Biospy(ies): Staple Gun Noise

After the mammogram adventure, they herded me over to a cold corner of the giant radiology center.  They wanted to ultrasound some areas; I just wanted to go home.  After 4 hours of being poked and prodded, I was on my way. They told me I would need a biopsy ASAP. Nathan was an hour and a half away in Melbourne, teaching middle schoolers how to code.  Do I just go home?  I didn’t want to call my mom or anyone until I knew what we were dealing with.  The waiting, the lonely waiting weighed upon me.

I called my OB the next day for the full results and he said he wanted a second opinion.  He was sending me to a breast surgical specialist.  I couldn’t wait to get her business card. I wouldn’t have to wait long, the next day I sat in another waiting room to see the pink decor and tea sets.  The business card matched the waiting room.  Pink.  Pink.  Pink.  It was just a second opinion.  Nathan was teaching again.  I was brought back to an exam room with more pink wall and tea sets.  There was a silicone breast that looked as if it had seen better days.  Posters about breast cancer.  It seemed like I had a long time to learn more about cancer.

This doctor, my breast surgical specialist, is a tiny woman, of about 60 with thick glasses.  I lay back and she begins feeling the lump.  Then she squirts the cold jelly of the ultrasound and begins to map my tumor.  The nurse and doctor kept exchanging looks.  A few times she tells me that the lump is very “suspicious.”  They are very concerned.  Can we do a biopsy right now?  Here in the office?  Yes, we have all of the equipment here.  I guess let’s just get this done now.  They looked relieved.

They had looked at both breasts under the ultrasound: there was a large mass in the right breast and a small one in the left.  In order to biopsy, they inserted a large needle with a numbing agent into the right breast first.  The tumor was so large that they couldn’t fully numb the area.  I got my hacky sack that I’ve used as a stress ball for 20 years, more a security blanket than lucky.  It was incredibly painful when they inserted the next needle to collect the sample of the tumor.  Staple gun.  Yes, the noise it made was a staple gun thuh-wack.  Five times the needle went in and five times the terrible noise.

Then it was time for the other side.  I didn’t know if I wanted to keep going.  The right side had been so painful.  But I had to know.  I had to know what these lumps were in my body.  So they injected the numbing agent and it worked perfectly with a much smaller mass.  The staple gun was still less than pleasant but the worst was over.  I asked how long it would be before we would know the results.  It was a Thursday; they said hopefully early next week.  It was a very long weekend.


This is Part 4 of the story. Click Cancer Journey to read all of it.