Breast Biopsy Results: It Wasn’t Nothing

By Karen

Last night I removed the gauze from the biopsy site and my breast didn’t look too bad. Big bruise and old blood, but no ooze. Took my first post-biopsy shower this morning and was feeling pretty good about things when the doctor called with the results.

The didn’t find cancer, but I do have atypical ductal hyperplasia, which is defined as a “premalignant lesions of the breast ducts.” The doctor described it as a suspicious proliferation of normal cells that could become cancerous.

Since I’m childless, my breast ducts have never been called upon to do a damn thing, and THIS is how they repay me. It wasn’t enough to be cursed with freakishly large breasts that prohibit me from buttoning blouses, wearing belts, and having men look me in the eye.

So the next step is to have those “cells gone wild” removed and hope to God the doctor doesn’t find anything else.

I’m waiting to hear when I’m scheduled for outpatient surgery, which I expect to be some time next week. At least the doctor’s going to let me sleep through this round and the stitches will be internal.

And on another positive note, I’m feeling less murderous toward the doctor who first evaluated my mammograms and started me down this horribly scary path. If I manage to avoid breast cancer, I just may have to thank him for saving my life.


16 Responses to Breast Biopsy Results: It Wasn’t Nothing

  1. adele says:

    Boy, breasts can be a real pain in the a@# sometimes! I sincerely hope that next week’s procedure will be the end of this journey. The woman, who cuts my hair also has ductal hyperplasia (and she nursed three kids), and she’s had the procedure you’re talking about.

    Alice says you’re lucky you’re not a cat — you’d have to have 6 things mammogramed every year. Hope your new fridge is holding adequate alcoholic beverages.

  2. Noel McWormald says:

    So… this is (at least at the moment) reasonably good news (I guess). You’re always reading about how childless women have greater risk for breast cancer. Sort of a “damned if you, damned if you don’t situation.” How invasive is this newest procedure/indignnity and will they at least knock you out?

  3. catsworking says:

    Adele, it seems highly unfair that women have to have breasts so men can have something to play with. Men should have been born with them, given nursing ability (so the woman would be off the hook after giving birth), and then deal with the lifelong hassle of maintaining them. As it is, breast cancer is men in relatively rare. When a friend of mine down here had a stereotactic biopsy, she did get sedation like you’re talking about.

    Noel, I’d say the next procedure will be pretty invasive since it involves cutting a chunk out of my breast and leaving stitches. I wonder what the doctor will leave in there this time as a souvenir of the trip?

  4. cheray smith says:

    I had breast cancer 25 years ago at the age of 41. I have four children. I am FINE. Everyone is different.

    You experienced mammography and biopsy and have had a good outcome. NO CANCER. While none of the procedures mentioned are pleasant, the doctors may monitor you more closely now that they have diagnosed your condition (“atypical ductal hyperplasia”). And that is a GOOD thing!

    So have those odd cells removed and stay positive.

  5. catsworking says:

    Cheray, you are right, of course! I DON’T have cancer. So why do I still feel like the next time the phone rings, it’s going to be the doctor’s office saying, “Oops, we made a mistake and gave you the wrong results”?

    At this point, I am just thrilled that I can sleep through the next procedure.

    You’ve had 4 children so you’ve been through the healthcare mill quite a few times. I had 2 (unsuccessful) operations on my eyes when I was 5 and 6 years old. That’s the only time I’ve ever been hospitalized overnight.

    The breast biopsy was the first time in my life that anyone has ever cut into me.

    I guess my turn under the knife is long overdue, but the sheer shock of it after all these years of relatively excellent health feels overwhelming.

  6. adele says:

    Karen, I think once the next procedure is done, you’ve bounced back from it, and the results are in, you’ll begin to relax. This has been an intense couple of weeks — the first time you’ve had to face the prospect of a serious health issue and don’t discount the shock to your system (not just the pain) of having aspirating needles stuck into you.

    If you haven’t already, go see Midnight in Paris this weekend and spend a lot of time watching stupid movies. The new season of “True Blood” starts Sunday, and now that you have HBO, you can go to HBO Go on your computer, register, and catch up on any episodes that you’ve missed. This season, what with witches coming to Bon Temps may be too much for me.

  7. catsworking says:

    I’ve been waiting all day to hear when my next surgery is, and finally called the office. The woman who schedules surgery had gone home early. I guess we’re all just so many jugs of milk to her.

    Adele, thanks for the pep talk. I’ve actually seen Midnight in Paris TWICE already. (I even wrote a post reviewing it, but in all the biopsy drama, never polished it for posting.) I went for the second time the afternoon of the 2nd round of mammograms when they said I needed a biopsy. The best place to escape to seemed to be Paris. I love that movie!

    And I’m missing the whole previous season of True Blood because it never came out on DVD. Well, maybe it has by now and it’s buried in my NetFlix queue. I’ve read all the books except the most recent one. I noticed Bourdain’s tweet that he thinks it’s crap (and it is if you compare it to mainstream literature), and I assume he was slightly too young to be of the Dark Shadows generation.

    I’ve been catching up on Season 2 of Treme. I think I’ve seen the first 5 episodes. I must say I am underwhelmed on many levels, and the music is the least of it.

    Keri and I are planning to see Bad Teacher — together — this weekend. I do intend to watch every stupid comedy I can get my hands on, and I own quite a few of the classics — like Airplane! and all the Naked Gun flicks.

