A journal of my experiences with breast cancer to inform those who are interested and to help any one else who might have just been diagnosed.

“[She] will have no fear of bad news; [her] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Mammogram, etc.

This was my first mammogram, but the radiologist and staff were so friendly and kind that it was not a bad experience at all. I was then off to the already scheduled sonogram. Lots of getting dressed and getting undressed. : ) 
I watched as the technician did the sonogram of the mass, and I was still thinking at this point that it was nothing so I found watching quite interesting.She then left to get them signed off by the doctor. She came back and said that the doctor was coming, and she was going to get some additional pictures meanwhile. She began getting sonogram pictures of my underarms and it was then I realized that something must not be right.
A few minutes later the doctor came in, looked at the sonograms of my underarm and then sat down to tell me that it was a cancerous mass, and from its size (they guessed that it was about 2.5 cm) she estimated that it was a stage 2 cancer. She said that, from the sonogram pictures, it did not look as if it had migrated to the lymph nodes, which is where the cancer would travel if it were to move out of the mass. She said that she would like to complete a biopsy now, if possible. I called Steven and told him that I had cancer, that I would be staying later for a biopsy and asked him to call Sandy (my best friend) and tell her. It was a lot for him to digest in one tiny call.
The doctor gave me a local and then made a tiny incision in my breast. She then placed an instrument in that grabs pieces of the tumor for testing, which sounded a lot like a staple gun. They thought that I might be interested in watching the process on a screen, but now that I knew it was cancer instead of just a benign lump, it wasn't fun anymore and I didn't want to look at it at all. I just felt sick to my stomach. She took three pieces for pathology. They also inserted a marker so that in all future mammograms and the like they would know exactly where to look. I must mention that although it measured about 2.5 cm, which sounds like a lot, everyone that examined me had a little difficulty in finding it. It really didn't seem that large by touch. They now sent me down to get a second set of mammograms.
The technician there was not surprised to see me as she recognized it as a cancerous mass in the first set. By this time Sandy had cancelled her class (she is a college professor) and had come to guide me through these last tests and took me home. They gave me a large pink book that tells all the ins-and-outs of this world I was now a part of, but I asked Sandy to slip it in her backpack because I was not yet ready to share this with the kids. We had to now go through the motions of a birthday dinner out at a restaurant and cake at home. It was actually a good thing because I was able to forget about it a little and let it slowly sink in.

Please keep us in your prayers.

"I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.
When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way.
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion …”
~ A prayer of David when he was trapped in the cave, Psalm 142

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