Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I had the diagnostic mammograms and ultrasound yesterday. I was also able to see the lump they are investigating. I have no clue how to read those images but if they are true to size, then the lump is about the size of a small pea. Let me tell you, those diagnostic mammograms are not painless!!! And then I thought the ultrasound would be a cake walk. But no!! The ultrasound was not easy either!!! So at the end, the radiologist said that they are leaning toward a cyst but they are not sure. To help resolve the mystery, they want to do an ultrasound guided biopsy. That would mean they would inject the area with Lidocaine and then using the ultrasound, do the biopsy. They are hoping that once the biopsy needle hits the lump, it will deflate like a flat tire. They will take a chunk of the lump and get a pathology report and then leave a small Titanium bit as a marker to the dreadful, nerve-racking site. This way they can easily find the exact location in 6 months for my follow up mammogram or if the report comes back malignant, then it will be that much easier for the surgeon to find the lump. I hate how doctor's offices make you wait for appointments. How many times have you called the doctor saying I think I have a really bad chest cold and the earliest they can squeeze you in is a month from now?? Great, you could be dead from pneumonia by then!! Same thing here!! I am doing my best to not burst into tears making the appointment and the earliest they can get me in is in 2 weeks!!! I have to walk around for the next 2 weeks not knowing what is going happening!! The only consolation is that the ultrasound technician did say that even at this point, 80% of the biopsies come back with happy results. Except what worries me is that I had even better odds of a good outcome the last time I had a biopsy done and then I spent the next decade or more in and out of the radiology department of the hospital and being quarantined because of the mega high doses of radiation they were hitting me with!!! So they can quote odds to me all day long!
The one thing I did do today that made me feel better about this whole breast cancer scare is that I checked if the surgeon who did my thyroidectomy takes my medical insurance. And sure enough, he does take it. I am planning on calling his office this week and asking how it would work, in case the worst news comes from the biopsy. He is such a skillful surgeon. If you ever meet me, you will be absolutely amazed at how beautiful the thyroidectomy scar is. Remember, he did it back in the days before any arthroscopic type surgery was a choice. I have seen other women and men that went to other surgeons for their thyroidectomy and I have yet to see a prettier scar. So if it comes to my having surgery, I want to have someone I know will take the best care of me!!! Besides, the last time I saw him a few years ago when he cut some melanoma off my leg, he thought it would be a riot to introduce his son to my daughter!! Gotta love a surgeon with a good sense of humor!
Monday, October 01, 2007
This afternoon I have my second mammogram and an ultrasound as the follow up to the first mammogram that seemed to show something was not right. I have been absolutely petrified since I got the letter that something was not right. I have done extensive research on the internet in respected websites such as Mayoclinic and WebMD and all the research indicates that statistics are on my side for a happy outcome this afternoon.
But what if you have already been told once before to not worry; that everything will be fine? And what if your doctor was so shocked at the results even he had to sit down to read the results? And what if you are just a mere 29 years old and nursing your brand new baby when you are diagnosed with cancer? Yup, back in 1988 when my daughter was just 6 months old, they found cancer in my thyroid. That turned into a very drawn out fight to beat it and yet I knew from the beginning that I had one of the easiest cancers to beat.
So now when I am told by nurses or my obgyn that everything will be alright, I say that I understand that statistically speaking, I will most likely have a good outcome this afternoon. But I also know what it is like to hear those dreaded words, "YOU HAVE CANCER!" The obgyn said that most women are afraid of breast cancer because it disfigures the most prominent sign of our femininity but that does not scare me at all. I know plastic surgeons will make me look pretty good and I was probably never going to wear a bikini ever again so that is not a problem. What scares me is the one thing that keeps running thru my mind: how awful it was at my friend's daughter's wedding when the preacher asked who gave this bride away. The husband (who had lost my friend to breast cancer) answered "my wife in heaven and I do". That is what scares me. Disfiguring does not frighten me, my husband changing how he feels about me does not worry me. What I fear is not being here to enjoy all the wonderful things in store for me as a wife and mother. As heart wrenching as it will be, I want to be there when my son goes to court; I want to be there when my son graduates high school followed by my daughter graduating college and then my son eventually graduating college. I want to be there for my 25th wedding anniversary with my hunny who has already suggested that we renew our vows in Vegas with Elvis! Missing out on all those and more scare me and there are no words to console me that everything will be fine; because I have already heard that bit and then spent the next decade in and out of the hospital for treatments.
So finally my anxiousness will be relieved (hopefully) this afternoon and I can get back to spending my energy on fighting the floody builder and helping my son prepare for court. And if the news is the worst, then I will give that cancer a run like it has never seen because when my daughter gets married, it will be me and my hunny there to give the bride away, both of us in person!!!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
After a rather disappointing meeting with the lawyer on Monday, I came to a very sad realization. If we are going to recover any money from the flood, we are in for an ugly legal battle. We are going to have to find civil and water-type engineers willing to testify in court that the overflow pond that sunk my basement was underbuilt or below county standards. That is going to be hard to prove now since the builder came in the morning right after the flood and made a lot of changes. We never thought to take pictures of the pond before the flood. (Oh that's right, I didn't even know that existed until that fateful Sunday night!!) There are other factors to consider but it boils down to this: I am in for one enormous legal fight in order to get any compensation for my loss. This makes no sense to me since I was doing nothing to the builder when he flooded my basement. If I were to enter his house and randomly destroy his belongings, I would not be walking free like I am today. So why does he get away with it when clearly it is his mud still in my basement 4 weeks after he destroyed my peacefulness? I do not get why the burden is mine to get back what is rightfully mine?
So hunny and I decided to contact the builder one last time before we decide to sink a whole lot of money and time into something so formidable. I called the builder last week on the one month anniversary of the flood and asked him what has happened since that wretched night. He said he would not promise anything but he asked me to write a letter detailing what we have lost; he clearly said nothing was promised but that he would look into it. I told him that I had been putting together a spreadsheet all along and that I would email him the letter as well as the spreadsheet. So when I finish this (and NASCAR is over so hunny has a clear mind), I will write that letter. Who knows where this will go but it seems a lot more promising than anything else so far in all of our communications.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I am going to have to do some research on Stenosis. That is what the doctors operated on my MIL for. Apparently it has something to do with your spinal discs and how they erode over time. It seemed like it was mighty painful for her before the surgery and of course, recovery has been very painful. I have included a link to one of my favorite medical websites, the Mayoclinic, and its write up on stenosis. All I can say after reading this article is that getting old is not for wimps!!
Otherwise, I found out the hard way that I am not yet ready for medium length leisurely walks yet. Yesterday afternoon it was so gorgeous here in the Washington, DC area that I walked a few blocks to the local Costco to return a CD. Even tho I made a point to walk extra slow and very leisurely, I knew I had overdone it well before I even reached the store. So I walked back even slower and tried to take it easy the rest of the day!!
I guess falling apart is not easy no matter what your age!!
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