Timeline

May 7, 2006

My left breast is hot to the touch and doesn’t look right around the nipple. Must go to doctor!

May 8, 2006

Went to a walk in clinic because my doctor was booked solid. Doctor prescribed antibiotics.

May 10, 2006 

Saw my own doctor. She wanted me to wait to see how I responded to antibiotics. But also scheduled a mammogram.

May 18, 2006

Given another round of antibiotics as I appeared to respond.

May 23, 2006

Mammogram shows a shadow in upper left quadrant close to armpit/lymph nodes – ultrasound showed nothing. Recommends MRI.

June 2, 2006 

After two doses of antibiotics, a negative mammogram and negative ultrasound, my doctor is sending me to a surgeon for a consult and putting in for an MRI. My doc mentioned a bad type of cancer: inflammatory breast cancer. It send me on a research binge.

June 16, 2006

By the time my appointment came today to meet with the surgeon, I’d gone off the deep end with worst case scenarios. This is ONE SCARY type of breast cancer. 

Had a bit of a meltdown at the end of the consult. But I gotta tell you. I like my surgeon. Definitely needing the MRI and she’ll schedule the biopsy without waiting for the MRI results.

June 28, 2006 – MRI Fun

I’ve never quite understood how it is that a lot of the things I do become ordeals or adventures….and the MRI was no different.  Yesterday I went in for the MRI. First, they had to put an IV in…not only did I get a sedative to help with the closed space (I have had incidents of claustrophobia in the past 10 years), but I would’ve had the IV anyway as it’s needed to inject the dye as well. It was no surprise to me that there was complete failure to insert it on the right side and so the it was tried on the left (at the elbow) and it worked. Nice ouch on the right side though. And reaction to the tape on the left.

Next step is to get me up on the moving table to ensure that I fit before they decide to hook up the rest of the IV as there’s no point if I don’t fit. I’m not kidding. There is a special platform to examine breasts and it is placed on the moving table.

So up I climb up on my hands and knees and lowered myself on the form where the girls are separated and hang in holes (no lift action here!). The table motion is that you are put in feet first. Then the technician tried to stuff me in. I mean, I know I have a big butt, but really!!!  So, she had me get up on my hands and knees (this part is so much fun, you’ve got an IV in an arm and I’m nursing a scraped knee) and she removed the part of the platform that held my butt up and inserts a pillow. Now I lower again and reset the girls….only to find that I’ve got a bit of a dig from the breast part of the platform digging into my ribs, however, since my big butt now fits, what’s a little discomfort? The nurse comes in with the sedative and I’m all nice and fuzzy and out of it (to put it mildly). Okay, Fleetwood Mac in the ears helps too.

The first scan is like a baseline. The next stage is when the dye is injected. I decided that nausea was not a good reaction. I did press the so-called panic button and the lovely lady technician kept talking to me to get me through it because, apparently, if they stopped, I’d have to be rescheduled and there was no guarantee I wouldn’t be nauseous again. In the end I didn’t throw up, and I’m still wondering why not.

At the end of it all, I just about fell off the table getting up and off…but apparently survived my 20 minute ordeal. Yes, ONLY 20 minutes and I felt like I’d survived a whole day of this.

What makes it more funny is that I was told the sedative should wear off in about 2 hours…..I didn’t feel it was worn off till about 7 hours later and the nausea, though calmed down by about 2 hours afterwards, really ruined my day as I didn’t feel much like eating all day.

No, I don’t have results yet. I likely won’t have them before the biopsy on the 6th. Frankly, that’s better for me given that I have the BEST imagination EVER.

Anyway, it’s worth a good laugh, despite the seriousness of what’s going on.

July 6, 2006

Biopsy day. This was so antic-climatic compared to the MRI. The one good laugh we had was at the end when I realized it had only taken 20 to 30 minutes. I said, “Well that was short! But I’m NOT going back to work.” And the surgeon said, “No, you can’t, you’ve had major surgery!”

Now the wait begins.

July 7, 2006

Doctor called. MRI results indicate likely inflammatory breast cancer. Recommended biopsy. Told me to keep positive, it could still work out in my favour.

I fail to see how, but appreciate the gesture.