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Mini Update

9 Aug

The Breast Blog #10

August 9, 2011

Mini update.

This is a follow-up regarding the recent biopsy.  No, I still don’t have word.  It’s been six days, or three-and-a-half business days.

What I am aware of is continuing discomfort in the right breast.  I am feeling the after-effects of the procedure.  I am realizing that my poor little breast suffered trauma and it may take some time to heal from that.

It’s interesting that I wasn’t feeling much physical pain for the last two months.  But now I do – from the finding-out  part, as opposed to the symptoms themselves.  I  ask myself, ‘Was the procedure really necessary?’  And my reluctant answer is, ‘Yes.  I think I needed it so I can know once and for all if anything is going on that needs to be taken care of.’  To not have had this procedure would have left me wondering and worrying for a long time.  But to wonder and worry for a short time but then find out what’s going on and deal with it, that makes sense.

My friend Julia was so right.  This is the worst part.  This freaking waiting.  Once I know, I can deal with it.  I know I can.

If I feel discomfort now, I find myself rather scared thinking about recovering from the trauma of actual surgery.  And I also realize how very little I know about the upcoming procedure.  And once again I will have to summon up the courage to be more assertive and ASK.  Because for some reason, the doctor did not schedule time to meet with me after this first biopsy and before the surgery.  And as I am basically a hospital novice (with regard to personal experience,) and certainly a novice with any kind of surgery, and most certainly a novice with this particular kind of surgery, I need to ask more questions.  What exactly will you be doing with/to my left breast?  What instruments will you be using?  Are you extracting the entire milk duct?  How long is a milk duct?  How wide?  Will you remove any tissue from around the milk duct?  And is the nodule in fact within the duct?  What will be the repercussions?  Will I have scarring – internally or externally?  Will we somehow “fill in” the space that will open as a result of removing the duct?  How will the body heal?  How can we accelerate and support the healing?  Will I lose any sensation in my breast or nipple?

I don’t know any of these answers!  From my online research, it sounds like there will not be an external scar, but there may be a depression in the breast.  It sounds like it is possible to lose sensation in the nipple, which may or may not be temporary.

I am sad to think that my body will look and feel different after this surgery.  It helps somewhat to do what my social worker friend says, “Think of it as a battle scar.”  One author – I forget who – says that if Americans went around without shirts on, we would see that the most common scars among men are from open-heart surgery.  And the most common scars among women are from mastectomies.

I am one of many, many, many women engaged in a battle to save my breasts (or life, as the case may be.)  Hopefully this blog will help you all to save yours as well.