August 17, 2017 I found myself sitting in the waiting room of my breast surgeon’s office. I never thought I would ever have a breast surgeon let alone knew why one would need one.
This appointment I made prior to my mammogram because that was my OBGYN office’s instructions. I really had no idea what this appointment was going to be like. Was there going to be a biopsy? Was it a meet and greet? Do we discuss the mammogram? I really didn’t know what to expect. However, I did not come to this appointment alone. Thankfully, I had my aunt Judy with me.
It began with me meeting Dr. Rashid, who is an amazing human being. She is one of my favorite doctors. This appointment turned to an all day event. She had already received my mammogram results and then did physical exam. She determined I needed a biopsy right away. If she couldn’t get me in the hospital that day for both biopsies, she would perform the one on the left breast in the office.
The mammogram and ultrasound results showed the mass in the left breast and under the left arm would require an ultrasound guided needle biopsy. The right breast would need a mammogram guided biopsy or stereotactic. Now prior to this appointment I had been researching as much information as possible about biopsies and what to expect.
She was able to get me in the hospital to have both procedures done that afternoon. This made me happy because I really wanted answers at this point.
The first procedure was the left breast. They injected some local anesthesia (I was awake but my breast and underarm was numb) They got several good samples from both the mass in the breast and the effect lymph nodes.
The second procedure was why they needed the hospital. I’m going to describe this from someone who has no medical background. I go into this room, mind you I’m already not feeling great from the previous procedure. I’m greeted by the technician thats going to be doing the procedure along with Dr. Rashid. She was another amazing person, she stayed late to perform this procedure. I found this out later when it was all done her daughter was having surgery and she stayed to make sure I got this biopsy done that day. I have met some remarkable people along this journey.
Now back to the procedure itself. In this room was a table with a hole in it. I was instructed to get on the table and the right breast went through the hole. I am not making this up, this is an actual procedure. This was a lot harder than the previous one because once she found the spots using the mammogram machine that was under the table I couldn’t move. Of course it wasn’t a comfortable position that they wanted me to hold for what seemed like forever (I’m being slightly dramatic). She made marks on my skin of areas for Dr.Rashid. After she was set up with the images, Dr. Rashid came in, I was given more local anesthesia and the procedure was done.I want to say while she was doing the biopsy they did take images as we went along but its hard to say because I didn’t have a good view.
On the drive home my aunt asked if I needed her to come to the follow up appointment on Tuesday. I remember being out of it and saying no I should be ok unless they tell me I have cancer then maybe not. She informed me she was coming with. Judy, thank you so much for doing that.