My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone asked me a bunch of questions and took my vitals, and all was good. This woman then asked if I wanted to talk to someone about being a part of another study, and I was all over it. Unfortunately that study involved having an IV in while I was getting a mammogram, so I put the kibosh on that. I explained to the woman I went through natural childbirth to avoid needles and that I recently passed out giving one small vial of blood. She practically ran out of the room. Worth noting is the researcher said she was looking for people with a low to mid risk of cancer. I thought I was low, so that did not sit really well with me.

Next I moved to the procedure room. The first woman (nurse? technician?) there asked me which breast I was having biopsied. That did not instill a lot of confidence, but I guess they like to double-check. Or maybe just make sure you know what the hell is going on. Then the doc and an observing doc came in, and the one who was going to do my procedure explained what was going to happen. I asked if I could participate in my neighbor's water gun battle that afternoon, and that was a big, fat no. Next came the numbing with a needle, which was tough for me, but luckily another nurse/technician who had just come in offered to hold my hand. It reminded me of when I was laboring (to review, drugless) with J, and I was squeezing the hub's hand. Crushing was more like it. I did not take the same approach with this lovely blond gal. Fortunately, that was over in a few minutes.

Then came the actual procedure. Throughout, the doc kept asking if I was okay. The women would try to make conversation with me; they really helped to put me at ease. At no point did I ever watch what the doc was doing. I was really curious, but I figured the odds were in my favor if I watched her cut into my left mamm, I might pass out. And just listening to the popping sound every time a sample was obtained (at least I think that was what was happening) was disturbing enough, even though she warned me every time. It did not hurt; I could just feel a bit of pressure at times, and most of that was likely due to the ultrasound wand. (I had an ultrasound-guided biopsy.) At some point a teeny-tiny "clip" that looked like a "cause" ribbon was inserted to mark the area. Someone gave me a piece of paper for my medical records. Pretty sure I lost that already. But it won't go off at an airport, so no biggie.

Probably after about 20 minutes, it was over. They bandaged me up and sent me to have a mammogram, which fortunately was not too bad; I think they do that to make sure the clip is in place. Then I waited a couple of minutes, went into another room, and the woman there placed Steri-Strips around my incision, and I was re-bandaged/taped up with what looked to be some serious adhesive. I was next given an ice pack and instructions, and I was sent on my way.

All told, I was in the office for about 1.5 hours, so not too bad. I headed home, ice pack in place. I was a little self-conscious as I walked into the waiting area as there were some guys there. The pack was small, but I must disagree with the nurse who said "you can't even see it." I was a little lumpy on one side.

My drive home was not nearly as pleasant and traffic-free as my ride into work that morning, but it was not awful. The rest of the afternoon and evening, I used an ice pack every two hours, popped some Tylenol a few times (you cannot have aspirin, Motril, or Advil), and I experienced just mild discomfort. I could not sleep on my left side that night, but I slept well since I was so tired. About 24 hours later, I could finally shower. Getting the adhesive off was a real bee-ach. But no other issues. I took a short walk later that day, and everything was pretty much back to normal.

Yesterday afternoon, I got a call that all was good. I panicked when the woman first identified herself because I thought my test results would go right into the portal and a call must be bad news, but thankfully that was not the case.

So, yeah! Such a relief. I am glad I went through the procedure. I could have done without spending the $200 or whatever it will be, but knowing me, it would have weighed on my mind for 6 months.

Four days later, one of the Steri-Strip still remains (I am afraid to remove it). Below it I can make out the incision. It is very thin and maybe a centimeter long. I was not expecting that, but I presume it will fade. I also notice a dull aching sometimes (like right now, as I am writing this). But there is no redness or puffiness, so I think I am good.

It's all good.


bluzdude said…
I'm glad it didn't turn out to be as traumatic as you feared it would be.

(And I never watch when they're putting a needle in me.)
Facie said…
Thanks, Bluz. :-)
chris h. said…
Ah, I'm just getting caught up on my blogs. I'm so glad this turned out well for you, and thanks for documenting it. If I ever have to have it, at least I will know what to expect.

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