Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Biopsy day

It's wednesday finally, January 12th, and I've been waiting for this day. I feel pumped.

Did I mention they were calling for snow? Well they did. And it came. There was a ton of snow on the ground when we woke up on Jan 12th. And when I say 'a ton' I mean 'light dusting' for those of you on the east coast. We are wimps when it comes to the white stuff. It's like kryptonite for Vancouverites.

Nonetheless, we drove to the hospital which was 45 minutes away from our house, and gave ourselves ample time to get there. "Ample" means '2 hours'
in Michelle language.

We got there at 7 am. The breast imaging department didn't even open til 8am. So we sat beside it and waited. Staff arrived at 7:30 am and they were kind enough to let us in. Since we were already there, they began checking me in right away, which I thought was awfully kind of them.

I was laying on a table in a very cold room within about 10 minutes. Only my hospital gown on, and they open at the front, so really no shelter from the cold. I can't say enough about these lovely ladies that worked there. Fantastic. Really really great.

I had the mammogram - I got a kick out of that. I always thought my boobs were somewhat deflated after having kids. Apparently I didn't know what deflated boobs really looked like, until I got the mammogram done. Now I know. I must say, my boobs are no longer self described as deflated. I stood corrected.

Then we moved on to the ultrasound. That is always my favorite part. I've had ultrasounds before, on different parts of my body, and it's always so interesting. They squirt the gel on you - which they must secretly store in their mini bar fridge at the back, just for kicks - then they start looking at the screen of shadows. Because, let's face it, that's all that it is. A screen of shadows. Some grey, some charcoal, some black and some are white. It's like looking at one of those funky art things where you gotta unfocus your eyes, so you can see the picture. (Remember those?)

Well, anyway, the technician obviously has more experience at the unscrambling part because it seemed to make sense to her. She was measuring shadows left right and centre. Then, as I think I'm done she mentions that since I'm there so early, I could do my biopsy right there and then.

I gulp. Then I break down into tears again. Biopsy. I have come to hate that word. It means nothing good. It means that whatever shadow they are looking at, is an unfriendly shadow. They need to examine it further. I ask if they can call
Brad in. They are infinitely kind, so they do.

The doctor explains the procedure to me - which involves poking me with a long sharp needle - and then turns to Brad. "If you faint, I'll get to you after I'm done with her" - she tells him. Good enough then. I thought it was nice of her to acknowledge him.

Back to the long needle. First, I get to have a first long needle to freeze my boob in preparation for the second long needle that will perform the 'core biopsy'. That means the first needle will appear more unfriendly than the second one, since it will sting going in, but then, it freezes me enough so that I don't feel the second actual unfriendly needle that has a special grip at the bottom, and will then proceed to take 'bites' out of my lump.

All goes well. I squeeze Brad's hand. I don't even cry. I don't think. I'd have to check that one with Brad. My recollection says I was brave. We'll go with that. They poke me and then they prod me. She tells me that I'll hear a loud 'click' as the biopsy takes place. In fact, 4 very loud, very distinctive click sounds later, the biopsy is done.

A lot of bleeding later (according to Brad) I was given an 'after care' sheet and sent home. "You may bruise a bit" was the last thing she said to me.

Funny - I would have used a different description. "You may look like your fiance punched you in the boob repeatedly. This bruise will be big and round and more colourful than any other bruise you've seen before. And it will last for 2 weeks" - but that's just me.


Anonymous said...

Cute bra! I kinda forgot about those, not having worn one for 9 months. My bruise lasted 3 weeks and looked yellow and angry, just like yours. Stay strong!

Sami said...

Ouch. I never knew how they did that. I'm so happy he was able to be there for you. I'm the same way-- except I'm a hand clencher! Whoever I bring in with me for shots or to get blood taken always leaves with nailmarks in their palm or completely white fingertips (haha, woops). And yes, even for something little like a shot. I'm such a baby! But I'm getting braver :-)