22 October 2011

Look at me! I've got girl boobs!

To fully appreciate the title of this post, imagine it being read by Patrick Stewart. While holding coconuts. See? Hilarious.

Now, we step back in time approximately six weeks. Remember how I was about to get covered in polka-dots? And then I failed to mention any further details? Well, I was a bit busy at the time with the whole wedding thing. Also, I didn't want to share my horrid story with the world until after the wedding. And here it is!

Prior to beginning radiation, Dr. Radiologist followed normal procedures and ordered a mammogram. Lucky me, the images showed calcifications. Admittedly, I didn't take this news particularly well. In fact, I may have yelled a few impolite words. However, the doctor was quite nice about it, and even encouraged future outbursts if they would make me feel better.

Yelling quickly changed into crying, as I tried to explain that how my mom was just about to start radiation when a mammogram showed calcifications. She ended up losing her boob. And while I still needed a biopsy to determine if my calcifications were even a threat, I just knew that it would come back with unhappy results.

Since the radiation planning appointment scheduled for after the mammogram was now moot, I tried to replace it with the evil biopsy. Alas, it was not to be and I had to wait until the next morning, not to mention miss an extra day of work.

My first biopsy was merely not fun. This one was downright miserable. Picture a long, lightly concave table with a boob-sized hole in the center. Now raise the table up five feet, remove all padding, and place it in a cold room. Jealous yet? Anyhow, this marvelous set up was designed to allow the doctor and nurse access to both the suspicious boob and piles of equipment.

Just for fun, included in the pile of equipment was a giant needle, about two feet in length. I'm reasonably sure it was six inches in diameter, though that may have merely my perspective. Thankfully, they started with a much smaller needle, containing lidocaine, to numb lefty. After that, I didn't feel much, until I felt a giant splat, complete with warm liquid hitting everything exposed to the hole in the table. 

"Uh, what was that?" I expected her to say blood, but the nurse claimed it was just some lidocaine that had migrated to my skin, which can cause warm tingling sensation. I decided that was completely plausible. Yes, it had definitely happened that way. Now I shall return to thinking about rainbows and unicorns and glow-in-the-dark glitter.

After the doctor and nurse finished taking little pieces of boob for their experimentations, the table was lowered and I was allowed to dismount. At this point, the nurse admitted that she had lied so I wouldn't freak out. Ha! It was blood! And holy crap was it everywhere! The nurse had blood splatter on her formerly white jacket. The paper covering various parts of the machine were soaked to the point of dripping. Then there was me. As I'm used to being covered in my own blood, that wasn't so bad. But my eyes kept going back to the dripping paper. Yum.

The length of the wait for results is inversely proportional to the amount of blood removed, so I had to wait what felt like six years. You, on the other hand, merely have to wait until you finish reading the next sentence. The stupid calcifications were not only cancerous, but they had the same hormone receptors as the previously removed tumor. Well, fuck.

With that pile of good news, just days before my wedding, it was time to go back to the surgeon. The scheduling nightmare ended up keeping me home from work for a day just to deal with all of the phone calls. However, the end result was an appointment with the same surgeon, at his new hospital, for the day after we returned from our honeymoon. If there was ever a reason to not want to go home after vacation, that was it.

What happened at the aforementioned appointment? You'll find out in the next installment of Boobectomy: A Tale of Stoopid Boob Cancer.

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