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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Israel (Middle East)
    Posts
    1,200

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    Veteran speaking here....shut your eyes and breathe out.
    Mine are small so it "hurts like billy-o" as my grandmother would say
    Keep in mind that 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancer so you do have to be a bit clever to get that result.
    Keep us posted.
    In my prayers...

    All you need is love...la-dee-da-dee-da...all you need is love!

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    Thanks, Margo! As the NP looked at it, she said "cancer doesn't get smaller, like this has, it isn't perfectly round, like this is, and this moves easily and is not hard, also signs it's not cancer." So, I'm not going to worry. If anything, I've been avoiding the test because I was afraid they'd find something, but now I've come to my senses. This was the kick in the a$$ I needed.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,686
    Best of luck!

    The test is not a big deal, unless you are sensitive due to ovulation, but the discomfort is just a matter of seconds. Personally, I don't take any pain killers. From the second I'm in the correct position, I don't breathe (it never fails to make me laugh when they say 'hold your breath'... ) until the image is captured.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    Imagine lying on your stomach (nekkid) on a cold tile floor.

    Imagine rolling onto your left boob and squishing it for about 15 seconds, then rolling onto your right boob and squishing it for about 15 seconds. Then do it again.

    If that sounds like agony just before your period because your boobs always hurt then, don't schedule the mammo for that week.

    If the thought of a mammo utterly freaks you out, don't be shy about asking your doctor to prescribe you a valium to take beforehand. (one of my coworkers used to be a mammo tech, and the freak-out stories she tells.... whoa!)

    It's not the most pleasant experience in the universe, but if you've ever struggled into a sports bra that was too small and then gotten stuck with the band halfway across your boobs and survived, you'll do fine.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    Knot, thanks so much for that image. It really helps. I never get tender breasts, so it makes me think it might not be so bad for me. I think I'll still take a painkiller, jic.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

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  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    I did it. It wasn't bad. For anyone who is wondering what it's like, it's like sticking your boob in a photocopier, and closing it really tight. Then doing it again sideways. It didn't hurt, even though there was a lot of tugging. My tip, wear a front closure bra. I had to dress and undress a couple of times, and was regretting my Ibex sports bra choice.

    The lump is a calcification, and they recommend a biopsy. There's a 95-97% chance it is not cancer, or, as the radiologist put it, a 3-5% chance it is. My glass is always half full. Since I've never had a mammogram before, they have nothing to compare it to, so would rather be cautious and biopsy. Part of me is inclined to wait and recheck it in a few months, but I've been read the riot act by a few who care, and will be getting the biopsy, and calling it done. I guess that actually might be better than getting more mammograms this year, and always wondering about it in the back of my mind.

    It's very near the surface, so I'm hoping that will make it easy. He also said it was in a place that would suggest it would be a non invasive type of cancer, if it is that, which it's not.

    Thank you all for your concern. I know a lot of you have been through this, and know what it's like. I also know this is pretty normal, not something to freak out about. I have gained a lot of courage, knowledge and strength from you.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Hang in there red.

    You didn't ask, but tips for a better stereotactic needle biopsy:

    Ask for a sedative. And ask for a dosage that's strong enough to do more than keep you from chewing your b00b off to get out of the machine. If you're prone to back pain, it's even more important, since the sedative will act as a muscle relaxer, too. You'll be locked tightly into spinal extension for about two hours.

    Bring an mp3 player with some soothing music on it. I can't guarantee they'll let you use it, but they let me, and I was hugely glad of it.

    Don't believe what they tell you about pain and recovery. Compared to some of the surgeries they have to do, obviously a needle biopsy is quite minor, and that's the standard they compare it against in their minds; but it's still an invasive procedure on a very sensitive part of your body. Depending on how sensitive you are, expect it to be a day or two before you can wear a bra; maybe 3 days to ride a bike on smooth flat surfaces; a week to ride steep hills or major bumps, or to run; a good two weeks to do anything that requires a lot of reaching or rapid arm movements like aerobic classes. Don't let them send you home without a day or two's dosage of some decent pain pills.

