Thursday, June 13, 2013

and a merrily we go....

i'm home again after my morning at princess margaret where i had an awesome, top of the line experience. i was met first by a nurse practitioner who discussed with me the plan of action for the day. they wanted to do a mammogram first, then the ultrasound and biopsy. i voiced my preference to avoid the mammogram, but when i was presented with the argument that this would furnish my surgeon with the best possible imaging diagnostic of what was going on in my breast, i felt it prudent to reconsider. she told me that the level of radiation exposure is equivalent to an airplane trip from toronto to europe, something i'd heard before and have to take at face value. i've avoided them my whole life, so i can't really say i've been exposed unnecessarily, and of course i want the best outcome for this surgery. she examined me and i directed her to another little lump in the left breast and reported as well the tenderness in the lymph next to the right one. the nurse did try to persuade me to have a clip installed at the same time the biopsy was being performed... a clip would allow for a quick hookup to a chemo drip. she explained that when surgery is performed, they like to ensure a mop up of any remaining cancer with the chemo. i explained that i don't intend to consent to chemo or radiation and why. she suggested i might change my mind, and that if i did, having the clip installed now would spare me a separate procedure. i took a breath and thought about this and decided that i would prefer to make my decisions when all of my diagnostics are on the table and a course of action is offered to me by my surgeon. if i need a clip, i won't have a problem with the additional procedure. having it pre-installed before any decisions are made paves the way for a treatment option i'm not comfortable with.

i then was quickly handed off to my sonographer who took me through all three procedures. the mammogram itself was a little uncomfortable but nothing to complain about. the ultrasound found that the left breast tissue is normal, but i do have two lymph nodes that are enlarged and of concern. the breast clinic doctor came in next to perform the biopsies, and she did four in total. to my relief, she first drained the cystic portions of the lesion. with the guidance of the ultrasound she was able to pinpoint those areas without routing around blindly as my GP had had to. then she gave me some freezing and took the samples, three from the lesion and one from the most concerning lymph node. the tissue samples as well as the fluid she drew will all be analyzed now and i will have my results tomorrow afternoon at 230p when i meet with my surgeon for the first time, a smiling young woman and mother with a very interesting twitter feed. whenever anyone today asked me who my surgeon would be they all said that i was very lucky, that she was very good and a kind person who works to create treatment plans in accord with what's important to the patient.

they told me there would be some pain and swelling after the freezing goes away, but i took a single dose of arnica 30C as soon as i got home and i have no pain whatsoever to speak of. unfortunately i can't do any yoga for a couple days, but i'll go for some walks instead. i've got a pot of miso soup with ginger and dulse seaweed on the stove to neutralize whatever my radiation exposure was today, and i'm feeling fit as a fiddle. i started to realize i was feeling so crappy and poorly on account of how aggressive i was being with my own program of care, and while this is not a bad indicator, for the next few days i'm going to ease off and focus on building up my strength and energy for the surgery so that i'll have all my powers at the ready for making the most of it and recovering without complications or delay.

No comments: