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! :-)

1 comment:

Philangelus said...

Thanks for the update. I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

If it's really something bad, they'll be able to know about it now. But the thing might be more distinct this time only because he knew what he was looking for and he was looking harder. There's an awesome book called "How Doctors Think" by Jerome Groopman, and one of the chapters is about radiography and how radiographers see more in an image the longer they look at it, and how they see distinctly the things they expect to see. In other words, it's a lot of impressions and shadows and sometimes the human brain can get fooled.

The marker and follow-up will give you "harder" data to work with, and until then, **hugs** and please try not to worry too much. I'll keep praying for you.