Biopsy Results

My doctor called just now and told me the results of my biopsy. Apparently, there were no abnormalities!

I now have to go for yearly mammograms instead of bi-annual.

My advice? When your doctor tells you do get your bits and pieces tested… GET YOUR BITS AND PIECES TESTED!

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Biopsy on Thursday

I got a call this morning setting up my appointment for the biopsy next Thursday. Should be fairly straightforward.

Biopsy

I had the testing today. The “something” I saw turned out to be not “nothing” but not anything of importance. However, what I couldn’t see was that there was some “calcification” in the same breast. Apparently, they can look at this and tell immediately if it is “nothing” or can see immediately that it is “something” (cancerous). In my case, they can’t tell so they have to do a needle biopsy in the next week or so. It is non-invasive so out-patient and won’t interfere with my work. I am not going to worry about it. It won’t change the results and will burn my bridge when I come to it, as is my usual way of doing things.

This is what I will be subjected to… They make a small incision and then use a needle to extract a sample of the tissue. I don’t know how they plan to get my arm AND my breast through that hole!

“for further tests”

I have an appointment on Wednesday “for further tests” after my mammogram.

Mammogram: Shit.

I had my mammogram today. It wasn’t as bad as it had been in the past.

However, as I am far too inquisitive for my  own good and because the machine that develops the mammograms was right outside the cubicle I was sitting in waiting for the technologist to tell me if she needed to redo any scans… I peeked as she was looking at them.

The one I got a really good look at had a pencil-eraser-sized white blob in the middle of it.

I won’t know for a week what that means but I am imagining it can’t be “okay”.

Shit.

Like having had a Mac truck parked on your tits.

In case you are wondering… that is what having a mammogram feels like. Mine is scheduled for next week.

And, lest you be unaware of this fact, men DO have mammograms. And they are done in exactly the same manner as those that women have.

So.

Am I complaining about having one scheduled for next week?

No.

I am just really, really, really glad to be female.

P.S. I love how all the illustrations show a smiling nurse helping a smiling woman flop them out on a flat surface while, instead of what it REALLY looks like… a surly nurse squashing them as flat as they will squash in the machine…. and then squashing them even more…. while you are standing on tiptoes… twisted at the hips… while being told off by the nurse because you moved….

YAY!

Today, we went to the clinic to have my Mom’s leg looked at (infection is less and the doctor said it is looking good!). She had fallen when getting down from a chair that she had climbed on to close the curtains and scraped the front of her leg so badly I had to take her to the hospital…

While AT the clinic, we were on our way out when she said that she was “feeling a bit dizzy”. She was very pale, so I sat her down and went back into the office and alerted Dr. J and nurse/receptionist. We whisked her back into the examining room and got her lying down and Dr. J (who I DO like this doctor!) was able to test her BP, blood sugar, and listen to her heart WHILE she was actually having one of her turns. This is the first time in 4 years (at least) of these events that a medical professional has been able to see exactly what is happening AT the time she is having one of her “turns”.

Her blood pressure was 84/45 (up very minimally from 80/45 on Wednesday) just before her “turn” and up a few points again, after.

His opinion is what I have felt for a long time, that it is her blood pressure being way too low. Earlier in the week, her family doctor and the cardiologist removed 2 of 4 blood pressure medications. This doctor has told her to stop ALL her bp meds for the next few days.

She sees Dr. S tomorrow for her flu shot, so we may have a bit if a chat about this, at the same time.

Hopefully, THIS will give us a better idea about what is going on.

On another note, a friend informed me this evening my cousin in Iowa has a recurrence of his Protstate cancer and that it has spread to the bone in his leg (I didn’t know he had had a first bout of it). He was on the way to the clinic for a treatment when his leg simply “broke”. He now has pins in it and is walking with a cane.

However, I am thinking of my neighbour who died a few weeks ago. She had bone cancer and she fell and broke her leg, and cancer cells were released into her body.

My cousin is a lovely person and one of the few cousins of his generation left.  My cousin, Ina and her brother, Allen, died a year apart from each other, both suddenly. She died of a congenital heart defect that runs in our family and he died of complications from diabetes.

This cousin has been so wonderful about sharing our family history with me. He is handsome (I call him a “gentleman cowboy”, of sorts). He’s handsome and charming and one of the nicest people I know. He is also yet another person with cancer that I know and/or is related to me.

He and I have been emailing back and forth recently about some family history and he said nothing.

Alice, pt. 2

Alice Ricketts

Alice….

My lovely and beloved sister-in-law, Alice died at 6 am, today, with my brother John and her sister by her side.

Alice and Mom

Alice and Mom

True to her nature, up until the few days before she died, she was cheerful and full of loving energy. Everyone on her floor, patients and staff, were charmed by her.

My brother laughed over the fact that a couple of days ago, when the doctors and interns were making their rounds, Alice spotted the very reserved and proper young Japanese intern and waved him over “Come here, You!”, hauled him onto the bed and hugged him soundly.

The next day, he made sure to stay at the back of the crowd. That was just who she was. Loved everyone!

My niece recalled her leaving Ange’s face covered with red lipstick smudges from the kisses she gave her.

I remember her always, despite her pain and tiredness from Fibromyalgia, being ready with a smile and a hug and a kiss.

She tried to resist having her photo taken last November but I said “You decrepit old Nan wants a photo of you with her… ” so she acquiesced. I am glad she did. It is the only photo I have of her.

I am glad that she didn’t suffer the same way my dear friend Carol did at the end. I couldn’t bear it. Alice was comfortable and at ease when she went.

She will be missed.

The Big “C” strikes again….

I received a call, today, from my brother, telling me that Alice, my sister-in-law, wife of my brother in Halifax is in the palliative care unit.

She has lung cancer. They give her “a few weeks” – less if the cancer moves aggressively.

Alice and Mom

Alice and Mom last November

Alice is the sweetest woman you will ever meet. She has suffered from a number of medical problems, including asthma, environmental allergies, and Fibromyalgia. Despite her pain and chronic conditions which have limited her mobility, she has always been cheerful and warm to everyone she meets.

John and Mom

John and Mom

John and Alice met later in life, and they were “made for each other”. I have never seen two people so comfortable and caring towards each other.

John took a job up on Iqaluit and then to Chesterfield Inlet (I think it was) for a couple of years and the time they spent up there was freeing for Alice because she suffered less from her allergies.

Iqaluit

Iqaluit

They had to come back down to Halifax, though, but we saw Alice and John a number of times when Alice was in town for appointments with specialists. One memorable time was once when I took Mom in for an appointment for X-rays at a clinic up the road from us. I sat down in the lobby and the man sitting next to me looked familiar… It was John! Alice was having tests done at the same clinic.

We all went for lunch and had a lovely visit.

John isn’t a “blood brother” of mine but he’s the next best thing. John is my step-brother’s half-brother. In our family, that is still “family” and I love them both as much as (and in some ways more than!) some of the family closer to me.

I cannot imagine John’s feelings as he sits with his soul-mate, watching her die. For me, this is the second major loss this year to cancer, to lung cancer in fact. And it is… I am trying to count… the 5th person I know battling with cancer… No… sixth.

Sighhhh…..

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