Friday, December 11, 2015

My 15 crazy thoughts while waiting for my biopsy results

My beast mode: running on treadmill when it's
beautiful outdoors. Just run!
A few days after my annual mammogram, the radiologists office called to schedule another appointment. They said that one of the images required retaking. They also said that I may have to get an ultrasound that same day depending on what the mammogram shows. I was a bit shaken but not stirred. I had a similar experience when I had to go back because of blurry images, but never had to take an ultrasound.

I'm not a doctor but based on family history, I always had a feeling I was at risk of cancer.

I'm physically built and look very much like my paternal aunt and grandmother, both victims of this illness. My aunt survived both breast and ovarian cancer at age 40 while my paternal grandmother died of stomach cancer. My maternal grandmother died at 83 of cirrhosis (liver cancer).

My 2nd mammo looked clear but the doctor suggested I undergo ultrasound. Lo and behold, the ultra showed showed a mass that the mammo did not catch. It wasn't clear what it was so they recommended a biopsy. I'm very impatient so I took the 1st available schedule - 48 hours later, on December 2.

Here were my thoughts in those 48 hours:
  1. Yay! I could finally get the implants I've always wanted.
  2. The children will be fine, Their awesome dad will take care of them.
  3. Yikes! That's less income for the family. But wait, they'll get insurance payout.
  4. Whew! I don't have to do another load of laundry or clean the house.
  5. How will I still train for my upcoming? Like there's no tomorrow!
  6. What should I do about my commitment to finish 60 by 60 marathons?
  7. How will I be remembered?  Would anyone even miss me?
  8. Oooh, a race! Registration is so cheap too. Oh wait, I should wait for the biopsy results. I really don't want to be marked DNS (did not start).
  9. I've lived cancer-free far longer than any of my relatives. I am grateful to make it this far.
  10. I'm sorry that hubby will have to carry on alone for the family. Hopefully, he won't be alone for a long time.
  11. There's hope. My aunt survived with 1970's technology in a 3rd world country. How can they go wrong today, in the USA.
  12. I may not get to see my grandchildren. That's ok, I'll be back in spirit.
  13. What should my parting words be to my children?
  14. It's going to be painful. Heck, I survived 3 marathons, How much worse can this be?
  15. How come I'm not sad? 
Was so happy to run, I forgot my gloves, again.
Biopsy day arrived

I filled up so many papers and answered lots of questions from the nurses. Good thing everyone was pleasant. After about an hour, the doctor came and explained the procedure, and what I should expect. She also shared some good news about the ultrasound. She said that it didn't look blatantly cancerous. So when she said that I would need to wait another 5 days for the results, I was disappointed but not devastated.

They hooked me up to an ultrasound before starting the procedure. I laid on my back. They numbed the area then whipped out the biggest needle I've ever seen. I didn't feel anything after the anesthesia kicked in, but thank goodness for that ultrasound monitor. It was a good distraction.

I was off the table in about 20 minutes with tits of steel. They left a tiny titanium chip in the biopsied area. This will serve as a locator in case they need to revisit that area. No worries. They assured me that it won't trigger any metal detectors.

The medical staff and I had a good laugh about many things. I can't really remember much of what I said but I was just happy to keep my sense of humor.

The Result

Monday, Dec 7 marked my 6th day of uncertainty.  Although I remained positive, I felt constrained by the unknown. I couldn't sign up for races or places because I didn't know where and how I would be. I couldn't wait any longer so I on Dec 8, I called the doctor's office to check if the results are out.

where there is love, there is life: OMG! I'm clear!  The lump in my bump (technical term) was benign and common among women less than 60 years old. Hooray!

How come I was not sad? 

I'm selfish. Who else would be happy to leave this world? I'm working on this.

I'm grateful. I'm blessed with a loving husband, good children, and supportive friends.

I'm complete. I've accomplished most of what I wanted to do.

Have you ever faced mortality?  What were your thoughts?


  1. I had a biopsy a few years ago on a lump that I found. It was not seen on my mammogram, and I even had to show the ultrasound tech where it was. Luckily it was an adenofibroma (benign). I too have a titanium clip in that location. And like you, I wasn't nervous or sad or anything.

    Now on with life!

  2. That's something I need to do, self exams. Glad we're over that. Cheers!

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