Tessa's Tête-à-Tête
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Sunday, 17 July 2005
Update on my Biopsy
Topic: Health Issues
My appointment for the result of my biopsy was at 10:30 am last Friday. This time, I was careful to allow a whole hour for the drive to Worthing and, of course, I arrived 15 minutes early. Then I had to wait until nearly 11 o'clock before I was called.

I knew the answer before I went in - something about the attitude of the nurse who called me and the compassionate look she gave me! I felt I was walking into the dock to be sentenced. Yes, the consultant stated without mincing words, the microcalcification is an early form of breast cancer called 'Ductal carcinoma in situ' (DCIS). Nobody knows when it could start changing to invasive DCIS so he explained that the area of microcalcification, plus the immediate surrounding area, would need to be removed - a lumpectomy. I would also need a localisation mammogram to pinpoint the area. "It usually entails spending just one night in hospital and you can go home the next day." He added, "We would like to do it here, although it would be possible to send all the notes and x-rays to St. Richard's in Chichester." I read between the lines - we are much more experienced in our specialist Breast Care Unit here than they would be in Chichester... "I can offer you Thursday, 11th August. Would that be okay?" I gulped - so soon! Well, no point putting it off, I suppose. Did I have any medical problems or was I on any medications? "We will need to send you another appointment for you to be assessed by the anaesthetist prior to surgery". I duly signed the consent form and left the room feeling slightly dazed to wait to see the Specialist Nurse.

She explained everything in greater detail. Because there is no lump, I will need to come down to the Breast Cancer Unit for a mammogram prior to surgery for a procedure called 'localisation'. This entails inserting a fine wire into the area of microcalcification to guide the surgeon to the right spot. Well, at least I don't have to worry about waking up and finding they have done the wrong side! However, I was taken aback when she explained that I would need to check into the hospital at 7:30 am on the day. Argh! 7.30 - I'm usually still fast asleep at that time! My first concern was how to get to the hospital. Would I be able to leave the car overnight in the hospital car park as my husband has never learnt to drive? She wasn't sure but told me to ask the car park attendant on my way out.

I adjourned to the canteen for a coffee and an iced doughnut. The caffeine and the sugar gave me a boost and I felt better. On the way out, I stopped at the Car Park Attendant's hut. Was it possible to leave the car in the car park overnight, I asked him. I was very relieved when he confirmed that it wasn't a problem. He explained that there would be plenty of spaces at that time of the morning and that my parking ticket would carry on for as long as necessary. Probably will be a lot cheaper than taking a taxi from Chichester.

Posted by Noviomagus at 02:04 BST Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink

Sunday, 17 July 2005 - 19:04 BST

Name: Stu Savory
Home Page:

We'll all be crossing our fingers for you Tessa!

But it sounds like you've caught it early enough
to get rid of it 100% :-)

All the best,

Tuesday, 19 July 2005 - 21:42 BST

Name: Joanna

I'm going to remember to pray on August 11 for your best outcome and comfortable recovery. You do have an advantage because of finding it early. Most of my friends have been through this. Thankfully all of them have made a full recovery. What was a terrible verdict a generation ago is now a matter of hospital time and surgery with accompaning misery and inconvenience.

You know, cancer is a sore subject with me. Over the past ten years we here in the USA have been bombarded with propaganda re the "epidemic" of AIDS. Maybe that disease is mowing down the population somewhere in the world, but not here. I've never met anyone who had it let alone died from it. On the other hand easily half ot the people I know, that is people in my age category, quite half of them have done time with cancer. I can not think of one family of my acquaintance which has not been touched by cancer. Cancer is our epidemic in the USA. It's as common as head colds in kindergarten. Why is there still no vaccination? No convenient two-week regimen of pills? With so many afflicted, I do not understand why any politician could be stupid enough to moan and whine about the specter of everyone getting sick from AIDS...a disease I have never met in the flesh...and I must have met easily thousands of people. Furthermore, with the exception of young children infected prenatally by their mothers, surely AIDS is preventable by commonsense behavior modification. Cancer is not so simply avoided. Thin, athletic, fanatically health-conscious people get it and so do overweight, alcoholic, pork rind addicted, three-pack-a-day smokers. Nervous, driven ulcer-types get it, but so do happy, relaxed followers of the zen way. Cancer just stalks up and down every street of this country and waves its miserable wand over every house. Most citizens of the USA may as well resign themselves...they're going to have a bout with cancer sometime. From my soap box, here, I'm yelling, "Hey, everybody. Cancer is THE big problem. We need to allocate the necessary resources to produce a quick and painless cure!"

Wednesday, 20 July 2005 - 00:00 BST

Name: Tessa

Thanks, Joanna. And yes, I agree cancer is one of the biggest problems in the Western World. Aids is the worst problem in Africa where they probably don't live long enough to get cancer!

They are making some progress with cancer research but very slowly partly because of the lack of funds and also because of the number of different cancers. Some are caused by lifestyle or contact with some noxious substance, some are genetic and some just happen.

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