I felt nothing during the actual biopsy procedure. I was relaxed and comfortable. Using a computer screen, the doctor guided the instrument to the nodule and cut three snippets. He told me when to expect to hear the “click” as the instrument made the cut. I heard it, but didn’t feel it. The entire procedure took less than 30 minutes.
The nurse placed an ice pack over the biopsy site (a little bigger than a needle prick mark) and gave me instructions on how to keep my breast cold for the next several hours, which helps with swelling, pain, and discomfort. The instructions said to use frozen green peas. Yep, green peas! Had to buy a couple of bags of frozen green peas. They’re very pliable and work wonders as an ice pack. I divided the bag into smaller bags. And my bra worked wonders in keeping it in place. That did the job-I had absolutely no swelling, pain, or discomfort from that day to this!
The next day-on June 24-the doctor called to tell me that they found cancer cells in the biopsy specimen. Awww, crap!
I was instructed to make an appointment to see Dr. Tu, which I did. He gave me the names of several breast surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation doctors. I chose Dr. Dawn Hills for my breast surgeon, Dr. Mark McNamara for my oncologist, and Dr. Helen Chen for my radiologist.
On July 15, I’m sitting in the examining room, waiting for Dr. Hills to enter. I’m very pleased with how calm I seem to be.
The technician knocks and enters the room to take my vitals. Height is 5′ 2″, weight is (I ain’t tellin’), temperature is normal, and blood pressure is………116/58! I AM calm!!
I have to take off my top and put on that paper jacket-open in the front.
Dr. Hills knocks and enters the room. I don’t remember our initial conversation, but she performs a thorough breast exam, tells me to get dressed and that she’ll wait for me outside the door, and we’ll go to another room to talk.
In the consultation room, she draws a picture of a breast-a front view and a side view.
I have the most common form of breast cancer-invasive ductal carcinoma. She draws milk ducts in the picture and explains that the cancer started in a duct and then burst out of it; hence, the “invasive” part. I understand. I just want it out.
She explains more medical stuff about lymph nodes, sentinel nodes, etc. She wants me to get an MRI so she can have a three-dimensional view of the lump.
I really like Dr. Hills! Good vibes! She explains thoroughly, answers all my questions, and makes sure that I understand. And she has a great sense of humor!
A few days later, I had the MRI. The results showed a “suspicious” lymph node under my right arm. Another biopsy is necessary. I prayed that it was benign. It was. It was just fatty tissue. Thank God!!