Friday, July 29, 2011

Eye roll here, please...

This morning was supposed to be the biopsies on the intraductal papillomas found on my left and right breasts. A word about biopsies: To the layman, it's just a needle or something withdrawing a sample and then off to the lab, right? Basically, yes. But there seem to be 316 different kinds of biopsies, requiring various levels of consciousness, position, accuracy, etc. Since these papillomas were found via an MRI where I was lying on my stomach with the shplazoinkas hanging down, they needed to do a sonogram to map exactly where the papillomas were on my back. This meant a sonogram and then the biopsy.

I was running a bit late, as was my college friend, Sally, was coming from Nyack to be with me for this procedure. I forewarned her that it will likely mean a lot of time with her in the waiting room, so she came prepared with her knitting. (You know we're getting old... I've got cancer... she's knitting... Oy!) I checked in, and Sally arrived just a few minutes before they called me back in.

As you know by now, I've been using humor to deflect. Well, while she was very efficient, the nurse that brought us to the back to go over the procedure didn't really have a sense of humor. I was throwing zingers, Sally was laughing, which was great because I was dreading this procedure, but the nurse just kept going forward stone-faced. She didn't seem amused. After a bit, she left to give another patient ice and said she'd be right back.

Sally and I have led very busy lives since college, and even though we live within an hour of each other, we've seen each other once or twice since I graduated. But it's funny how "Contador" brings people together... so we caught up with one another. Only, we realized that after some time, we had nothing left to catch up on because the nurse was gone for so long. She came back in, at one point, to tell us she'd be back in a few, but a few turned into a whole lot. Finally, she returned, showing a glimmer of a sense of humor, and then carted me into the bathroom to change into a robe while Sally was sent off to knit.

I changed and went into the sonogram room with the MRI up on the wall. Have I mentioned, lately, that I'm not an MRI tech? And that I really have no idea of where our parts go except for the fact that all organs except for the brain, eyes and a couple of other bits fit somewhere in between my legs, neck and arms? So as she's scrolling up and down to figure out where the white spots are in relation to my nipples, I see this HUGE thing behind my rib cage on one side. And I mean HUGE! Now, I'm not a complete moron - I know the heart should be about the same size as my fist. But using my cup size as a reference, whatever this blog was it was twice the size of my first. Which either means my heart is enlarged or there's something MUCH bigger than these papillomas to worry about. So, I ask the tech. She looks at it and says, "That's a lung." And I point out that there isn't a matching one on the other side. She raised an eyebrow, as though I found something, and then she pointed out that was my liver. I felt stupid.

And so, the sonogram began. I watched the screen fill with things that looked like squished honeycombs. Over. And over. And over. Then she stopped, went back to the MRI, and came back with a, "Huh." I asked her what's wrong and she explained she couldn't find the papilloma. I asked what she was looking for, and she said something different from what we were seeing. I asked if there was anything I could do, but she said, "Nope!" And she moved onto the other breast.

Again, nothing but honeycombs, baffled tech grunts, and not much else. She wiped me up and explained that if they can't find the papillomas via sonogram, they can't do the biopsy. I'm thinking, "Oh, great. Sally schlepped her butt up here, we both sat for what seemed like forever to get into the room, I got all antsy over this biopsy, and for what?" The tech goes to get the radiologist, yet another stranger to whom I get to expose my breasts, and a few shmears of goo and swipes of the wand, I get a "Huh." They tell me to get dressed because we have to go the MRI route.

I figured we'd hop over to the MRI. No... that's a whole other procedure. A whole other appointment, nay another TWO appointments - one for each breast.

Sally has to go, and clearly, not much is happening, so I send her on her way. Then, about 20 minutes later, I get a call from to breast surgeon. We're going to hold off on the MRI/biopsy appointments and just biopsy the tissue when they remove them with the main breast surgery.

Now, I'm tooling around before I have to get to bed. I have the MRI of my abdomen tomorrow to see what these lesions are on my liver and my adrenal glands. (Oh, did I forget to mention that?)

1 comment:

  1. Keep the humor going as much as you can. I ended up with the objective of making each person I encountered LAUGH by the time they were done with me.

    The only one I never cracked? The chest x-ray lady....she was impossible.

    Thinking about you,


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