Thursday, March 01, 2012

Exhaling, a bit

I have dense breasts.  Lucky me.  This means that every year, in addition to a mammogram, I get sent for an ultrasound.  It's not painful, though it is a bit messy with that goop they use.  Last year, there was something the doctor wanted to keep an eye on.  This year, new radiology center, new viewpoint.  The new doctor took a look, compared this year's ultrasounds with last year's and decided that the something had increased significantly in size, so she wanted a needle biopsy.  I was doing okay with it, until I went in for the biopsy and read the paperwork - including the "increased significantly" part.  While waiting to be taken back, I'm worrying.  About the pain I might feel, the 1/8" to 1/4" incision they will make.  About bleeding, risk of infection.  About fainting.  I don't do well with certain sensations - like having stitches removed.  And of course, I'm worried about what they could find.  So, finally I go back, they explain things again, I warn them about the fainting.  Not to worry they say.  Go in, different tech this time, she takes a look from multiple angles, very nice explains this is the longest part of the whole thing.  The doctor comes in starts looking and sees nothing but normal breast tissue.  Yes, there is something that from certain angles will look rounded and separate, but if you move the wand, it is seen to be connected to other breast tissue.  Exhale.  It is now also evident that the ultrasound tech didn't think that there was anything but normal breast tissue there either.  This doctor didn't think a biopsy was in order, but based on my mother's history of breast cancer, recommended a breast MRI to be safe.   So, I haven't exhaled completely, as I haven't yet had the MRI, but I'm feeling much better than I did a few days ago. 
So, a few more comments - first, A is wonderful.  He was supportive, but not overbearing.  He was also quietly doing his own research, preparing to make sure I got the best treatment if there was a real something there.  Second - WTF first doctor?  How can it be so clear to a tech and a second doctor that there was nothing there, but to you, it wasn't.  I appreciate the caution, but personally would be leery of having that doctor read my exams again.

1 comment:

Brenna said...

I swear there's a course in medical school called "How to scare the living shit out of your patients for fun and profit." I hear too many stories like yours. I don't know if it's in the interest of full knowledge or if it's just a doctor's way, but I personally wouldn't mind the not knowing worst case potential until there's something to worry about.