Today is just a few days past the anniversary of the day I first found the lump (frozen pea) in my right boob.
Readers of the blog will know I have been pretty quiet since the end of my radiotherapy. I went to my first three month checks and was surprised that no-one said to me that I was Cancer free or whatever. So I waited for today – the day when I was due for a ‘new’ baseline mammogram and another consultation with the surgeon to follow.
Peter is away at a conference in Dunedin and I was home alone last night, and until Sunday evening. Despite being desperately tired, sleep was hard to come by. Maybe the build up of tension of the forthcoming day was affecting me more than I thought. I had imagined that I was pretty cool about it all. I have to admit that that thought of the surgically altered boob being squashed flat in the mammogram machine had about as much appeal as a plate of rotten eggs.
I had set the alarm early so that I didn’t have to rush but was wide awake before it went off. I eventually left home to do the hour’s drive with a bit of time up my sleeve as the weather was atrocious and I wanted a bit of leeway for unforeseen circumstances on the trip over the hill to Lower Hutt. There wasn’t much traffic and only a few minor rock falls on the road, so I made good time.
I crossed the threshold of the Radiology clinic with a bit of trepidation, sat down and buried my nose in my Codecracker puzzle book to take my mind off it. Then I was called in for the familiar mammogram routine again. The technician took all the familiar poses and then said that given my history she would do a couple more. “Nothing to worry about”, she said, “I can’t read these things the way the doctors do.” She went out to consult the Radiology Dr, and several minutes later she was back for more. “Nothing to worry about”, she assured me again. So more were done. She disappeared again, came back and told me that seeing I was here and lived so far away did I have time to stay for an MRI. “Nothing to worry about.” So I was led off to another room for the MRI. She pointed out the area of concern on the screen as she worked but I was in a brain fog. It all looked the same to me. Following that, I was finally allowed to don my clothing again, so that I could walk around the hall to see the surgeon, nearly half an hour late for my originally appointed time.
So, in to see Mr Dowle. X-ray images of my boobs were all over the screen when I walked in. With Mr Dowle there is no pussyfooting around. He got straight to the point. The good news is that my right boob is Cancer Free 🙂 Of some slight concern now is my left boob. There is a growth that was present in my 2011 mammogram that has grown bigger. He is pretty sure that is a fibroadenoma.
According to the Breast Clinic’s blurb, fibroadenomas are not considered a risk factor for breast cancer, and they don’t turn into cancer. In extraordinarily rare cases a cancer can arise next to a fibroadenoma and even rarer are cancers which develop in the cells of the fibroadenoma. BUT, they have to first make sure that, that is all it is. And how do they make that diagnosis. More biopsies!
I was so not prepared for that when I left home this morning. Mr Dowle’s Nurse went over to the Radiology clinic and organised an appointment to have the biopsy done at 3.30pm, so I had about three hours to have lunch and shop at the Westfield Mall. Shopping at the Mall is something pretty rare for the country girl these days and was the only bright factor of the day.
And even though the message from this session is so different from that first visit last year I feel, needlessly probably, almost as if if I am on that slippery slope again. I am definitely back to that ghastly week of waiting, waiting, waiting.
Next Thursday morning (5th), they will telephone me with the results, and on Saturday 7th I should be on the redeye to Brisbane followed by the bus to Toowoomba to visit Frith, Jason and the children.