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The Biopsy and Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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The Biopsy and Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Living with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
(#4 in a series)

Breast biopsy day has arrived. Stephanie, the ultrasound technician from yesterday was back, and she and Dr. H prepped me for the procedure. The ultrasound would be used first to help pinpoint the two masses. I shivered as a cold antiseptic was spread all around the breast area.

I was positioned with my right arm behind my head and tilted over slightly to my left, oddly putting me in mind of a glamour shot. I wish. A local anesthetic was given with a needle. That was a first for me. Needles in the breast.

The actual biopsy procedure was uncomfortable and strange. The larger tumor was easy to get to, but the smaller one was situated deeper and difficult to reach. The loud clicking noises were unsettling, but Dr. H and Stephanie kept up the chatter, keeping me quite at ease.

It lasted longer than I anticipated, the needles probing the tumors to find exactly the right spot that would give the doctors the information they needed. I wondered what my husband would think if he could see what was happening to me. I swear I saw “the look” again. Dr. H and Stephanie likely already knew that I had cancer, but were in no position to confirm. I appreciated their professionalism and their amazing bedside manner.

Prior to the procedure, I was told that a mammogram is usually taken immediately after biopsy so that the biopsy sites can be recorded for future reference. Dr. H said he thought he’d “let me off the hook” for the mammogram. He said it kindly, with a soft smile, his hand gently touching my shoulder. Now I’m not the world’s best face reader, but I figured he didn’t need a mammogram because he knew that particular breast would not be around much longer. That was the moment I knew, at least internally, that I had cancer.

We were disappointed to find that we had to wait until an appointment set a full five days later to receive the results. An eternity. During that time I would work and attend a few social functions, all the while thinking about the future of my right breast, and my life.

The Purpose of a Breast Biopsy
From Mayo Clinic: “It may take a few days before your biopsy results are available. After the biopsied breast tissue has been studied, the pathologist writes up a detailed report containing information about the tissue samples taken. The pathology report includes details about the size, color and consistency of the tissue samples, the location of the biopsy site, and whether cancer cells were present. If breast cancer is present, the pathology report provides important information about the cancer itself, such as what type of breast cancer you have and whether the cancer is hormone receptor positive or negative.”

Next: A Call from the Doctor, Telling the Family, and… ice cream

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Read more: Cancer, Conditions, Family, General Health, Health, Women's Health, , , ,

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59 comments

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8:24PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Thanks for sharing

2:17PM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

Cheers, NAN.
I understand what your saying. With the Primal Diet, I only go as far as fish and eggs for animal protein. This diet goes beyond good health, it is a rejuvenating diet, if you commit to it. If you just want to tailor it to suit your lifestyle, and beliefs, it can work nicely for you.
Cheers.

10:12AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

Sending prayers your way. Hope all goes well.

6:12AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

Thanks, Keith. I will check it out. But food is such a dilemma for me. I don't want to eat bad food, don't want to eat carbs (fattening at my age and my addiction), dont want to hurt the animals. It is difficult being perfect and I cant be. Although I do believe a plant-based diet is healthiest, most slimming, and best for the animals and planet, so that's what my forever goal is. I am the only female & oldest besides my mom in a family of three sisters, including me - I am the only one (63 yrs old) who has not gotten breast cancer. Vegan for many years, organic for many years, and all the "avoid breast cancer" stuff. Coincidence?

5:46AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

NAN.V.
You're on the right track there.
Pasteurised milk, and cooked meats are probably a no no, but these same 2 foods in their raw form are excellent for health and regeneration!
Of course do your own research on this concept. The Primal Diet site( Wewant2live) is a good place to start.
All the best.

4:56AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

I never get mammagrams. They are dangerous. I've always gotten ultrasounds (just as effective) and now I get thermagrams. I also try to avoid dairy and meat. I eat very very little, and usually only if I travel and having a difficult time finding veggies dishes. Dairy ups the estrogen and meat messes up hormones. Good luck to all women with this dreadful fear. Oh, and try to eat organic foods - pesticides turn into organo-estrogen.

9:11PM PDT on Apr 15, 2011

Sending positive thoughts your way, hope all turns out well :)

2:08PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I hope everything goes well, sending love and hope to you!

11:43AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

Must be so scary

7:16PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

im so moved by your story god bless!

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