A week after I had the mammogram confirming there was a lump in my right breast, I was scheduled for a biopsy. Actually, two biopsies. One for the lump in my breast and the second for the one in my armpit. The second was so small that an ultrasound was the only way it would've been detected I was told. I consider myself very lucky.
Someone once sang, "The waiting is the hardest part" and it certainly has been for me. I want this condition seen, diagnosed, treated and done with already! Enough with the waits! But that's not realistic or healthy. Breast cancer is conquered one step at a time.
My next step was the biopsy. Ultrasound with a needle chaser! The idea is far worse than the actual procedure. You simply lie on your back with the 'questionable' breast cleansed with Betadine then it's draped with a thing that looks like a kid's 'Goodnight' pad with a hole in the middle and then the inside of your boob is onscreen. If you're lucky (or inclined) enough to have proper position, you get to watch the entire procedure. Once they numb you with a Lidocaine injection, you don't have anything else to do but watch--you certainly can't feel anything. Watching made me feel better somehow.
I watched as the dark space in the ultrasound was pierced with a device that took a sample of the mass in question and sounded like something at the dentist's office. Drill baby drill! Felt a little pressure but no pain at all. The lump in my armpit or axilla was a little deeper, a little harder to sample but the procedure was done properly and painlessly.
After everything was done, I was patched up with sterile dressings, given instructions to follow for the sites' aftercare and given two cute little discs that turned out to be mini icepacks. Now, another wait begins.
Only I could have scheduled a biopsy on a Friday! Why not? Wasn't I the genius who had a mammogram on Friday the 13th? But this was particularly maddening because my results would not be ready before Monday or "the next business day." CRAP!!!
I was given an appointment with a surgeon 'just in case.' These people specialize in this area, they already knew what the outcome was going to be and were being proactive.
My weekend was spent worrying about what could be. 'Imagine the worst,' right? I was prepping to restart a career--now that would have to be put on hold. Luckily, I found a remarkable book called "A Breast Cancer Alphabet" and it's been a godsend. It covers everything you can imagine in 208 pages and is written by a woman who writes as if she's known you all your life. Anything you can ask, she can answer. The author got me through the weekend. I'm ready.
Monday the news came.
I have breast cancer.