Friday, April 13, 2012

Houston, We Have a Problem

Well, my trip to Vandy on Wednesday was going along swimmingly until they did the diagnostic mammogram. I didn't even worry about it prior to being escorted to a different room and the VERY pregnant Katie (nurse practitioner) came in to tell me that they found something else while reviewing the pictures. My sister and I were in shock, sort of. I mean, just a few minutes before I started to ponder why they were bringing us in this room and said "watch, it's probably something that is wrong on the LEFT side." Well, it wasn't the left side though they did say it was and then corrected themselves about 20 minutes later. There is an area of concern on the right side and they wanted to do another biopsy. Yes, this would be THREE separate biopsies and now handled by THREE different facilities. This is an area that is approximately 5-7 cm with numerous small, microcalcifications (see the section under "Mammography" where it discusses these microcalcifications).

This time, they would do a stereotactic breast biopsy. I had read about this procedure and had previously felt like I had dodged a bullet. But now, my next challenge awaited me. Karen and I had a nice meal at The Cheesecake Factory and did some shopping at Target (primarily for the necessities since we had not even thought of staying overnight). I am SO lucky that my sister-in-law, Marsha, and her family live nearby and they graciously allowed us to stay overnight. It was one of the first times I can remember of my sister and I having a night with just the two of us. The circumstances were not ideal, but I was so relieved to have her with me.

The procedure did not go as smoothly as I would have preferred but I did survive. :) I felt like I was told (more than once, actually) that the issue we had (lots of bleeding and a hematoma) were because I did not want them to use epinepherine (which helps control the bleeding) during the biopsy. I had a bad experience during the first biopsy with a racing heart, sweats, nausea, etc, so if we could avoid the epi, I would be much more comfortable. Apparently, a blood vessel was in the way and just "got mad" so they had to do a lot of compression efforts to get it to settle down. Today, I look like I served as a punching bag or something.

Unfortunately, the radiologist has indicated that he feels that the suspicious area is DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). While this diagnosis in and of itself is not particularly threatening, when added to the prior tumor location, it would remove the lumpectomy option and require a complete mastectomy on my right side. I am not completely freaked-out. Just mostly frustrated that we are still trying to figure out exactly where it is (and is not) and how bad it is. I'm just ready to move on at this point and want to get the surgery behind me so that I can begin the chemo and start kicking this breast cancer to the curb! I have moments where the idea of losing a breast is completely shocking, scary and gross to me. And other times, I just don't care at all because I feel so completely betrayed by the dern thing right now. It has cancer in it and it just needs to go.

I will be sure to post once I hear anything, but wanted to share the latest info. It has been a crazy week, so I'm thankful that some friends took Clark and Kendall camping and we just have Emma at the house for the next day. It will offer me some one-on-one time with her. Daddy and Mr. Jerry will begin building our sunroom (a freebie that had been dismantled from another house and will be reconstructed on our back porch) this weekend. And I hope to get a little work done at the office and maybe some cleaning done at home.

Good night and I continue to be SO grateful for your prayers and support.



  1. Hey Kim, Been thinking about you and I like your anxiousness to "kick it to the curb!" I'm sure this must be frustrating. I know you have a ton of people to lean on but let me know if you need anything whatsoever.