    The volume of your breast won't come back, but there won't be such a noticeable divot after a couple of years.

    And please have a plan for what you will do if the biopsy comes back anything but clear. Hopefully you made those plans before you agreed to the mammogram ... basically the less emotional pressure you're under when you have to absorb a whole lot of medical literature, the better. Be aware that the results won't necessarily be binary; there are many types of abnormalities considered "pre-cancerous" that you might need to make decisions about.

    Good luck - wishing you the best. ((((((red))))))
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    Thanks, Oakleaf. I remember your situation, and that it was really traumatic and painful, and that is part of why I'm reluctant to have this biopsy done, when it's pretty likely to be benign. I was hoping I wouldn't have to go down this road, but here I am. I think mine will be a fine needle biopsy, and the radiologist told my NP an MRI or ultrasound is not needed to guide the procedure, since it's so close to the surface they can feel it. He even said it could be done in my Drs office, but I'll have it done in the hospital. All of that leads me to believe it won't be that bad, but I'll plan on being laid up for a while, and it not being fun.

    A friend of mine had a very painful biopsy last year, and a painless one this year, 2 different surgeons at the same hospital I'm using. I'll be opting for the second guy.

    If it is something I have to deal with longer term, I will do whatever it takes, one step at a time. I watched 2 friends go through different treatments for different stages this past year, and I know that it's a huge thing to get it EARLY, which this is. I'm not giving this anymore thought than that right now, since it's too soon to worry.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    (((red))). I'll be thinking of you and hoping for a positive result and a speedy recovery.

    And, Oak, thank you for your thoughtful insight as someone who may be in red's shoes sometime.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,039
    Thinking of you, Red.
    For what it's worth, I had a very similar situation when I was 32 years old! I had a fine needle biopsy done right in the surgeons' office, and I don't remember any pain or terrible after effects. I also had my first mammogram done at that tender age and the calcification ended up just going away. I know this was back in the dark ages of breast cancer care, but I was quite freaked out (my youngest son was only 1 year old) that my 2 little kids would be motherless, and it turned out fine.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    Thanks, Indy. That means a lot to me.

    It helps to hear that, Crankin. I like hearing incidents where it turned out to be nothing. My mind keeps going to that "what if" place, and that story keeps it in perspective.

    I think things like this happen to make you appreciate life in a more focused way. I feel very loved right now, so that's the good that's come from this. It's almost tangible.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    I'm so glad you feel loved. How wonderful. You've had a tough year it would seem; your positivity shows a lot of grace.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    494
    Here is another "turned out fine" one, since they make you feel better! I had micro calcifications turn up in a routine mammogram. Radiologist recommended watching and waiting for six months, MD recommended going to see a surgeon, surgeon recommended a biopsy since the calcifications were in a duct and branched out. They did an image guided Mammotome (brand name!) needle biopsy since my calcifications were quite deep and could not be felt. I was told to wear a tight bra, which helped a lot, and only needed tylenol or advil after the procedure. I'm sure if a lump had been excised, I would have needed stronger pain relief.

    The thing that bothered me the most was that I was lying face down on a table (which was raised HIGH and had a cut out in the appropriate place, sorry, TMI and unnecessary mental image), with my head turned to look right. I have some mild neck issues, and that position really started to bother me after a while, but they don't want you to move, and I kept thinking they were almost done, so I just suffered through it. The biopsy itself involved very little discomfort. Just the initial numbing.

    I wish I had taken my ipod. That would have helped make the time pass faster.


    Grits

    2010 Trek 5.2 Madone WSD, SI Diva Gel Flow
    2002 Terry Classic, Terry Liberator

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    Glad yours turned out so well, Grits! They mentioned that face-down option, and it didn't sound fun to me. I'd rather be on my back or side, if given the choice.

    Mine is scheduled for Mon. I got a call from the Breast Center, and they made the appt for me with a female surgeon, which I'm very happy about. They said she may or may not biopsy it, based on what she feels in the exam. So, fingers crossed she thinks it's okay, but either way, I'll have an answer soon.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,936
    Good luck Red! Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

 

 

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