While I was waiting the nursing assistant was in the room with me going over my medical background. She suddenly started scolding me about not having my pap in a while and not having my mammogram since I was over 40. I was hurting and was hungry since I was doing this at my lunch hour so I said, "Fine! set up some appointments for me"
My mammogram was during the first week of February and my pap was going to be on Valentines Day, fun. The mammogram was not bad, the technician was actually nice and tried her best to make it the best she could possibly do for that type of test. She told me the radiologist will look at them and results should be available in 2 weeks and I went on my happy way knowing I would not have to do that for another 2 years.
Valentines comes by and I have an evening appointment after work. That morning I get a call from a nurses assistant saying I need to make another appointment with a radiologist to "recheck something" and it will have to be in Martinez and for at least 2 hours. I sent up an appointment for the next Thursday. I call my boss and extend my vacation time since I am off to Pantheacon for President weekend and need to recover for a few days afterwards. I figure 2 hours of my morning and back to enjoy the last day of my vacation. I let my OB/GYN about this during the pap and she checked and did not feel anything.
My family has an issue with lumpy breasts. I had an issue before when I was 19 and had a lump that did not go away for a couple months on the same breast that this issue seemed to be so I was not worried. I figured I would go there, tell the radiologist that I have lumpy breasts and my history and she would look and say "yes looks like a cyst" and be done with it.
Pantheacon was a blast. It was the first time I was there the full weekend and first time I was staying at the actual hotel. I got massively sick that first night and was hugging the toilet for 4 hours but was fine for the rest of the weekend. I did not go to as many workshops as I thought I was going to do but hung out with my spiritual family and generally had a good time.
Tuesday and Wednesday were fun just hanging around the house and reading or watching tv. It was a nice way to relax and begin the assimilation back into the real world. Thursday came around and I went over to Kaiser of Martinez.
I was given a mammogram again and was asked to go back to the waiting room, it seems the equipment is better and provides better resolution that the other Kaisers. The radiologist was not happy with what she saw and asked I get an ultrasound. So more waiting but the room was nice and had tea available. I was then seen by an ultrasound technician who just kept looking at the screen and running over one part of my breast. The actual radiologist came out because she was not liking what she saw and ran the ultrasound. She then asked me if I had to leave and go back to work. I said I took the day off which made her happy and asked if she could do a biopsy in 45 minutes. All I could say was yes.
I waited in the waiting room. This time more and more women were showing up. I was trying not to cry. I hate crying in public. I feel like I am weak if I cry in public. One of the women there was wearing a headscarf. It was pretty. I knew that she must have or had chemo and breast cancer. I was getting scared, this was getting beyond having lumpy breasts.
I was called 45 minutes later and was placed on a table right next to the one I was on earlier and the radiologist was back. I turned my head away. I could not look as she put the needle in me. I guess it is my way of thinking that if I can't see it then the pain won't happen. She numbed me first and then said she was going to take 3 needle cores for the biopsy. It took a while for the numbing to take affect, they were nice and made sure I was comfortable and I was not feeling anything before they began. She warned me right before each core was taken, it was a loud click noise so she did not want me to jump. She ended up taking 5 instead of 3. My first thoughts after that was, if this was really cancerous what is keeping these cells from now leaving this thing and going on to other parts of my breast.
They put a marker in me right at the place of the lump. I just wanted to go home after that an have a good cry that I was fighting. I had to stay longer and have another mammogram to make sure the marker was where it was supposed to be. The technician was nice and was as careful as she could be. I was still in pain and in slight shock. I asked if I could see what it was and she took me around and showed me where the mass was, it was kidney bean shaped. Instead of the easy two hours I thought I was going to have I was there for over 4 hours and went home with pain meds and ice packs that I needed to keep the swelling down. I was told that it would be around 5 business days before I got the results.
I had to call in sick the next day for work. I was in so much pain and so exhausted by the whole deal I just could not get out of bed. I rambled on my message to my boss and asked him to call me, which he did and I told him I was being checked for breast cancer. He was understanding and I felt a little better. I felt bad because I had a cold before I went on my long weekend and worried that I was going to be seen as a slacker calling in sick again after my vacation time.
So I figured it would be a week before I would get a call. No the radiologist called me that Monday to tell me that even though the biopsy came out negative the type of lump/mass I had, it did not mean anything and I needed to have it removed, and I would probably get a call from a surgeon within 24 hours. It was an abnormal papillary lesion. Which I looked up immediately and saw that since it was abnormal that there could be pre or cancerous cells in it in other parts of the lesion that was taken by the biopsy. I let my boss know and when home expecting a call the next day.
