Sunday, June 13, 2010

Twelve Hours

I am going to concentrate on this picture tomorrow. There is something beautiful and peaceful about it.

I can imagine the sounds of the waves rolling, the sweet smell of the ocean air, the warm sun peeking through the clouds, the tinkling sound of the shells clicking against each other as the wind blows.

I see myself sitting on a deck, in a chair, just looking out to the sea.

This is what I will envision as I go through a second mammogram and ultrasound on my left breast.

To be perfectly clear as to what the doctors are looking for, I will share with you the form letter I received in the mail. I suppose this was going to serve as a back up if the people in the office were not able to get me on the phone.

The letter says:

Dear Ms Abdou:

Thank you for your recent visit to our facility.

There is an area on your bilateral mammogram, that requires further evaluation. The radiologist recommend that you return for special views of the left breast and an ultrasound examination of the left breast. Ultrasound is sometimes necessary in order to obtain a more definite diagnosis than that provided by standard imagine along...

blah blah blah.


Anyway, as we all know from what the young woman told me on the phone - there are some indentations and we have to check them out.

I don't see any indentations. I know, I know.. that does not mean they are not there.

I looked up more information on what it could be. Here is what I found:

What if Something Looks Abnormal on a Mammogram?

Potential abnormalities are found in 6% to 8% percent of women who have screening mammograms. This small group of women needs further evaluation that may include diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, or needle biopsy.

After the additional evaluation is complete, most of these women will be found to have nothing wrong.

What Is a Diagnostic Mammogram?

Diagnostic mammograms differ from screening mammograms in that the exam focuses specifically on an area of tissue that appeared abnormal in a screening mammogram. Diagnostic mammograms are also done for women who haven't had a screening mammogram but may be showing signs or symptoms of something abnormal in the breasts.

Depending on the potential abnormality, different studies may be done. In some women, only additional images are needed. In other women, additional images and a breast ultrasound are done.

How Does an Abnormality Appear on a Mammogram?

A potential abnormality on a mammogram may be called a nodule, mass, lump, density, or distortion.

A mass (lump) with a smooth, well-defined border is often benign. Ultrasound is needed to characterize the inside of a mass -- if the mass contains fluid, it is called a cyst.

A mass (lump) that has an irregular border or a star-burst appearance (spiculated) may be cancerous and a biopsy is usually recommended.

Microcalcifications (small deposits of calcium) are another type of abnormality. They can be classified as benign, suspicious, or indeterminate. Depending on the appearance of the microcalcifications on the additional magnified images, a biopsy may be recommended.

How Accurate Is Mammography?

Mammography is 85% to 90% accurate. Mammograms have improved the ability to detect breast abnormalities before they are large enough to be felt during a breast examination.

However, it is possible for a mass to be felt but not appear on a mammogram. Because of this, your health care provider should evaluate any abnormality that you feel when examining your breasts. A diagnostic mammogram or additional studies may be recommended.

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

The signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:

A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle.

A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea.

A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast.

A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple.

A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple (dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed).

Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple.

An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.

A marble-like hardened area under the skin.

These changes may be found during a breast self-exam.

Medical organizations don't agree on the recommendation for breast self-exams, which is an option for women starting in their 20s. Doctors should discuss the benefits and limitations of breast self-exam with their patients

** source Web MD

There you have it. I guess we are trying to figure what is causing this "indentation." I cannot focus on the horror if something is wrong. My hopes are it is just something normal for me. Perhaps that's just the way my left one is! ;-)

I refuse to accept anything other than that.

If you pray - please throw me a little prayer. My hope and desire is for a healthy, normal left breast. That's all.

If (and I certainly hope this is not the case) it is bad news, then I will kick it's a$$.

I don't have time for bad news. hahahaha (Like that matters!)

Sometimes being a girl is more work than it's worth!


Yenta Mary said...

Oh, Nicole, sending all good thoughts and wishes to you! The big bad "c" has been rearing its ugly head a lot in my circle lately, and it needs to get its butt whupped and get sucked into a black hole where it can't invade people's lives anymore and intrude upon their serenity and their dreams ....

Anonymous said...

Sending happy thoughts to you, sister! You will be fine!

Anonymous said...

Blah. Suckage.
My doctor said I had a lump on one breast. It hurt when she mashed on it. Then I had the same lump on the other side, it hurt when she mashed on it. Conclusion... inflamed lymph nodes due to hormones (aka birth control) I take on a daily basis, completely normal. Way to freak me out doctor :P

I hope it's nothing serious, just something they'll double check, and tell you, oh it's nothing... you're completely normal... go on with your life. tra la la. *happy nicole*
I'm sending good thoughts your way :D


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