Today, I went in for my mammogram and needle biopsy. They asked me if I wanted to pay an extra $75.00 to have a 3D mammogram. Knowing we had a high deductible and not knowing what the future held, I opted out of the added expense. I could feel the lump, they could feel the lump, so I couldn’t imagine them not being able to see the lump on the mammogram. They sent me back to the dressing area to put on a medical shirt that opens in the front, and then I waited for my turn to have my boobies squished. A mammogram is by no means a painless procedure. I have to give the women credit for trying to do their best to make this uncomfortable procedure as comfortable as possible. When they believe they’ve taken all the pictures they will need, they have me sit outside one of the mammo rooms to wait for my biopsy.
A nurse comes out and tells me the radiologist would like to do an ultra sound before doing the needle biopsy. I wasn’t told why, but Dr. Parikh had mentioned the possibility of an ultra sound to determine the size of the cyst or calcium deposit to determine what type of surgery might have to be done to take it out. I wasn’t too worried at this point.
The ultra sound tech did the ultra sound on both my breasts. She found 3 small black spots. She stopped and measured them. She told me this looked like typical fibrocysts. She didn’t seem too worried about them, so I didn’t either. On the bottom of my left breast where I could feel the knot was a large abnormally shaped grey shadow. I watched as the tech measured it intently. She didn’t say much as she added color to the mass. She hadn’t done this with any of the other ones. At this point, I began to get concerned.
The tech left and told me the radiologist would be coming in to talk to me about the needle biopsy. I assumed he would come in and go over the pictures with me and tell me what to expect during the biopsy. Then I figured he would do the biopsy, but that isn’t how it happened. Instead, he redid the entire procedure. At all the small, black spots, he measured them and told me these appeared to be benign fibrocysts many women get, and he didn’t think we really needed to be too concerned about them. When he came to the larger, grey mass he also became quiet. I watched his eyes turn, and I could see the concern in his eyes. For once in my life, I wasn’t grateful for my ability to read people as well as I could through their eyes. Eyes just don’t lie very often. He also measured the mass and took several more colors with the color inside of it. Finally, he tells me he feels like this mass needs to be biopsied but he doesn’t feel comfortable during a typical needle biopsy. Instead, he would like to do an ultra sound guided biopsy. He told me although he was concerned about this tumor, and he just didn’t want to take the risks associated with a needle biopsy. The only problem is there wasn’t a slot for an ultra sound guided biopsy, so I would have to make yet another appointment to have this done.
Another nurse or tech explained how the ultra sound guided biopsy would go. She explained how a micro sized marker would be placed in the area where the biopsy was done. This is done so radiologists know the mass has already been checked and on what date. She also sets my next appointment for October 21st. More waiting…more time for my husband to worry…more time for me to pray even though I think I already know what is coming. The mass didn’t look good. I don’t think I needed to be in the medical field to know what I was looking at on the screen wasn’t supposed to be there.