Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Saga Continues, Part VI: Frogurt

House of Evil clerk: Take this object, but beware: it carries a terrible curse.
Homer: That’s bad.
Clerk: But it comes with a free frogurt!
Homer: That’s good!
Clerk: The frogurt is also cursed.
Homer: That’s bad.
Clerk: But it comes with your choice of free toppings!
Homer: That’s good!
Clerk: The toppings contain potassium benzoate. [Several seconds of silence...] That’s bad.
Homer: Can I go now?
Sometimes I empathize with Homer...

For anyone who hasn't read the prior posts, or wants the recap, here's the last few doctor's appointments, boiled down for brevity:
Doctor: You have a suspicious spot on your mammogram
Me: That's bad.
Doctor: It looks like it's probably a cyst. Go get an ultrasound.
Me: That's good.
Doctor: Well, it's not a cyst.
Me: That's bad.
Doctor: But it doesn't look like anything threatening
Me: That's good.
Doctor: I can put in a marker and biopsy it, but I may not be able to hit it.
Me: That's bad.
Doctor: Or you can wait 6 months and see if it changes
Me: ...
Me (two days later): That's bad... I'm going ahead with the marker/biopsy

So today was the appointment with Doctor K. I wasn't sure if this was going to be an informational appointment ("This is what we'll do...") or the actual procedure. Turned out, it was the actual procedure. Score one for not having to wait even longer. Dr. K was able to locate the site with no problem via ultrasound, and he went in (with a rather LARGE needle) to put in the marker and perform the biopsy. I felt bad for the assisting nurse, as she seemed to be all thumbs. He kept a very level demeanor, though, and she did fine once they got set up. The procedure itself went smoothly... the worst part was the Novocaine (ow). The funniest part was when the ultrasound machine rolled away because the floor was uneven. :-)

After he finished, and we were wrapping up, he explained the following:
  • His initial reluctance to biopsy/mark the site was due to the spot being tough to discern on the ultrasound... it didn't look very distinct from the rest of the tissue around it, and he wasn't convinced he was actually seeing the correct spot.
  • Today, he was convinced.
  • He was convinced because it was MORE distinct this time around.
  • It also seemed to be larger than it was the last time.
Stupid, cursed Frogurt...

I'm scheduled for a followup mammo in 3 weeks (enough time for the marker to get "anchored" to the site) to verify he really did tag the site, and then a followup appointment with Dr. K. after that.

The fact that it's changed and is growing is unnerving, but I'm glad I went back... I'm grateful both to my mom for initially getting me to question that first ultrasound that didn't find anything, and to all my friends (you know who you are) who convinced me to push back and not wait. Waiting isn't for me, anyway (as I found out), but you helped motivate me to get my butt back in there and do something.

So... no answers yet, more questions... but it seems like answers will be coming soon.

In the meantime, I'm keeping the fingers crossed, and moving forward. I've got a race to train for on Sunday! :-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Frozen Shamrock!

Well, the Frozen Shamrock 3-miler was today! This is the first in a series of 3 races sponsored by local Irish Pubs (the Wild Rover Series). The weather folks were predicting rain turning to snow, starting around midday, so I wasn't sure what conditions were going to be like. Luckily, the weather was pretty good at the start (high 30's, no rain yet), so everything was GO!

A group of us from the office peer pressured each other to run today, and we all managed to show up. :-) Front row (L-R): Michelle, Me, and Jen. Back Row (L-R): John, Laura, and Mike.
Thanks to Jen's husband, Joe for taking the picture! :-)

Here's the view from the starting line:

The race was crowded at the start, but there weren't TOO many runners -- about 600 or so who registered ahead of time. Roads were only partly blocked off, which led to some confused (and obviously frustrated) motorists, but after the first substantial hill it was pretty good. A couple of shoppers got mixed up in the race and ended up running with us for a while until they got out at the parking garage. :-) I mapped the route using Runkeeper on my iPhone, and you can see the map here: http://bit.ly/kXKgv (I started recording a little late, because I was expecting to cross a mat at the starting line, and there wasn't one... oops!)

Update: The times are in... 30:10:00 (gun time, since there was no mat at the start). Considering I was starting at the back of the crowd and I have no idea where the actual start line was, I'm really happy with that. :-)

After the race, the crowd seemed to be bigger for the free beer line. The rain had begun and it was COLD waiting in line, but we stuck around, got the beer (refreshing) and chili (warm!), and then left... we would have hung around, but the rain was getting colder and harder and it was getting more and more uncomfortable. Oh well. Maybe the next two will have better weather (fingers crossed). At least the drive home was pretty good, since it hadn't turned to snow yet.

Of course, I had to take pictures of the bling:
The medal is the first of three that will form a claddagh when combined with the others in the series. Nice touch, with the personalized bib numbers. :-)

Next week, the Claddagh Pub 4-miler in Lawrence!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Saga Stagnates...

Just a quick update for anyone following the "Saga of the Suspicious Mammogram"... my doctor's appointment today was rescheduled (Dr. K was called in for emergency surgery).

Next update: Tuesday, 2/24. Maybe.

However, it was a nice day out for a run... I got in a quick two miles just to get outside, and to get ready for the first "Wild Rover" race on Sunday. If it doesn't snow. Maybe even if it does snow. Who knows...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Not going to wait anymore... (or, "Questions, part IV")

Well, I got the phone call back from the doctor ("Dr. R") today. He spoke at length with the surgeon ("Dr. K"), and Dr. K did not believe an MRI would give him any more information than he already has.


The only option other than waiting is to attempt to tag the site. The plan would be (if I have this correct) to inject a metal marker into the site and biopsy it at the same time. Then follow up with another mammogram to make sure they got it. If not, then it's "second verse, same as the first" until they do get it.

I don't like waiting... Two days was enough for me. So, even though Dr. K wasn't confident he'd be able to find it with the needle, I'm going to call his office and make the appointments. I guess I'd rather just get it over with and know already, even if this takes multiple tries.

Why the change of heart? Mostly, friends who have gone through this experience, either first- or second-hand, telling me not to wait. Friends online, at work, old friends, recent friends... people are coming out of the woodwork with their personal stories. The common theme of every one: don't wait. Get as much information as you can, and keep going. I'm not good at leaving things unanswered anyway, but this was the most compelling reason to keep pushing. Thanks, everyone.

I'm planning on going out for multiple beers after this is over. Anyone with me? :-)

Update: I have an appointment with Dr. K on 2/18. We'll see where this goes from there!