Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finally read my pathology report...I made the right decision

I was looking through my folder full of all of the paperwork I've accumulated from the doctors, hospital instructions, and bills.  I just needed some contact information for an insurance form I had to fill out yesterday.  While I digging through the folder, I came across my pathology report.  I had been given this at an appointment maybe 5 days post op.  I was not in a frame of mind ready to look at it or understand it.  At the time I had just focused on the fact that I'm healthy and she'd be presenting me at tumor board so others wouldn't be told they have to lose their skin and nipples over what looked like mine did on MRI.  I finally sat down and read it yesterday afternoon.  To my surprise, I actually understood a good amount of it thanks to my crazy amount of research prior to surgery.  I discovered that:
  •  I had 336 grams of breast tissue removed on my right side and 313 grams on my left (I never noticed a size difference).  This means that I had 1.5 pounds removed.  In comparison, I had just under 3 pounds of implant added to me.   
  • My left lymph node (the side that I've had the most problems with) that was removed was significantly larger than my right one and had an amount of yellow fat attached to it.  This was interesting to find out because I had been talking with my physical therapist asking why my left side was so much more paintful than my right.  I had questioned if it was because I am right handed and use this side more than left or even if it was how I slept each night on my left side doing damage.  She said that it was most likely because of something during surgery--that they must have had to go deeper or something on the left causing more damage to the system than the right.  This completely makes sense now having looked at this report.  Knowing that my left one was almost twice the size, obviously it's going to feel different.
  • I had three fibroadenomas on the right side and 1 on the left.  The largest of these measured 1cm x .8 cm x .6cm (picture a small bean).  Interesting though, I had never been able to feel these in a self exam or doctors never felt them during any exam either. 
  • In addition to the fibroadenomas, the pathology report showed that my right breast had intraductal hyperplasia.  This is another benign breast condition, but it means that there was an overgrown of mildly abnormal cells. These cells are not cancer cells, but are not entirely normal either.  It is one of the only benign breast conditions that does often lead to cancer.  The order goes from hyperplasia, to atypical hyperplasis, to DCIS, to invasive cancer. I knew something wasn't right back in July.  I felt like I needed to do something now.  I was right.  This was 100% the right choice.  

1 comment:

  1. You must be so relieved that you can move forward with all of this behind you!