06 October 2011

Balls, Birthdays, Boobs, & Books

Saturday morning, my husband will be attending the MSU game at B'ham; whilst I take my friend out for brunch.  That evening, she is having a hah~YUGE birthday bash, with Mexican food, margaritas, and rich deep dark chocolate cake.  Yea for football!  Yea for birthdays!

October is National Book Month.  Read one.  Read two.  Hell, read a bunch!  Read one for every day of the month, or at least for every week.  Do your bit.  Yea for books!

This month marks the 25th anniversary of National Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Last month, I visited the women's clinic to have my yearly exam; I didn't realize that I wasn't actually due for a pap til NEXT November.  Silly me, apparently since my insurance changed their coverage to only reimbursing every two years; that's now the standard in care.  Here I was thinking that all the hype about yearly paps was for my own good.  Silly me.

While the doc was poking at me, but not doing a pap smear, he said, "ahhh, I think you are past due for a mammogram."  Wow, you can tell that from way down there?  I am impressed.  So can you also tell if I'm due for a tooth cleaning?

So before I left, their office called over to the Breast Health Care Clinic {that is the actual name, we take mam~management seriously here} and scheduled a pat down for me, cuz they're nice like that.  Tuesday, I show up, they squish me, and take some lovely pix with their x~ray specs.  Then I go to perch until they ogle the lovely shadows and interpret them using their magical mystical methods.

Now I am a very lumpy bumpy person, always have been.  But fluid filled simple cysts always raise the alarm, just cuz they want to make sure that they really are what they appear to be.  So I was not at all surprised that they wanted me to return for an ultrasound that afternoon.

Except when I viewed the mammogram results, there was something that didn't look like the run~of~the~mill floating fluid sacs that make my breasts so much more fun.  There was a dense pea just sitting there, by itself, deep within my right breast.  The other usual cysts are easily manipulated, just under the surface of my skin, and they are diffuse.  This pea was very dense, a bright lil piece of gravel that looked different in every way possible.  So, I was all, "yeah, let's check that out."

A few hours later found me slathered with boob~lube and a scanner showing some simple cysts.  The doc kept saying, "yeah, that's a big one, but totally benign" and "that one too" and "oh yeah, that one too."  Finally, he just started chanting, "simple cyst, simple cyst, simple cyst".  Sorta like he was checking off a grocery list.

I asked him what it looks like when it isn't a simple cyst.  He stops, turns to me, giving me all his attention.  He describes how a mass that isn't a simple cyst tends to be so dense that it doesn't let the sonic sound waves pass thru, so this shadow is cast.  I nod my head, just imagining, cuz I've only ever seen my fluid~filled simple cysts which allow sound waves to pass right thru, cuz fluid is like that~~a great conductor of all sorts of waves.  He turns his attention back to the ultrasound screen and replaces the scanner on my breast and immediately a black void with a trailing shadow appears.

I didn't giggle, or say, "oh, ya mean like that?  Does it look like that?"  Cuz the answer was obvious and not everyone shares my love of well timed moments.  I did point out that the pea is a just a lil guy, about a centimeter and a half it looked from the film.  Yes, he agrees, about a centimeter point seven, actually.  So, I say, about half an inch.  Uhm yes, he confirms.

If this lil pea is cancer, it would be stage one.  Easily removed, a lumpectomy.  The treatment tends to be a few weeks of follow~up radiation to make sure that any stray cancer cells are killed off.  Easy peasy.

That would be worst case scenario.  But in all likelihood, the pea is a calcified nodule that happens as women age.  So today, I went in for a biopsy.

First, they tried to aspirate it.  A lil thin needle goes down into a fluid filled sac and then the fluid is drawn up into the needle and the sac shrinks.  I've had it done multiple times, in various locations {including my thyroid, back when I had one}, cuz I am a lumpy bumpy person.

But this is a solid mass, not aspirateable, as it were.  So out comes the core needle which is some larger in bore and has a grooved tip.  A spring loaded gun pushes the sharp lil corkscrew into the solid mass and takes a sample of the tissue to be sent off to be analyzed.  The sound when it fires off is like an industrial staple gun, or an air nail gun {if you are into construction and are more familiar with air guns then office equipment}.

I asked if they just couldn't remove the pea.  I mean, it's lil, and the needle could probably suck it right up.  At any rate, they did take three samples.  I should know what the pea's composition is on Tuesday.  What a week!

Due to the pounding and poking and prodding, my right breast should be particularly colorful tomorrow.  Right now, I'm sporting a wad of bandages taped to my breast.  The nurse practically wrapped the tape under, across, and over so that half of my breast is swathed in wide white tape.  That will feel oh so good coming off, I'm sure.

Every one should have so much fun!


  1. Oh man. I'm sorry you have to experience this wait and worry. Put it out of your mind as best you can and enjoy the bash on Saturday.

  2. A serious matter - but ya made me chuckle. Looking Forward to ALL the festivities on Saturday.

  3. OK, so I'm here on a Tuesday, Oct. 11.
    You have my e mail, I will check back.
    You should honestly write books.
    Your descriptions of all the tortures I went through are perfect.


Thanks for taking the time and effort to let your thoughts be known!