her heart though she did ask me if it was to tight as she continues to compress.

Finally done and I get dressed and told to wait for the radiologist. Grrrr. I hate waiting. Finally, I see the radiologist. She tells me that there is a calcium deposit they want to watch and to come back in 6 months for another mammogram.

June 2013

6.12 — Yes, I know it’s more than 6 months, but . . . well really there are no but’s, I was just being lazy. This time when I meet with the radiologist she tells me the first calcium deposit is gone, but there is something else that raises a concern and they want me to have a biopsy.

Not taking it lightly or as seriously as I probably should have. I made the decision to schedule the biopsy until after my birthday and vacation.

August 2013

8.21 — Went in for my biopsy — Fine Needle Aspiration with image guidance or FNA as they call it. Luckily the area of concern is nice and small. I’ve always known that it takes a lot to numb me and I forewarn them of this, but nooooo they don’t listen, so I feel the incision, the needle and the threading and everything else. The doctor did ask if I wanted more numbing stuff, but I said in my smart-assery way, “What’s the point? You’re already in there.”

Whew. That’s over. “We should have the results in 7 to 10 business days.”

8.30 —  I go get my test results and the radiologist and pathologist are on the phone discussing my results when I get there. For some time.

The results are: I have what they call Intraductal Papilloma, a non-cancerous tumor that grows in the milk duct. Okay great! But. . . Of course there’s a but. . . The pathologist wants a tissue sample because he felt there was some hyperplasia going on. Hyperplasia is doctor speak for an increased number of cell activity, which may or may not be pre-cancerous. So, I’m scheduled for a Core Biopsy. Halle”freakin'”lujah.

Officially stressing.

September 2013

9.20 — I have a love hate relationship with GW. Love it because it’s a great hospital. Hate it because it’s a teaching hospital. Today, I hate it not only because I have to do this blasted core biopsy, but because they’ve got someone not all that experienced doing it (they do have an experienced person there the whole time). Again they didn’t give me enough numbing medicine before they started fiddlin’ around in there and yankin’ out tissue).

11.1 — The results are back and the pathologist’s thought is confirmed there are hyperplasia cells. Not a little a lot. So, my doctor wants to schedule surgery to remove part of the milk duct and some surrounding tissue. She thinks because it’s confined to a small area that this will be the end of it.


November 2013

11.26 — The day before Thanksgiving.  Arrive at GW at 8 am for surgery prep. I’m hungry and I’m cranky and I’m nervous. I need anesthesia now. I’ve known since my first surgery why Michael Jackson was so obsessed with anesthesia induced sleep. It is the best sleep ever. However the side effects for me suck.

My surgery lasts a little over an hour and when I start coming out of it, I’m itching like the dickens. Well, I’ll be damned I’ve got hives. This may be a reaction to the anesthesia or to the pain meds or to both. A shot of Benadryl to the rescue.

11.27 — Thanksgiving Day.  Woot! Woot! Still coming off the anesthesia and got enough Tylenol w/ Codine (Tylenol 3) in my system that I could probably fell a medium-sized dog into a narcotic induced stupor, but yet I’m still in pain. I tried to tell her that T3 doesn’t going to work for me.

December 2013

12.5 — Follow up. Incision is healing up nicely, but. . . What the frack? But what? Now I’ve never been a textbook medical case and my doctor says what’s going on with my breast is not textbook. Okay, so what does that mean. I do have precancerous cells and they were unable to determine (sadly there is where I checked out and only heard the adults speaking in Charlie Brown).

Check back in to hear “Need to schedule another surgery to clear the margin.”

12.31 — Back to GW at 8 am. Hungry and cranky and angry. I’m really over this. So, whatever THIS is needs to be so we can stop this back and forth. My love hate relationship with GW is kicking in again. I find out that my doctor is having someone assist. I should have known. He’s the Dr. McDreamy of GW. Almost thought about staying awake just so I could look at him. But no need, he’s burned into my cornea and memory.

January 2014

1.9 — Follow-up with my breast care doctor. She goes over the pathology report with and to my excitement NO CANCER. I could have up and hugged and kissed her, but that was a fleeting thought since I don’t hug and I don’t kiss. (Note to self: should see a therapist about this hugging and kissing thing.)

Instructions: Need to follow-up with a breast MRI in May and if that is fine resume regular mammograms in August.

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