Today is finally the day that I have my breast biopsy.
I saw the surgeon on Saturday and he was very reassuring and kind. He did a breast exam and the good news is that the lump is not palpable. It can be seen on the mammogram but did not clearly show up on the ultrasound. All of these are good signs that even if it is breast cancer it is so early in development.
After the exam, he left the room and said he would be right back in to go over the options. I thought my heart would beat out of my chest while I was waiting for him to come back in. He came in and said I had three options:
- Wait and see if it grew or changed in the next six months
- Have a biopsy
I heard too many stories during breast cancer awareness month of men/women who waited six months only to find out it was cancer and would now require radiation and/or chemo because it had progressed. I was not open to the “wait six months” option nor was my OB/GYN or the surgeon.
A biopsy made the most sense. He explained that there were two types of biopsies. Both would be done using a mammogram, but one was a simple procedure done with a local anesthesia and needle. The other biopsy was more invasive and would require sedation and an incision. He would know which one he could do after he looked at one more film that was coming from the breast center where I had my last mammogram.
The final option is the MRI. I told him we don’t even need to go over that as an option because I am so claustrophobic that the breast lump would be the least of my worries because I would have a heart attack in the machine.
We decided on the biopsy and the surgeon said he would look at the film he was waiting for on Monday and then call me with a time to do the biopsy. That distraught feeling as if I am never going to get answers came over me and I asked him “how soon could it be done.” He said he could possibly fit me in Tuesday but with the holidays it might be the beginning of the next week. I must have looked distraught because the surgeon was very kind and told me he understood how anxious I was for answers.
By yesterday afternoon I still hadn’t heard from the surgeon’s office, so I had convinced myself that I would have to wait one more week. At 3:00 pm his office called and they asked if I could be at the outpatient surgery building at noon the next day for the procedure to take place at 1:00 pm.
I never thought I would be so happy to have a biopsy scheduled. But I really was so happy! I just want answers and to put this behind me. This all started October 31st and today is November 20. I am ready to have a plan one way or the other.
My happiness about having a biopsy disappeared during the night when the reality that “oh my gosh, I’m having a breast biopsy today” set in. I don’t know what to expect. Will it hurt? How long does it take to get results? We I know something when I go to bed tonight? I know I will get answers, I just wish I knew when.
What started out as a story to educate women about mammograms has turned into my own story about a lump in my breast. The mammogram documentary I agreed to do with a photographer has ended up becoming a journey. The photographer, Glenn, will be with me today so that I can continue to share the journey of finding a lump and the reality of the experience.
Maybe this whole journey was to save my life and maybe along the way there is one other woman out there who has put off getting checked and now she does it.
At 1 pm today the biopsy is finally happening and I will finally have some answers. I’m going to spend the next few hours saying lots of prayers.
The story began on October 31st with an article on mammograms for breast cancer awareness month.