Sunday, May 10, 2015

Breast Biopsy

I had my guided MRI breast biopsy on Friday. It was a rare super rainy day here...and my sister had been in labor with my new niece since the night before. So luckily lots of distraction meant a lot less stress and anxiety leading up to the appointment.

The hardest part was inside the MRI. Being moved in and out without being able to see anything always makes me a little dizzy. Then I was getting a bit anxious about the enormity of everything and wanted to take some deep breaths to calm myself down. But then you aren't allowed to move at all, so I'm trying to take breaths that don't feel deep enough which feels a lot like the beginning of a panic attack. I imagined myself freaking out and squeezing the emergency button in my hand. But I calmed myself well enough. 

It's also a little weird being 30+ years younger than most other women around, but I'm special like that...

Results should take 2-4 business days so I'll know a lot more next week...meh.

I'm pretty resigned to the realty of it, although I'm definitely hoping for a clear path to not super aggressive treatment. And I want to speak with the experts about this whole mastectomy thing. :/

Oh and literally, my sister had very serious complications during her c section and she's fine now, but it took two hours and extra doctors. Geesh. But my new niece is perfect.

The day after, I was a little worried that I had an infection because I had pinkness over a lot of my breast and it was warm, I also continued to bleed just a tiny bit throughout the day. But I woke up today and everything looked much better.

The pain was not bad at all! I took Ibuprofen the day of before bed, but just one time and that was it. It feels kind of bruised if my breast is pushed or kicked (toddlers are fun...I told him about my boo boo and he kissed it a few times then promptly forgot).

Mr. GG has been traveling a ton and will be out of town when I find out the results this week, but I imagine we'll have a sit down appointment next week if the results are positive which he will be here for. I'm not freaking out, but I'm ready for more information.

Here's the detailed biopsy write-up:
I got there early (it's a little disconcerting walking into a "Cancer Center." Very real.)  and had time to get a smoothie. They told me just to eat a light lunch in case I got nauseous. 

After they brought me back, I changed in the little locker room. I planned ahead this time, so I wore comfy leggings and I brought a nice pair of grippy socks. Both of those things made me feel a little bit more comfortable (and warm). First the nurse explained everything. Then I got my IV. Then one doc came in and explained everything and then another doc did the same! So I definitely had the all of the necessary info.

Here's the process: first I went go in the MRI for about 7 minutes with the breast compressed between two plates. It wasn't super tight though. Then they check the images and pull you out (you stay lying down the whole time, in or out). Best case scenario is they don't see the lesion. But for me, immediately they said, okay I'm going to numb the area because the actual biopsy comes next and in my case was done by hand by a doctor. Some are done by machine. He numbed my breast with lidocaine. One of the numbing needles pinched more than the others and I flinched...and they reminded me not to move, thanks.

Then I went back in for another few minutes, then out again, then the did the biopsy. They took 5 samples with a core needle. I could feel three of them. They felt like needle pricks. Then they place a stainless steel "clip" in the incision to mark the spot of the lesion so it shows up on mammogram. It will not set of airport sensors or interfere with future MRIs. Then they hold pressure on the wound for 5 minutes. Literally. Last, steri-strips were placed to close the wound. which will fall off in about 5 days.

Of course that's not it. Lastly, you have to get a mammogram to make sure the clip shows up. 

Then you get dressed and leave! (I was given small circular ice packs to put in my bra to reduce swelling and bruising and antibiotic ointment and band-aids to cover everything with which I change every day.)


  1. Oy - not fun - but you got through it! One more thing down. Those MRI machines really are not fun, are they? I'm sorry the needles hurt a little. Usually lidocaine is pretty good at numbing things up. Anyway, I was hoping everything went ok. And I will continue to keep the fingers crossed for the best possible result. (And yeah, going to cancer centers continues to be weird for me, even 3 years later. I just had a medical oncologist checkup where I was actually able to give him happy news - that our 2nd IVF was successful and I'm about 9 weeks pregnant! And I was younger than most everyone at these places too.)

    Hang in there! Sooner than you think, this will all just be in the rearview mirror.

  2. well done for getting through that. Praying you'll get good news! Take care and look after yourself, hugs

  3. No fun at all! Thanks for writing that up, I've had friends/family members go through this but still didn't really get what actually happened. Fingers crossed!

  4. My one and only MRI was very traumatic. I was severely sleep deprived, dealing with contrast agent being injected and wasn't prepared for the tiny space (they surveyed my liver, so my whole body was in the tube and I was wrapped tight). I can begin to imagine what this experience was like.

    I'm hoping for good news on your end soon. In the meantime, find distractions and know you have lots of love coming your way.

  5. Thinking of you this week, and hoping you can get the results quickly. Thank you for updating and letting us know how you are doing.

  6. Thinking of you and hoping that you get good news soon.