Tessa's Tête-à-Tête
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Wednesday, 6 July 2005
My Biopsy
Topic: Health Issues
Microcalcification - that's what I was told I had when I was recalled for further mammograms nearly three weeks ago. The likelihood is that the condition is completely harmless but, and a big BUT, it could indicate a pre-cancerous condition. So, off I went early this morning (technically, yesterday morning as I see it is now past midnight) for my appointment at Worthing Hospital for a biopsy "under mammographic control". I can manage not to worry about something beforehand until the last minute - so, I didn't lose any sleep brooding about it. However, I did start worrying last night about getting up extra early (for me, that is) and arriving on time for my 9:15 appointment! I'm definitely a night owl and I've been getting worse recently and staying up until 2 or 2.30 as you will see from the time stamp on some of my posts!

The real anxiety kicked in this morning as I started having qualms about the whole thing. After all, it can't be very pleasant having hollow needles stuck into you removing bits of your flesh! To make matters worse, I had a bad weekend. Hubby wasn't at all himself and complained of feeling weak and dizzy and I felt a bit feverish too - a bug of some sort, I suppose. Then, Saturday evening, I got a very bad spasm in my back, more than once! Something to do with an injury I did to myself last year when I popped a vertebral tendon. Sunday, I had to resort to Ibuprofen, which definitely helped. No more cramps but it is still tender and I move with care!

Well, I was probably right to worry about arriving at the hospital on time! The traffic to Worthing was full of commuters on their way to work, with the inevitable delays leading up to the Arundel roundabouts and into Worthing itself. So, after finally succeeding in finding a parking place in the crowded hospital car park, I was already three minutes late. Oh dear! They had told me not to worry if I was a bit late but I puffed into the Breast Care Centre full of apologies. "Don't worry. I tell them you're here".   Just had time to visit the loo before I was called in.

The Radiologist and her assistant were charming and took a lot of trouble to put me at ease. I was invited to sit down on a very comfortable padded chair with wheels, which they pushed up to the x-ray equipment and then raised to the correct height. The thought crossed my mind that the chair was a precaution in case of a fainting episode - at least I wouldn't crash to the floor! A couple of x-rays later, just to make sure I was in the correct position, they prepared me for the local anaesthetic. "It will give you a slight burning sensation", she warned. I got two jabs in quick succession - then a wait for the anaesthetic to take effect. "Now we're ready to start", she said. "The biopsy needle will make a click and I will have to take two or three". About four clicks later, the senior Radiographer disappeared into a side room with the samples. "She has to check them under the microscope to make sure she has a sample of the microcalcification", explained her helper. Well, she didn't so more samples were needed. I think I counted ten clicks in all, each one giving a burning sensation. I was very relieved when she announced. "We are all done". The whole process had taken about half an hour.

I adjourned to the Hospital Canteen for a coffee and something to eat. Well, I had skipped breakfast and was beginning to feel in need of something. I saw one of the biggest Danish Pastries I have ever seen, at least five inches in diameter! Too big for one person, so I bought a small slice of fruit cake. I must say I was absolutely amazed at the price of my snack, at least half the cost of the same thing down the town.

Yes, it is a bit sore, still that burning sensation, but not too bad. I have got to keep the dressing on overnight and then I can replace it with one of those round 'spot' plasters. I must NOT get it wet until it has formed a scab. Now all I have to do is wait ten more days until my appointment to see the Consultant and get my results.

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:24 BST Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Wednesday, 24 August 2005 - 02:43 BST

Name: Dianne Heaney

Tessa it was so good to have your very descriptive account of your experience with microcalcifications. I too am goig through this very thing and my cone biopsy is on Monday 29th August. I too am positive as I can be 24 years after having a mastectomy on my right breast. I believe this is a precancerous condition I am certainly hoping so. Look forward to hearing how your results went and what your advice was for the future. I am 60 years of old and had Breast cancer when I was 36.
Thanks again for this opportunity to talk to you. I am in Perth Western Australia and have not long returned from U K and Europe.
Regards Dianne

Friday, 26 August 2005 - 00:33 BST

Name: Tessa

Hi Dianne - hope you received my email. I think I must have had a lobotomy as well as breast surgery as I was looking for your comment under my 'microcalcification' entry!

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