Monday, December 26, 2011

What a week

It has been quite a week!  It's been fantastic to spend these last few days celebrating the holidays with family, but we've also had a lot on our minds. 

It started out a week ago with my MRI (see the previous post called "I'm a puker.")  They were unsure of whether the pictures would turn out because of my uncontrollable movement while I got sick.  They called the next morning to say, "The images were all readable."  My response, "Good, so they all looked OK?'  "Your doctor will go over the results with you, we're just calling to let you know they turned out and don't need to be retaken." Hmmmm....

Later that same day I received a message saying that I needed to call my doctor back to talk about the results.  This is typical.  However, we we unable to catch each other all day over multiple tries and each time the receptionist didn't give anything away.  That was my first clue that something was really up.  Monica is usually the one to say, "Dr. Collette looked over the results and said your films looked BEAUTIFUL!"

Then we received a call from Dr. Colette in the evening.  I wasn't home but she talked to Mitch.  She said she'd try back later.  A doctor calling you at home after 5:00 from their personal phone line; that was clue #2.

When we finally connected on the phone, Dr. Colette told me that there were 3 suspicious areas found on the MRI.  This was what I'd been dreading for the last five years. 

I had two options as she saw it.  One was to just wait until surgery and see what it's like when we get in there.  That would mean that I could go in thinking I'd have one type of surgery and wake up with a very different result if when in there they found it to be cancerous.  My second option was to go for a secondary ultrasound and biopsy of the areas.  This would me possible pain and scars now, but we'd go into the surgery knowing exactly what we were dealing with.  She was also very clear that whatever the biopsy found could completely change our plans, meaning they could be gone before the end of the year in the worst case scenario. 

I figured that I have been aggressive in everything I've done so far along this journey, why stop now.  I immediately said that we needed to do the biopsy.  It was originally scheduled for the 29th.  But after trying to sleep just one night with this fear and anxiety, spending hours trying to find the spots myself without success, consulting dr. google, and my mind racing through all of the possible ways my life was suddenly going to change, I realized I could not possibly wait a week. 

I called the hospital in the morning and talked to someone in the radiology department.  I asked a ton of questions and then ended with, "I don't know if you can tell from the thousands of questions I just asked, but I'm really nervous about this.  If you have any openings earlier, I'd gladly take one...even a cancellation or something...I can be there in like 10 minutes."

That wonderful women found an opening for me today.  At 10:30 this morning, Mitch and I went in.  I knew they'd do an ultrasound first, then they'd use the ultrasound machine to guide the biopsy because none of the areas can be felt.  They dimmed the lights and began.  After 45 minutes of searching and taking plenty of ultrasound pictures, the technician said she was going to get the radiologist for a better look.  He then spent another fifteen minutes taking more images.  Their conclusion: there was nothing that they could find to be biopsied.

YESSSSS!!!!!  I'm healthy!!!!  All those prayers we were saying worked! Best Christmas present ever!

My doctor still needs to take a look at the ultrasound pictures and to see if she agrees with their determination.  The radiologist did warn me that based on the locations of the questionable areas, ultrasound has its limitations and that if Dr. Colette is still concerned she has other options before surgery.  I'm anxiously waiting to hear what she has to say, but I feel pretty confident in saying it was all just a scare.

In all honesty, I'm surprised that it took me this long to have a scare like this.  I did have one other problem with an exam, but that was when I was 21.  It's a very different type of worry when you're young and carefree. Now having children to be here for, it brings that worry to a whole new level.  I was sick to my stomach all week long, couldn't eat, had trouble sleeping. There's no way I am doing this again.  It's just a scare, but it completely confirms to me that I am making the right decision.  I cannot do this every six months after every mammogram or MRI.  In every book I've read, every BRCA positive woman has a big scare like this that puts them over the edge toward choosing risk reducing surgeries.  Mine just waited until had already scheduled it and my surgery was just 2 months away.  I guess I can check freak out off my list of things to do before surgery now. :)

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