Monday, January 2, 2012

Blurry Images On A Screen, Cells In A Syringe - The Waiting Game

Wednesday, 14th December 2011:

A light drizzly rain was falling by the time hubby and I arrived for my 10.15am appointment at the BreastCheck clinic. Still very hopeful that whatever the procedure to be carried out it would reveal a happy outcome. While waiting at the reception desk I noticed one of the leaflets on the counter was the photoshoot I'd done for the BreastCheck campaign back in 2007 during which time I also did their TV commercial!

Didn't have too long to wait before a lovely lady called me in and introduced me to the radiologist who told me I would be having an ultrasound to check the size and shape of my breast lump. Within a couple of minutes she informed me that the lump was just under 2cm, which is quite small but what was next to come shocked me a little, she was going to do a biopsy. Although I knew it could happen I just assumed my particular situation wouldn't require one. Even with all the assurance that the local anaesthetic would numb the area I was scared witless that I would feel every ounce of the pain. I need not have worried.

Throughout the administration of the numbing and even the biopsy itself I sang, yes, sang my way through the pain barrier! It wasn't any particular song, more the case of running up and down the scales then even counting backwards, anything to distract my mind from what was happening, namely the removal of a few cells to send to the laboratory for testing. I constantly referred to my nervousness as being compared to the feeling before performing on stage or to the camera, they definitely don't come crazier than me!

Luckily I'd discussed my bleeding disorder with the radiologist and nurse beforehand because even though the incision was small I began to bleed quite a bit so they were prepared. It took a good deal of pressing down on the wound to stem the flow but eventually all was well and I had the little strip of stitches attached plus the dressing. Afterwards, my nice nurse who is now my liason nurse took me to another room where she brought me a cup of coffee and talked to me for a few minutes while we waited to be joined by the radiologist.

Basically she told me that she wasn't expecting a good result from the biopsy. That came as quite a shock, no way was I expecting that. I was already shaking from the procedure but now I was absolutely trembling. My lump was not the cyst I thought it was, instead it was solid. After the radiologist left my nurse remained with me for a while. She told me I would soon be seeing the surgeon who would explain the surgery details with me, I then returned to the small waiting room still wearing my gown. There I got talking to a woman who was waiting for her results and was so nervous she did most of the talking. I just listened, I think that's all she needed. A while later she was called in then after about ten minutes popped her head in to tell me she got the all-clear. I was really happy for her.

The surgeon, a friendly looking chap, introduced himself and pretty much repeated what the radiologist had earlier told me - the chances of a good biopsy result were very slim. In the chair opposite sat my nurse. I felt comforted by her strong yet calming presence.

I was to return next Tuesday, 20th December for the biopsy results. After getting dressed I went back out to the main waiting room where hubby was waiting, his book lying on the chair beside him, unread.

On the way to the underground car-park I relaid to him the morning's happenings. I even prepared him for the fact that next week may not bring the news we were hoping for.

Above image: My BreastCheck TV Commercial (2007).
Bottom image: Breast Ultrasound:



  1. Wish you all the best Ann - I hope all goes well for you. Sending love and hugs your way.

  2. Thank you very much Suzy for your lovely wish and hugs, so much appreciated. Returning same back to you, take care for now. Cheers!