The day had arrived, it was biopsy time! Believe it or not, I felt excited to get it over and done. At this point, I’ve had many mammograms, ultrasounds, and analyses from several doctors, and it was time for answers instead of guesses.
My husband and my mom took me to the hospital. I’m glad that they could both make it because they have different expertise to assist me. I couldn’t drink or eat anything past midnight. That sounds simple enough, but I tend to become sick when I don’t eat on time. I would be OK though, and handle it.
After registering at the hospital, nurses called me back quickly. I needed to change into a big blue robe that was huge on me. Why they can’t make those robes different sizes is beyond me. I used the bathroom, and then it was time to answer questions about my medications and meeting the anesthesiologist. All standard procedure-type processes before a biopsy. They had to do another blood test, because the place where I had a blood test apparently had lost mine.
I met with the doctor, and was told I first needed a procedure that I didn’t know about before the biopsy. Nurses took me upstairs to a room with a specialist. She injected medicine into my left breast that would make it numb. Afterward, while looking at the ultrasound, she took a wire that went exactly to the mass in question.
I realize that this sounds scary, and I wasn’t too happy about it. I also needed to stay still. My disability makes me have involuntary movements no matter how much I don’t want to move. My mom helped me stay still, and the woman doing the procedure did very well. She saw the mass and didn’t think it was cancer. She seemed surprised that they were even doing a biopsy. That made me feel relieved, but you never know until you know.
After the wire was in me, the nurses took me back downstairs. The wire never really hurt, but I could feel it and it wasn’t too comfortable. Finally, I could lay down and begin the biopsy. At that point, I felt hungry, thirsty, and just ready to get this over. I said goodbye to my mom and husband, and another nurse rolled into the operating room, which was full of happy people and the music of Alanis Morissette. In a short time, I fell asleep.
Recovery from biopsy time
I woke up in with people all around me, like something had happened. My heart rate spiked pretty high, and I needed medication in my IV to bring it down. No one knew why this happened, but luckily the medicine helped a lot. After given recovery directions, prescriptions for pain, and ice packs — they allowed me to go home.
Recovery from the biopsy probably took me a week. It hurt more than I expected it to, but like everything, it eventually healed. I didn’t care for the scar, but I knew that would also fade. At this point, all I wanted to hear was good results from the biopsy. Everything else would get better.
I’ll never forget the Friday morning in late January when I received the results. My personal care attendant and I were in my bedroom, straightening it up. It wasn’t quite 10 o’clock yet, and my cellphone rang. I could tell it was the oncologist from the caller ID. I never prepared myself for bad news, since everyone seemed so positive about everything. Perhaps you can’t fully prepare for it anyway.
I answered as my toddler-age son danced around me. The doctor sounded so chipper and happy when I answered, I thought the news would be great! Then my bubble burst when he said, “some of the cells are cancerous.”
After quickly scheduling another appointment for Monday to discuss results, I hung up. I asked my attendant if she could take my son out to the kitchen. I needed a moment to process, try to feel, and try to gain composure for the day. The words, “I have breast cancer,” kept going over and over in my mind. Unexpected tears came in my eyes as I whispered, “now what?”
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