When it rains . . . April 17, 2017Posted by Judy in Musings.
Tags: biopsy, cancer
The past three weeks have presented me with a slew of challenges. I got a cold, which is generally NBD, except that I had a concert and I needed to be well. Despite my best efforts (rest, zicam, fluids), I ended up with laryngitis. Despite my best efforts against the laryngitis (elderberry syrup, honey and lemon, anise tea, warm compress on my neck), I wasn’t able to get rid of it in time for the concert. So for the first time ever, I had to miss a performance, which sucked.
But there’s more. The same week that I got sick, as I was running up the stairs, I tripped, fell, and ended up with an excruciatingly painful muscle strain. As in, I was laying on the stairs saying, “Ow, ow, ow, ow!” It didn’t matter how I moved, the pain wouldn’t go away. I’ve heard it said that having a kidney stone and giving birth are the most physiologically painful events. I’ve given birth to four babies, without medication, and hands down, the pain in my back was so much worse! It’s been three weeks since my fall, and while my back is better, my movements are still hampered and stiff. Oh, and did I mention that hubby was out of town that week? Fortunately, my rockstar mom was visiting. Emotionally, though, I definitely missed having my other half there.
But wait, behind door number 4 you’ll find more challenges. During the laryngitis/muscle strain week, I had my biannual check up with my oncologist. The scarring in my armpit had changed, becoming more spread out and squishy, and I showed him a spot where it felt like I had a string in my armpit. He poked around and decided that it would be a good idea to have an ultrasound to see what was going on. I’ve had my pit scanned at both of the previous check-ups, so this seemed like NBD. It took a few weeks to get an appointment, so I went in this past Friday. As usual, the tech did the scan, went and showed the doctor the images, then came back. The difference this time was that the doctor came along. After scanning again, the doctor tells me that she’d like to do a mammogram to get a better look. In my brain I’m thinking, “No, no, no, no, no!” This was starting to feel oh so familiar. This is exactly how it went last time. I did have the presence of mind to ask, “Do you see something that is of concern?” She responded by saying that there was a questionable area which she wasn’t sure if it was just scar tissue or something more ominous, and she preferred to err on the side of caution, given my history. I whole-heartedly agreed, but was still saying, “No, no, no, no, no!” in my head.
They took me into the mammogram room and set me up for a picture of my armpit. Now, you must be wondering how in the world they do a mammogram on your armpit, right? I was wondering the same thing. I mean, generally, the breast tissue is flopped onto a flat surface and then squished to smithereens with a plastic paddle-looking thing. The last time I checked, my armpit was not floppable! They set me up at a right angle to the flat surface. The side of my chest was vertical and my arm was horizontal, with my armpit at the corner. Somehow, the tech got my pit onto the flat surface and then squished it with the paddle thing, which also dug uncomfortably into my shoulder. It was awkward, but way less awkward and painful than the breast mammogram. Anyway, after several attempts, a successful picture was taken and the tech went to confer with the doctor. She came in and said that she wanted to go to the next step, a biopsy. And I thought, “DAMMIT!” This doctor was much more forthcoming than the one three years ago who kept parroting, “In an effort to provide thorough care . . . . ” She again said that she just wasn’t sure about one spot, and the thickness and dark color of the scar tissue made it hard to see what was going on, so a biopsy was the logical next step.
I went into the scheduling room with the nurse. It was the same room where the previous doctor had informed me that a biopsy would be necessary. The same room where I sat on the couch and waited for the doctor for what seemed like forever, trying desperately to not freak out, failing miserably. The superstitious part of me decided that this time, I would steer clear of the couch, in hopes that the news would be better this time.
My biopsy will be tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll find out what’s going on by the end of the week. I want to have faith and believe that this will turn out all clear, just like the bone scan. It’s just that I’m having a serious case of deja vu, and I’m feeling like when it rains . . . . . . it pours.