  8. zappa says:

    Some years ago,I had a massive,very fast growing tumor(I swear it grew in front of my eyes) Tremdndous pain,ambulance rides to the ER and EVERY OB/GYN intern at GWU copped a feel. I had numerous MRIs and CAT scans and drinking that fucking gallon of antifreeze first,then waiting 2 hours for the procedure was the worst part.Then I hear that there is no way of knowing if there is malignancy until “we get in there” The oncology surgeon was really cute and of course married.Fast forward,no cancer,and I leave the hospital with 2 prescriptions of Percocet which I gave to my friends…more like bartered with….prescription drugs are like cigarettes in prison…anyway,I have been dedicating my yoga practice to you and sending you all the light and love


  9. adele says:

    Karen, if you can find it, there’s a movie called The Big Bus that’s a spoof on disaster flicks; it’s about an atomic powered bus and has Stockard Channing in it, but I can’t remember all the other actors. I laugh so hard I cry every time I see it.

    I was going to see Midnight in Paris tomorrow,but a stray cat has come to the neighborhood, and we’re taking her in to be spayed and tested tomorrow. Since none of the no-kill shelters have room right now, if she doesn’t have feline leukemia or FIV, I’m going to try to take her in. She’s a calico, who just loves everybody; I’ve named her Dorothy. I just hope Alice will accept her.

  10. catsworking says:

    ZM, funny you should mention yoga (thank you for all the light and love, BTW. I think I can feel it!). Last weekend I decided to take up yoga to calm myself because my blood pressure was very high. So I got out the mat, the block, and the strap and found a couple of yoga shows On Demand (I KNOW I have a yoga video, but it has disappeared). Well, I was in over my head before I knew it and dropped out after about 15 minutes. But if you can do all those poses, it’s no wonder you look so fantastic!

    Still waiting to get the surgery scheduled. The scheduler had a death in her family yesterday, and now the computers are down, AND they all leave at 2 p.m. on Fridays, so I may not get a date until next week. Tentatively, it may be next Wednesday afternoon (June 29). If not then, it will have to be pushed off to the following week.

    Adele, good luck with the new kitty! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of The Big Bus. I’ll have to put it on my Netflix list.

  11. adele says:

    ZM, you do look fantastic and are a walking advertisement for yoga.

    Karen, new kitty has a urinary tract infection so the not for profit spay and neuter clinic can’t can’t spay her or immunize her today. So now, I have to go pick her up, take her to a full service vet, get the urinary infection cultured, and see if they can board her for a few days to get her a good start on her meds and maybe immunized before I bring her home to Alice. Poor Dorothy (the cat) is having a bad day today.

  12. catsworking says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about the kitty’s UTI. But at least she no longer has to worry about where her next meal is coming from. If she and Alice don’t immediately hit it off if/when you bring her home, remember Cole. His relationship with Adele is still very much a work in progress, and when he first came here, I never would have predicted that they would EVER sit on the bed together or tolerate being anywhere near each other. But they have worked things out quite well, and there’s only a flare-up if they startle each other.

    My surgery is now definite. Wednesday, June 29, at 2:30 p.m., which means I’ll be half-starved and dehydrated because I can’t eat or drink after midnight.

    Good little story there: A woman working in the office said she heard part of my conversation this morning with the regular surgery scheduler about being gone yesterday, computers down, leaving early today, etc., and took pity on me. When the system was back up, she jumped in and scheduled me herself so I wouldn’t have to spend the weekend in suspense. AND she gave me her direct number in case I have any questions. I was amazed by her kindness, but it does make me wonder about the whole practice that it had to happen that way. You know me, the consumer advocate. The doctor will hear about this.

  13. adele says:

    Actually, if you were awake, you could probably push midnight up to 2am, since the surgery is so late in the day. But it’s not like you’ll feel like eating in the wee hours of the morning.Good that you know the date and now can proceed with your weekend of mindless entertainment and the occasional cocktail.

    Having been a social worker in all kinds of conditions, with all kinds of people, and sometimes great pressure, and always trying (and 98% of the time succeeding) to be polite and helpful, it infuriates me when people in the healthcare system are not. There’s just no excuse, and when I’m called to evaluate service by a particular doctor, I don’t pull any punches if the service was dismissive — that really pisses them off.

  14. catsworking says:

    Adele, trust me, I will have the last word on the service issues.

    That the hospital wrote me a letter about the abnormal mammogram 2 days later, then waited another FIVE days to mail it — unconscionable. That they waited 5 days after the mammogram to call me with the news (since the letter would still be sitting on someone’s desk for 2 more days) — unconscionable. I’m waiting to see how the procedure goes on Wednesday because it may provide even more ammunition. I’ll be taking it straight to the top with a letter to the administrator.

    This hospital is small, only 5 years old, and out in the middle of woods and residential country, so you’d think they’d really be on top of things with service. Instead, the vibe I’ve usually gotten the few times I’ve been there is that I’m disturbing them. ESPECIALLY in the ER!!!

    I’ve been getting referrals from women around here to breast-only practices that give you immediate results on mammograms. Unless this doctor does something on Wednesday that makes me fall in love with her, I’m walking as soon as all my records are assembled and transferrable.

  15. zappa says:

    Karen,Adele,i am blushing….thank you so much! Zappa often joins me on my yoga mat and he is sending purrs to the new kitty.Karen.I can’t WAIT for the medical machine ASS KICKING post!!


  16. catsworking says:

    ZM, that post is coming. I’m taking notes.

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