Bald Barren And Boobless

An honest and comical reflection of my journey through breast cancer

Tag: biopsy

It’s C Day

faith quote

Tues the 19th November 2013

It’s 9 am and we go to the breast surgeon, my preferred Doctors colleague. My first choice for a breast surgeon is on holidays and we can only see his colleague.  We arrive eager to get the results only to be told it’s not today its tomorrow!  I want to cry.  I really don’t know how that happened!  I go home and wait.  I cannot describe the frustration and helplessness that I feel. The time passes so slowly, its almost like I feel like I need to make every decision but you also can’t make any because I don’t know what the outcome is.  Again a very unproductive and emotionally painful day.

The following day Wednesday, we go to our appointment, a young Chinese doctor sees us.  The moment i see him i feel like the answer is not going to be good.  He looks at me says, “ it’s cancer, it is what it is.”

He then turns from us and with his back to us mumbles, “take a moment if you need too.”  I feel like offering him some training in how to deliver life changing news!  Honestly!    Marc grabs my hand but I am strangely calm.

One some level I am shocked but not hugely because I feel like I have known since the radiologist went quiet on Saturday. He says to Marc and I, “Hey we need to biopsy the other lump Kerry”. (My name is Kylie) and I say “What about the third lump?” – he says “hang on let me read the report, oh yeah lets get both done now.”

Well I’m sure you can imagine what has just happened to my trust level in this young man, zero!!!! First he gets my name wrong, then he hasn’t read the report and could have let a third biopsy be forgotten and he wants to touch my boob!  I don’t think so….

He also says, “I will do a lumpectomy next week.”   I say “I want a mastectomy” and he says “I don’t think we need to go overboard!”  I am spinning thinking I have two time bombs on my chest here, I saw my Mum die over a very long slow and painful process, my sister is going through it and you say don’t over react!!!!

I go back to my friends at radiology, my friend cranky pants the angry receptionist greets me with a hug this time and I get the other biopsies done.  Again the staff at radiology are so lovely and gentle, they treat you with such dignity and care it makes a horrible process so much more bearable.  I am to see the breast surgeon who doesn’t know me from Adam again on Monday the 25th to get pathology results and confirm the plan.

Marc takes me to out favourite local restaurant at Brighton by the water for some lunch.  Ia m not hungry I have such a knot in my stomach.  We begin to make those first phone calls to family and close friends, the people we are going to need the most support from.   I am becoming quite emotional and am trying to hold it together.  The poor waitress is trying to serve us but realised something quite big is going on so she circles too afraid to approach.

What a weird day, I am calling people telling them that I have cancer, it is surreal.  They all read differently, some are strong for me, others I need to be strong for them.  Some have very strange reactions and in their shock say weird things like ” well at least you’ll lose weight with chemo,”  I breathe deeply and just think, “It is their shock speaking, they don’t mean it, who would say that seriously!”

We eat, we talk, both of us are keen to seek a second opinion, but are also keen to get the results back form the other biopsies.  The weight on us is tremendous.  We are both drowning in the “what ifs.”

So from Wednesday to the following Monday we wait, we know I have cancer but we don’t know anything else. As you can probably imagine this is a weird time, we don’t sleep much, we talk a lot, we contemplate things more, differently, I am trying to wrap my head around what I need to do practically with my work and life.

I feel like my works has been placed on hold but also on fast forward.  I start to think about all the things I haven’t done but want to and need to do.  I think “oh Geeez, I don’t have a will in place, I have not made it clear about what would happen to Sam in the event of my death.”  Big questions to contemplate.  Then I also have this beautiful confirmation that I will be ok, I will get through this.

To say I am confused, bewildered and overwhelmed is the understatement of the century.

Still we wait

waiting w clock

Monday the 18th of November 2013

I saw my new GP, she says “well we have the blood test and you have Hashimoto’s of the thyroid.”  This is an autoimmune disease where your own body attacks the thyroid gland making it function poorly – OMG I wasn’t imagining it!  So my lethargy, pain, headaches and other weird symptoms can be attributed to my poor thyroid functioning.  I feel so validated

She also says, “You have 3 questionable spots in your breast, 2 on the right and one on the left, you need a biopsy today of the largest lump and see breast surgeon regarding the other two.”  Holy crap!

She gets on the phone and tries to book me in for a biopsy.  I ask to go to the original place where I had the mammograms.  They tell the Doctor that they are flat out and can’t guarantee to see me for hours, she tries her best but I agree to go back and wait.  What else am I going to do really?

Marc and I go back to radiology and am told to wait until they can do the biopsy, I am treated very badly by reception.  The lady is so rude and angry telling me they have no appointments, “I say I am happy to wait,” she reads the referral sees the word malignancy and then she becomes nice.  Weird how one word changes people behaviour huh?

The biopsy was done after only an hour wait.  The technician and the Doctor were really lovely.  They say I should know pathology in 24 hours.  They are putting a rush on the results, thats great but it really scares me.

A biopsy is a weird experience. They numb the tissue but it is not gentle at all.  They use a ripping great needle and shove it deep into the tissue to get a core sample of the questionable area.  Today they only do the one on the right, the largest one.   I am to see the breast surgeon tomorrow at 9am.  He will decide if there is any more biopsies needed and I will also know the results if this biopsy then.

Needless to say it is an anxious night for Marc and I, contemplating the future. We talk about things we have not been forced to consider before, its so weird how you go to a place that you cannot come back from.  You realise on one swift moment you are mortal, you are not above death, you have a finite time here and you realise all of the things you have not done that you wish you had or that you need to get done.

I also became really sad about my son Sam, I felt every one else in my world would be ok but he is so young and really relies on his “Mummy.” I am his biggest fan and his biggest advocate, what would happen if I was not here tomorrow, who would go into bat for him, who would he ask those big questions of?

I settle in and try to sleep, but sleep is not my friend tonight.