Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 3: We Want You Back

If you are just stopping in, this is the third post in my 31 Day Series:  I Wear Pink.  You can find the other posts here

Day 3:
     On Friday afternoon, a few days after my mammogram, I received an urgent message at school.  I was told to return to the health center immediately for more mammogram images.  I sighed thinking, "Just my luck.  I'm the one who gets called back."
     Two nurses tag teamed each other in repeating my mammogram.  More manipulation.  More squishing.  More pictures.  Still more pictures.  I was banished back to the waiting room to sit in my skimpy napkin.  It looked very much like this.
Disposable Mammogram Capes. 52in 58in
     Then they wanted even more pictures.  I was there for two hours.   I distracted myself with the book I had with me. (It was Water for Elephants.)
     After the next set of pictures, I fluttered in my napkin attire to a nearby restroom.  One of my nurses was on the phone, "We need the ultrasound to confirm what we are seeing.  You will cover this, won't you?"  Apparently, she was talking to an insurance company.  In spite of all of the pictures and the overheard phone conversation, I still didn't realize that I had cause for concern.  I fully expected to go home in the next few minutes with a "See you next year!"
     Instead, I was called in for an ultrasound, which I was assured my insurance company had already approved.  I lay still on the table as the nurse passed the wand over my left breast.  Now I was beginning to wonder if I had a cyst or something.  The nurse couldn't find what she was looking for so she left the room for further instruction.  Relieved, I began to think about  weekend plans with the family.  The nurse came back.  This time she directed the wand to a different area.  She smiled sympathetically, "There it is."  Then she exited to show the doctor the latest images.  I sat up and looked at the screen which she had left open.  There it was.  A dark spot shaped rather like a walnut.
ultrasound image left breast cancer
Very similar to mine.   Source  

     The doctor arrived with a grave look on his face.  The nurse sat beside me taking hold of my hand.  The doctor spoke gently.  "The images appear to show an  invasive ductile carcinoma.  The growth is very close to your chest wall.  That is why it was so hard to get images.  It is possible that it is just a cyst.  You need to schedule a biopsy as soon as possible so that you know exactly what you are dealing with.  You will likely need surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation."
     He said more, but I didn't really hear anything else.

     One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  Eighty percent of breast cancers are invasive ductile carcinoma.  Have you or anyone you know been touched by breast cancer?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  ~Jeremiah 29:11
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