I ended up coming into work to a message that was sent at 4 pm the day before from the surgeon's assistant. I had to wait until 8:30 to return the call and set up an appointment to meet with her to talk about the surgery that was to happen. She let me know what I was to expect and briefly checked my breast. I had about 18 questions which she answered without even had to be asked. I guess I was asking pretty standard stuff. She told me her assistant would get back to me within a day to set up my appointment.
I get a call within an hour after I get back to work. My surgery would be on St. Paddies day. I sent in a vacation request for that day and the day after since the surgeon said I only needed 2 days to recover. He approved the request right away.
The day of my surgery I was nervous, my sister picked me up and took me to the Pleasanton facility. I found that strange since the surgeon's office was in Walnut Creek yet I had to go to Pleasanton for my surgery. The first thing that had to happen is they had to put a hook needle into my breast to show the surgeon where the mass/lesion was so she could remove it. That was fun, NOT. It was a race for them.
The put me in the mammogram machine and used one of the smaller squishing things and it had an opening in it so it left the skin exposed. The squished me down to the point of real pain the screwed it in 2 more notches. Then the had the gall to tell me to open my eyes and relax. The person in charge then shot numbing fluid in me and immediately stuck the silver needle hook into me. That was painful. In Martinez they waited until I told them I was not in pain to stick any other needle in me these two did not wait and the woman had the gall to wonder why I was still in pain since she gave me the full amount. They high-fived themselves for doing it what they needed to do in 10 minutes. To their credit though, they knew it was not the most comfortable or fun procedure to be done so they were trying to get me out of it as fast as they could, I am at least grateful for them for that.
Through all of this I forgot they gave me back my medical card and I put it in my pocket. I was to give it to my sister so she could get the meds I was going to need after the surgery. When I got to the operation waiting room I had to take all my clothes off and lay on the bed. My mind was all on this needle hook in me and how alien it was and not liking it. My sister came in after they put the IV into me which I wanted to rip out of me right away. It was a foreign body and it did not belong in my hand. At this time I was convinced I did not get my card back and had my sister on a wild goose chase trying to find it. She was able to get my meds with the check in sheet though.
The last thing I remember is them setting me up on the table. The sedated me and did a local for the operation. Next thing I knew I was in the recovery room and they brought my sister in. I tried to fall back asleep but as soon as they started talking to me I could not do it. It would have probably been best if I could. They gave me a gram cracker and some juice to drink since I asked for some pain medication since I could start feeling pain. I wanted to leave so they started to sit me up and from what my sister said I turned really green. They gave me anti-nausea medicine into my IV and it worked right away. As I got dressed I found my medical card and then we left.
My sister went to Safeway and got me some food I was going to be allowed to eat. It was 2:30 so I had not eaten since 11 pm the night before so was getting hungry. Thanks to the anti-nausea medicine I was walking around fine and felt rather well so my sister went home so she could miss the traffic. I went and took a nap thinking I was going to be okay.
I woke up around 5:30ish and the anti-nausea medicine wore off and I was feeling very dizzy and had a huge headache. I tried to eat and drink but the headache was too much. I sat on the couch and held me head to make the pain and dizziness go away. The next thing I knew it was 7:30 and it was no better and I was feeling sick. I started hanging out in the downstairs bathroom and within an hour I was able to get the world to spin just right that allowed me to get sick. I think I puked for at least 30 minutes. When I was able to blow my nose without getting sick I knew I was better. Jello really feels weird when coming out of your nose. I ended up sleeping on the couch that night with all the lights still on.
I was feeling better the next day and continued to ice but refused to take any of the medicine that was given to me. I ate some dry toast at first and started drinking as much water as I could since I knew I was really dehydrated. I was really glad I was feeling better since I had to drive to get my taxes done that day. I am getting a refund and did fine driving with an icepack in my bra but next time I would put that off for another week and just stay home and rest.
I was told that it was going to take 4-7 days to get the pathology done of the mass/lesion taken out. I think it took about a week to not feel tired all the time from the surgery. I silently cursed the surgeon for saying only 1-2 days because I would have told my boss longer if she had told me longer.
I went to my surgeon's office a week later. I still had not heard anything about my results. I figured she would tell me at our appointment. She moved my appointment up by 1.5 hours the day after the surgery. I showed up about 30 minute early for the new appointment since I was being cautious due to the bad weather. She called me in early and checked me out, took off the tape strips and said I was healing nicely. She did not have any of the results because they had to send the samples out to a specialist and she did not know what the initial results were or when she would be getting the results. She did tell me that she would let me know as soon as she gets them though.
So now here I am waiting. Which is hard because my mind does to the worse possible outcome. I have a plan though for every outcome though. I guess that is a good thing.