How it all started!
The evening my journey started was a normal evening for me. It was a Friday night, my husband had gone to bed early. I was sitting on the sofa and watching television and playing on the lap top.
All of a sudden I developed a sudden pain in my right breast. It hurt me all that night. The next day I was in so much pain, I could not walk without it hurting. It hurt me the whole weekend.
On Monday morning I decided I would call my primary care doctor and have him make a referral for a mammogram. He sent me on the next Thursday. The pain had left after four days or so I thought. I screamed out in horror when the techie lifted my breast to the imaging plate. Even so, the mammogram was done. So I was told to get dressed and wait in this small room.
The doctor came in and told me he did not know what was causing the pain. He did not see any changes in my breast since the last mammogram. He said I had a small mass on the underneath of my right breast but he did not show any changes.
He told me he wanted to do an ultra sound to attempt to find out if there was anything else going on in the breast. So once again I undress from the top and put on the gray gown. The technician did the ultra sound. Then, she left the room and came back with the doctor.
At that time the doctor told me that he found a mass on left side of my right breast. He stated it was near the lung and that was why he could not see it on the mammogram. He told me I would need a biopsy. He then said most breast lumps were benign and it was most likely fibroid material.
I was not worried as I had already had a biopsy on my left breast that turned out to be benign. He wanted to do at that facility but I wanted the surgeon who had performed my surgery when I had colon cancer. So the social worker called my family doctor to have him make the referral.
Once again I waited for the next step.
The next day I received a call from Dr. McIver. I knew he was worried as he never calls me directly, his nurse always is the one to contact me.
He was very kind and sweet to me. He told me he wanted to refer me to a "breast specialist". Oh boy did the alarms start ringing for me! He told me this doctor was a person he would refer his mother for treatment. My appointment would be for that next Tuesday. I was to pick up my CD of my mammogram and ultra sound and take it with me when I saw Dr. Nicholson.
So again I wait.
Tuesday arrived and my husband and I drove to see the specialist. In that room once again I undress the top part of my body. I wrap my self in this paper cape that opens in the front.
Dr. Nicholson turned out to be a very sweet man, with and awesome bedside manner.
He did a through exam of my breast and checked to make sure no lymph nodes were swollen.
He then told me that based on the report from the Diagnostic Center, I needed a biopsy done on my right breast. He stated that would be the only way to make sure there was no cancer.
He finished the exam and had the girl at the front desk schedule me for a biopsy at the hospital. I was told it would be an outpatient procedure. It was scheduled for that next Tuesday.
So again I wait.
My husband drove me to what we thought was the building the surgery would be done. It turned out to be the wrong place.
I did not think I was concerned about the procedure at all, because I had been through it before. However it must have been on my mind more than I thought.
I walked up to the desk to let the receptionist know I was there for my procedure. While waiting for the girl to come back to her desk, I was standing there and I became really nauseated and I felt faint. I really thought I would faint.
Finally she came to the desk and I told her why I was there. She informed me I was at the wrong building and my name was not on the list. I became really upset and threw my hands in the air and said "WHAT EVER!".
My husband came over and the girl explained where the building was that she thought I was to be. As we were walking out of the building my husband said, Honey, this is not you to get upset at someone for something that was not her fault.
When I got in the car I was overcome with guilt about the way I had acted. I told me husband I wanted to go back and apologize to the girl. He said you can do after the procedure.
We found the building and I signed in to be next in line. Again I waited.
I was called back to the waiting room. The nurse came and once again told me to get undressed from the top down. I once again wrapped a blue cape around the top part of my body.
The nurse took all the necessary history and then I was directed to lay on the table. The nurse explained to me what would happen. The more he explained the more anxious I became. By the time the doctor came in to perform the procedure I was a nervous wreck.
It took one nurse to hold my left arm and the male nurse held my right arm back over my head.
The doctor who was a cutie I must say, explained the procedure once again. He demonstrated the clicking noise that the instrument would make when he was clipping the tissue to be sent to pathology. I told him that was the best thing he could have done. If he had not explained that part I would have jumped off the table when I heard the noise.
From then on , it was gruesome for me. The long needle was very painful in my soft tissue. It hurt me really bad. The doctor was very patient with me, and so were the nurses, but did I ever give them a work out. There was an intern in the room as well. The male nurse ask her how many centimeters the image was ( I assumed he was talking about the size of the mass) The little intern said 4 centimeters. The nurse told her she was going to have to work on her guesser it was 5 centimeters.
Finally it was over, and the doctor told me, that Dr. Nicholson would have the results at my follow up appointment next Tuesday.
So again I waited. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. My breast was so sore from the procedure. I was not allowed to lift anything.
Saturday, I thought I was okay and healed enough that I could go shopping. However after shopping in Kirkland's and Ross. I made and attempt to go to Marshall's. I got so sick in Marshall's I had to leave. I thought I was going to have to call my hubbie to come take me home. I sat in my SUV for a while and then I felt better to drive home.
Tuesday finally arrived and I went to my follow up with Dr. Nicholson. Once again I was told to undress to my waist. Once again on goes the blue cape. Dr. Nicholson comes into the room with his nurse. My sweet hubbie is there with me as well.
The doctor once again does the same exam he did the first time I saw him. I kept looking at my husband wondering when he was going to tell me the results of the biopsy.
I knew I was in trouble when he asked me where I worked. I told him then he broke the news. He told me the biopsy showed there was cancer. He stated I would need to make a choice of either a mastectomy or lumpectomy with radiation treatments. I broke into tears at that point and did not hear another word he said. Thank God my husband was my ears and listened to what the doctor was saying.
The doctor stated however he wanted to make sure the other lump in my breast was not cancerous or showed signs of being cancer. He wanted to send me for a MRI to see if the cancer had spread any deeper than what was showing on the ultra sound. He said he would know more then, I could make a decision at that time. He gave me a booklet on breast cancer, and the nurse scheduled the MRI.
Again I waited.
I cried all evening, and way into the night. I had read the book Dr. Nicholson had given me, it stated a 5 centimeter mass was stage 3 cancer. I told my husband I was going to die and I cried and cried. My husband ask why I was so upset, and I told him the nurse in the biopsy room said my mass was 5 centimeters and I showed him what the book said.
He then stated he thought Dr. Nicholson had told me it was 1 centimeter. So the next day he called the nurse back and ask her. She told him the five centimeters was from the nipple to the mass, The mass itself was only one centimeter.
My husband called me at work and told me the good news. I was so relieved that the mass was much smaller than what I first thought.
Again I waited
I presented to imaging center for my MRI. Once again I waited in the waiting area only to be escorted to a smaller waiting area. The nurse finally came and once again I was told to undress, this time everything but my panties. I was given a hospital gown told to have it open in the front.
An IV was then placed in my arm. I was then escorted to the MRI machine. I was told to lay face down with my face in a holder. My breast were hanging down in two holes. The whole procedure took 30 minutes.
There was one part in the procedure that me with my vivid imagination, I freaked myself out. It sounded like a chain saw buzzing and I had visions of a saw cutting me into sections. I laughed at myself when I told the nurse after the procedure.
My husband was waiting on my in the waiting room. After I got dressed we were driving home. He called my daughter to let her know, that I had the MRI.
She had been joking about me having small breast the night before. He told her "Melissa, honey, I heard the nurses in the back saying " where are they I can't find them". I tell you between my daughter and my husband making fun of my breast size, that sure helped me through the next few days.
But again I wait.
I go back to See Dr. Nicholson next Thursday. I will then know what the next step is for me.
I will keep you posted about my journey with the Pink Ribbon.