You remember way back on January 7th when I had biopsies done to confirm whether or not I had cancer? Using an ultrasound, the doctor located the tumor and took five core biopsies of it and then two biopsies of a suspicious looking lymph node. Tumor - cancer; lymph node - clear (yay!). I remember thinking - wow - SEVEN biopsies!
This afternoon they took THIRTEEN more. And these were done with the guidance of an MRI. Remember my description of the odd hangin' loose breast MRI? Ooh, and remember my s'more description of mammograms in general? Just for fun, let's combine those two experiences, add some shots of Novocain, and a good-looking male doctor seeing you at your ABSOLUTE worst, shake it all up and see what we've got, shall we?
My day began with a failed attempt to locate a suspicious area on the lower right side of my right breast using ultrasound. No problem, I've been through the ultrasound process before during the initial diagnosis. Except now we've got a male doctor at the helm and WHY does he have to be a good looking male doctor? Seriously. It's uncomfortable enough to be naked from the waist up, raise my arm up over my head and stare at the flowered ceiling panel while someone maneuvers the magic ultrasound wand around my breast through a grand dollop of gel (a little dollop will NOT do in this case), without adding hottie to the mix, thank you VERY much.
Oh, you see nothing in the right breast? I need an MRI-guided biopsy on that one, too? Great.
YOU'RE doing the biopsies this afternoon on me? Brilliant.
So, I returned this afternoon, donned scrubs with the handy wrap top, and prepared myself mentally for what I'd envisioned last night. Yeeeeah ... close but no cigar.
They again tried in vain to find a vein and went for the back of my hand; my left hand this time. The nurse tried three times in the back of that hand until she gave up when I started to pass out. [Yeah, yeah, I'm a wimp. You have someone stick a needle into the back of your hand and wiggled it around for a minute trying to stab the vein that is WISELY rolling away from it then get back with me. Otherwise, shut the hell up.] She apologized profusely, said we'd wait until I went down to the MRI room, and gave me a Band-Aid.
She left me to rest, I looked at that Band-Aid with one of my childhood loves on it, and couldn't help but think about my 5 year old self. And, yeah ... that nearly did me in. I'm fairly certain that 5 year old Kim never dreamed of any of this crap. 5 year old Kim simply wanted to eat Count Chocula and watch Bugs Bunny; well, she at least wanted to eat the marshmallows in the Count Chocula and watch Bugs Bunny.
A few minutes later, with dry eyes, I went down to the MRI room where another nurse found a deep vein in my right elbow region and managed to give me an IV without me feeling anything. And we were off ... to a false start. I'm back on the table, on my stomach, with the two holes, positioned as before but WAIT ... there's more this time.
This time we're combining the wonder of a mammogram with the absurdity of the MRI, so on either side of both breasts were plates that then squished the girls into two simultaneous downward hanging pancakes complete with grids on the outside to better mark the biopsy locations.
Yep. My imagined "don't move" was there but with my boobs in two vices - like I COULD move - for about 15-20 minutes until the nurse came in to have me extradited from the contraption because the computer needed to be rebooted.
SERIOUSLY?! Another twenty or so minutes went by and it was time for a repositioning, re-squishing, and, this time, I was that way for over a half hour. I was moved into and out of the MRI tube several times as images were taken, Novocain was administered, needles placed, checked, and then core biopsies were drilled out of me.
I say drilled because that's what it sounded like - a little drill. I felt none of that (YAY Novocain!) but did wonder a bit at the number of whirring sounds. I found out later that the doctor took 7 samples of the left breast and 6 of the right breast. This information was provided to me after the compression was removed from my breasts only to be replaced by said doctor's hand on my right and a nurse's hand on my left, applying pressure to stop the bleeding.
So ... totally not awkward AT ALL.
Then they asked me to get up so they could continue to apply pressure while I was sitting Again, boobs out, hanging down, on my stomach, and I'm asked to do a kind of push up to lift myself out of the breast mobile. Now, I'm 45 with a body that has gained and lost and gained and lost weight numerous times during my life.
Trust me when I tell you that raising myself up from that position with those onlookers was more painful than those three attempts at an IV in the back of my hand that left me light-headed. And then it was done. Mostly. And I'm home chilling.
And now we wait. Results are expected sometime Wednesday and, as I explained before, those results will determine what type of surgery I'll be receiving on Friday.
I keep hearing echoes of "No whammies, no whammies!" in my head. In this case, no whammies means negative results and a lumpectomy on Friday.
Whammies mean a lymph node surgery Friday (to check some and, if necessary, remove all of them) in preparation for a mastectomy at a date a week or so later.
Whammies are bad.
We don't want Whammies.