Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Why Me?

2nd September 2009

This time I have asked my husband to be with me in the hospital. We take a seat in the waiting room of the breast clinic.
“Calm down” he says, “It will be a blockage you watch or infection.”
“The results were calcification!” I snap “Not a blockage or infection!” He shuts up and watches the clock, fiddling with his mobile phone even going on the internet. Football results every woman’s nightmare unless you’re a fan.

After sitting in the waiting area for forty minutes my name is called out. I quickly head for the nurse who called my name leaving Steve to follow me. We are shown in a room where a female oncologist consultant is waiting. She introduces herself and the people present in the room.

“Please take a seat” she guides us in with her outstretched arm. “Now let me see your notes, are yes I remember now. At the last MDT meeting we not were satisfied with the biopsy results. I cannot understand why they do an ultra sound biopsy first. The mammogram biopsy is more reliable with results for calcification. So I would like it repeated with the mammogram instead.”

My heart sinks at the thought of going through it all again. The pain and the waiting on the results could send you insane. Steve grips my hand firmly knowing what I went through over the last week gone.

Then the consultation was interrupted with another nurse entering the room chatting with the breast care nurse directly behind my back. The consultant interrupted their conversation because it was distracting me from listening to her. The consultant gave the two of them a polite ear bashing. She apologised for the interruption and ordered them to take it outside or discuss it at a later date. Then the consultant continued her conversation with me and my husband.

“The reason behind this decision is it shows no calcification on the biopsy taken just fibrous tissue. So we have to repeat the procedure to be certain of the results.”
“You’re looking for DCIS?” the consultant looks at me surprised. “I went onto the Macmillan site and it explained it all and the procedures that can take place.”
“Yes we are.” the consultant replied.
My husband asks me to be quiet and let the consultant speak rather than me interrupt. The consultant smiled at Steve politely and continued to talk. “Right now we have no answer that’s why Sarah is here. So the process must be repeated and I do apologise at the fact you have to go through it again.”
I look past the consultant as more is explained, but I can’t take it in. All her words seem to blur into one muddle.
She requests that I remove my top and bra behind a curtain so she can examine me further. I follow the consultants’ instructions as she strokes and pokes both my breasts.

“Yes there is considerable change in the left breast compared to the right.” Then she squeezed my left breast for a bloody discharge to leak from the nipple.
“Well that can be something else let’s just take a slide sample to be analysed. I understand the blood could just be because of the biopsy the week before, but we need to confirmed or deny so this sample can help.”
She glides a glass slide across my nipple then hands it to the nurse who vanishes to get it processed.

Once the examination was finished I slipped my bra and top back on and sit beside Steve to hear the consultant discuss my situation further. I held his hand preparing myself for what was going to be said.

It was explained by the consultant I happen to be in the lower bracket and should not have this not at my age, but 2% of women in my age group do develop it and it cannot be explained why.
“You have just been dealt the wrong deck of cards if that is the case.” She says.
I look away from the consultant searching for something a glimmer of hope.

I so want a different deck of cards right this minute. This is not the first time I have dealt with pre-cancer. In 1996 I had a loop diathermy and DNC for erosion of the cervix with pre-cancerous cells. But this seems different somehow and was going to be an uphill struggle. My thoughts are I got through that surely I can get through this.
So I had the information and I have to wait until the next appointment comes through the post.
Me and my husband leave the breast clinic and head for home.
“Let’s have some fish broth that will clear it up. It will be a secret recipe to getting rid of this.”
“Men!” I hear myself say. They always think there is an easy solution to a problem that is medical. Maybe that is why they spend less time in GP’s surgeries than women.


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