Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cancer-The Beginning

In November of 2013, I took two Advils and headed to my appointment for a mammogram at Mountain View Hospital.  The Advils were my idea.  My theory being if I took a pain medication before I went, by the time I got there they would have kicked in and the mammogram wouldn't be painful.  Although, I must say that mammograms aren't that painful to begin with.  I had felt lumps in both breasts, but that was nothing new for me.  I had been diagnosed with fibroid cysts for years and told they were nothing to worry about.  A difference this time was they wouldn't go away.  Usually, I would feel one, and then in a month or two it would be gone.  This time however they were sticking around.

I arrived at the hospital on time, checked in and then put on one of the lovely gowns usually provided by hospitals.  (I think someone could make a lot of money if they could invent a better hospital gown.)  The xrays were taken, and I asked the techincian if I could look at what she was seeing.  Both breasts were showing huge black marks on the screen.  "Is that them?" I asked and she said it was.  She said she would have a radiologist take a look at them and then see if I should have an ultrasound done or not.  She came back and said they did want to do an ultrasound. The radiologist took a look and said that because they were black was an indiction they were fluid filled cysts.  So they sent me home with instructions to come back in six months.  A couple of days later, I caught a plane to Alaska to spend a couple of months with my children up there.

In March, I received a letter from the hospital telling me it was time for a follow-up mammogram, so I made an appointment for the 27th of March.  Once again, I took my Advils and headed off to the hospital.  The mammogram showed the same lumps, I was told I should have an ultra sound so I did.  The technician said they looked like fluid filled cysts but he would take them and show them to the radiologist.  He asked if I could wait.  I stayed laying on the table while until the radiologist came into the room with the technician.  He told the techician he wanted to look at the surrounding areas of the cysts.  I watched the screen, not really understanding what it was I was looking at.  Then the raidiologist said "There.  Stop there.  I looked at the screen to seen "red squigglies" (my medical/technical terms for what ended up being a blood flow through the cysts.)

"You're going to need a biopsy," he said.  "Contact your primary care physician and let him know so your insurance company can be contacted.  We will send the reports on to him.

It was already past closing time at my doctor's office, so I called him the next morning and a biopsy was scheduled for the following Monday; three days away.  I didn't tell my children.  I didn't want them to worry unnessisarily and I knew that if I let my Idaho and Alaska girls know, they would be on a plane headed home.  I did however tell my daughter Susan (who is a nurse) and my daughter Rainee because she was one of my contact persons.  Susan said she would pick me up and take me to the hospital.  I had decided rather than take my Advils, I would result in taking a anxiety medication I had filled when Daren had passed away.  
I wasn't really worried, but I did feel a sense of urgency.  I had bookwork that needed done before the dreaded April 15 tax season.  I stayed up until 1:00 a.m. that morning and got caught up. I recalled back in 1996 when I had to have an emergency hysterectomy.  My sisters-in-law came to the hospital to see me after my surgery and I was sitting up in bed with papers spread across the little table usually used to set your meals on.  I was invoicing.  Danny and I had our own construction company and there was still stuff to be done rather I was hooked up to IV's or not.  That was my mentality, not Danny's.

Susan and I had it planned.  She would come to get me.  I would take my anxiety meds and by the time we got to the hospital, I would be feeling pretty good.  But "the best layed plans of mice and men".  The hospital called and told me I needed to come right over.  I left my anxiety meds on my nightstand, called Susan and told her to meet me at the hospital and took off.  I have to say honestly that the biopsies sucked.

I was told I would be getting a call on the results in two or three days.  The next day, there was a call on my voicemail from my doctor.  He gave me his cell number and told me to call him.  I knew the results weren't good.

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