Thursday, May 10, 2012
"I have another one." The tech spoke into the phone as I lay with a napkin covering my chest on the exam table. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to mentally prepare for a steak dinner or a double biopsy. Make that another two.
I asked her if it were normal to have to biopsy both breasts. "Yes, we do a lot." Probably what she neglected to say was, "Double biopsies double the charge to your insurance."
"Why no green tea?" I asked next. It was one of the no-nos on a list which included Naproxen, Motrin and blood thinners.
"We're taking it off the list," she answered.
"Why was it there in the first place?"
A few minutes later the doctor entered. I asked if anything had appeared on my mammogram or if only the lumps were visible on the ultrasound. "Your mammo was normal and probably nothing bad will be revealed by the biopsies." What I heard was, "We're only doing this to make some money off you. Thanks for the donation."
Having lived through fifty-six sinus vacuumings, I think I have a high threshold for pain and discomfort. There was a sting as the doctor injected my righty with a local anesthetic to numb the area. Then he had a biopsy probe which I did my best not to look at. I didn't feel the specimen collector pierce my skin, but I did feel the slightest of pressure. The freaky part was that it seemed to take some real elbow power from the doctor to work the probe through my tissue and find the evil lump.
"There's going to be a snapping sound," the doctor cautioned.
I considered adding some clapping or whistling to the snapping but both were hard from a lying down position.
The mechanism for collecting the sample had a spring attachment that dug deep to get a piece of me. The biopsy kind of reminded me of the fake pieces of gum I had as a kid. When you went to grab a piece, a metal spring snapped your finger. However the biopsy was surprisingly less painful. Either way I didn't get a piece of gum.
Instead my lefty was shot with a needle of numbing juice. This time the doctor proceeded to collect three samples. Must be some lump to go for a trifecta. As he was "collecting", he and the tech were watching the ultrasound screen. They commented that that lump was decreasing in size. I asked what they meant. The doctor explained that as he took samples the lump was simply getting smaller. Sounded good to me.
Afterwards he placed Bandaids in the shape of Xs on the two spots where he inserted needles. As for the results, the doctor said, "I'll call on Friday and by the looks of things everything should be normal." "Next time could you eat more Big Macs and M&Ms?"
I got redressed then meet my husband in the lobby. We left the doctor's office and walked through Central Park. I wondered what the point of a mammogram is if an ultrasound is better at detecting tissue changes. We stopped at Belvedere Castle where we discovered that the city's weather tracking equipment is housed in the stone structure. Whenever you get a local weather report, it's being recorded right in the park. We walked around, peering out windows at the overcast day. Even though it was rainy out everything seemed less stormy.