Sunday, December 27, 2009

A fine spiculated mess

There is a very long story to tell, and I'm going to try to keep it short, but I tend to ramble. Sorry...

December 15th I had a followup mammogram, and then an ultrasound of what (for the sake of my sanity) I am referring to as "My Boobie". Even I could see the spot on the original mammogram that was the cause of all this 'fun', and I have to be honest that my first emotion was a giant wave of annoyance that apparently My Boobie has decided to try to kill me. But the spot seems small to me, uneducated that I am, and so I am hoping that the endless procrastination that lead to an appointment that should have been in July winding up in November was actually a good thing. Because MB might have been fine in July, or "we" might have missed it back then.

The next day brought another ultrasound of MB in order to do a needle biopsy of the spiculated cells. (In oncology, a spiculated mass is a lump of tissue with spikes or points on the surface. So I knew it wasn't just a liquid-filled cyst. It's apparently a solid lump with Goth tendencies. Fabulous.)

Did I mention that the ultrasounds were done by a very professional female technician who I strongly suspect prefers to date women? I really liked her. For some strange reason this angle made the whole thing a little more bearable. Whether it was distracting or just an amusing little quirk of life, I can't really explain it well; maybe it was a mixture of both.

The biopsy was done with a special needle that can capture some of the cells to be examined by a lab. They promised me that they would try to get the results to me.... before Christmas. I wasn't sure whether that would be great, or really bad...

The NEXT day (tests were three days right in a row, this was really a lot of tests in one week, but the goal was to keep moving to work around all of the holiday time coming up) I had an MRI of both "the girls". I sent a text to a pal of mine describing how it must look to have a side view of a woman lying on an MRI table with an opening for her boobs to hang down through. It was something like this:


So that we're clear, I am taking this seriously, but trying not to lie in my bed for hours at a time going through boxes of kleenex.

Tuesday around lunchtime I was doing errands and the doctor who had performed the needle biopsy called to tell me that I do in fact have cancer. So apparently 2009 decided that since being unemployed for months didn't break my sense of humor, well, let's toss this at her. Merry f-ing holiday season, by the way. I actually felt bad for the doctor, having to do something this shitty right before Christmas. But, that probably would have been strange to mention to her.

Tuesday afternoon was very, very bad, with phone calls to some but not all family members. I decided not to tell my kids anything for now other than "I need some tests done because there is a lump in my boobie"... that word again, but it makes them laugh and postpones any deeper questions. When I know what I actually will be doing with/ about this mess, I will tell them. My inlaws are in their 80's and I don't see the point in upsetting them now, so I haven't told them ANYTHING. They will surely be a little annoyed at me, but they're far too smart to fall for the vague stuff I told my kids.

Tuesday evening my longtime friend took me out so that I could cry in her car about not wanting to have surgery or radiation or chemo or lose my hair or, well, actually die or anything like that... and on impulse she took me for a mani/pedi. I just never really do those, I walk by the places in the mall and see the women in masks and think... "not me." But it was such a nice gesture and I thought well, maybe a little girly time will help me get through this sucky day.

The vietnamese nail tech started doing my hands and said "Your friend pay for you." I sort of smiled a bit and said "well, yes, she is treating me because I'm not having a great day." She practically pounced on me and said "Ooooh, you sick?" and saw on my face that she had me. She grabbed my hand and flipped it over. She began doing a palm reading and showing me that my lifeline is long, very long, and has a little line that hits it and doesn't go through and so that means something will happen when I'm young but I will be fine and so "No scared! Happy happy happy! Fight!" I found it a little bit surreal that my guardian angel is a running around these days disguised as a Vietnamese lady.... but, OK. Happy happy happy Fight it is.

I don't have appointments with a surgeon or oncologist yet, but I am fully prepared to see Elvis in the waiting room at one of those appointments. I also briefly considered making my sugar cookies round with an M & M in the center, since half the family in the room would be thinking about my boobies. Too weird though.

So, I think this post has gone on long enough. Girls, get a digital mammogram; screw those old cheap bastard men who came out with a recommendation recently that age 50 is soon enough. Keep up with your doctor visits. Boys, make sure your moms and wives take care of themselves.
I'm going to watch "The Hangover" again and eat lots of Christmas cookies. Toodleoooooo. I'll keep posting here, if y'all keep reading.


onescrappychick said...

Love you Char (((hugs)).. you're still in my prayers as you head through this hard thing. I lit a candle for you on Christmas, even though I wasn't able to do it at church.

meopta said...

Mine had to tell me on Yom Kippur. I was like, what the hell am I atoning for, here? I TOTALLY felt bad for him.

The nicer you are to all the medical people the nicer they are to you and then when you need to be a total unreasonable cranky bitch they won't even care!

Fun cancer fact!

Trish said...

well phuck! that wasn't what I was expecting!

Ditto on what meopta said---be nice to folks as much as you can, they'll be nice back--and when you are a mess or a total bitch, they'll most likely be more understanding---or completely freaked out. The one oncology nurse who had trouble finding my veins and left me looking like someone had jabbed me with a pen 100 times, instead of a 20 butterfly---I barfed all over her shoes as often as I could...tee-hee. and shucks, she didn't hang around when I was having infusions anymore! ;-)

the good news is, they didn't RUSH you in to see the docs and get started. This is good news. When docs panic and move quickly, it's like the gas men running---oh cr@p! When they take their time, you're either a goner (not sounding like that AT ALL) or they're not overly worried.

LOL on your guardian angel--her engrish not so goodly, but her palm reading is goodly. take her at her word.

you're in my thots and prayers. scream, rant, post, giggle (yes it IS ok to giggle about this) and keep living life.

emmay said...

Ditto the being nice to the med thing....worked when both of my kids were in the hospital long-term.
That said, we still on for tomorrow night??? I can pick you up...