|Posted by Eggroll Creative on September 16, 2015 at 4:15 PM|
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming with my complete self-absorption over being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Along with fretting, panicking, googling, speculating, catastrophizing and being told to "calm down," I've also been product-testing some pretty amazing technology. The new 3d mammogram technology is definitely Eggroll Proof, as was the ultrasound that followed. I snagged a photo of it while the technician left the room for a second (above). In fact, these tests were so good, that the radiologist practically had me diagnosed within 24 hours. Unfortunately, it took another whole month to prove she was right.
That's because I happen to be the one in a gajillion patients who get a discordant 14-gauge ultrasound guided biopsy.
Are you surprised?
Or are you just confused about what the word discordant means?
Here's what happened: Despite demonstrating that the needle passed through the mass, and being absolutely confident that she got the tissue from the mass, the doctor who did the biopsy came up with benign tissue. So benign that the original radiologist was adamant we try again. "These results are not concordant with the imaging," she wrote. After 15 hours of celebrating what I thought was good news, I learned that "discordant" means that she pulled up ordinary breast tissue, but the radiology shows something NOT ordinary.
I guess as a hat-tip of respect to the biopsy-doctor, they changed my BIRADS rating from a 5 (likely-95% cancer) to 4 (suspicious-20% chance). Because I had a trip scheduled, it would take another two weeks for an excisional biopsy. Finally last week, with a scar that would dash my hopes of ever being a bikini model, I learned that they did find invasive ductal carcinoma.
Give that plucky radiologist a raise, I say!
The fact that I am still married, that my children are not in a mental institution and that so far I am kind of sort of hanging on to my job as a freelance marketing writer, is really kind of a miracle from God. One moment I feel brave and positive, and the next moment I'm calculating my 5 and 10 year survival rates. It doesn't help that I had to go off my hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Lack of Sleep, Hot Flashes and Extreme Irritability?
Meet Total Uncertainty and Constant Waiting.
By the way, if you have a spiculated mass on your mammogram as I did, even though the odds are that it is cancer, the odds are also good it's a low grade cancer. And if it's under a centimeter, as mine is, that should probably also end up being good news. But guess what? None of that really matters when you are waiting and wondering about the results of your pathology results, and MRI's, and sentinel node biopsy, and you have plans and things to do and you don't have time for any of it.
If you are a product tester, you are still going to FREAK OUT.
And you know what I say? Good on you! Scream, shout, cry, get it all over with. This waiting won't last forever. Of course worrying won't help and it may even be a sin, but it beats drinking heavily, because that's a carcinogen.
And if anyone tells you to calm down?
Start laughing maniacally.
Or if you would rather wait for your results OUTSIDE of the mental hospital, try visiting the https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/84/topic/833500?page=27" target="_blank">CRAZY TOWN WAITING ROOM on breastcancer.org.
Not only did they answer all my questions, but they share recipes and pictures of their dogs, and generally do a great job of making fun of themselves. And it's probably cheaper than professional care.
See you there.
Categories: Health and Fitness