Cancer log 41: Two final…

Cancer log 41: Two final procedures today, probably unnecessary, but better safe than sorry. The MRI had turned up two more suspicious areas, one on each breast, that hadnt shown up on mammogram. So they wanted to biopsy them, to be sure they werent additional occurrences of cancer; odds are, given their placement, theyre just scarring from the reduction surgery, but no way to be sure without going in and actually looking.

They started with ultrasound biopsy on the left breast, which was basically the same as what they did before. Minor pinching / burning from the lidocaine going in, but then I was numb, and the actual biopsy didnt hurt at all.

The MRI was rougher. First, its like a regular breast MRI. You get an IV, so they can put in the contrast dye. Little pinching there, not bad. Then you lie down prone, and your breasts hang through holes in the table. Very dignified. You slide into the machine, and then theres a long time of you not moving and them taking loud pictures. Contrast starts up, more pictures. That whole process takes close to an hour.

Then the biopsy  they slide you out, and more lidocaine (this time on my right breast). The nurse put one hand on my back, to hold me steady, and then gave me her other hand to hold. I really appreciated it. When the needle goes in, it just pinches a little, but its still startling, especially when youre face down and cant see anything. And then they slowly push it in, a bit at a time, numbing more as they go, so its a slight burning. Its really nice having a hand to squeeze then. You tense up, bracing to deal with the pain, and I dont really know why squeezing helps, but it really does. Even though its really not that much pain, actually  no worse than a stubbed toe.

Once youre all numb, they insert the biopsy needle. Then back into the MRI machine, more photos to check the placement. Back out, start up the biopsy, and this one sounds different from the previous  the ultrasound biopsy sounds like a staple-gun, and I really felt like I ought to be re-upholstering furniture. We made the headboard for our bed, and there was a lot of stapling. The MRI biopsy needle spins in place, and it sounds like a dentists drill. Not my favorite sound ever. Then they slide you back in, to check that they biopsied the right place, and you really hope they did. Then they take you back out, and whoops, they need to biopsy a bit more. Okay. More whirring. Back in  that one was good, finally. Almost done.

Back out, to have the marker clip placed (I now have lots of little pieces of titanium in my breasts, which seems like it ought to come with a superpower, but sadly, not.) And then the needle comes up, and its final mammograms (more squishing, really??), clean-up and bandaging and ice packs and dont lift anything over five pounds for the next three days. Hey, that backpack looks heavier than it should be. Sorry, nurse!

Today was a long haul  I started at 9:30, and finished at 2:30, so five solid hours. Was feeling pretty exhausted by the end; luckily, Roshani had dropped me off this morning, and picked me up at the end. I could have driven myself, but I was happy not to. And then we went out for a late Thai consolatory lunch, and ordered too much food, but the shumai were very delicious. Also tempura, beef salad, and catfish curry. Many leftovers to supplement my dinner.

Tomorrow @ 3 I meet with my oncologist to get my treatment plan and schedule, finally. FINALLY. Cant wait. But for now, going to pour myself into bed. Kevin is waiting with tea, and I have a good book. There was nothing really terrible about today, but somehow, exhausting anyway. Pinch pinch pinch pinch, hold still, pinch pinch pinch, etc. and so on.

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