(aka “The Organ Recital”)
Last updated: 28 November 2001
If you want to start reading from the beginning, that’s here.
Kay from Dr. Shapiro’s office called at 11:45 am to tell me that the test results are BENIGN. Yay! I have to say, that’s one of the nicest words in the English language.
Note that this doesn’t mean that I don’t need surgery–I do. A friend of mine asked me yesterday what the difference was between a benign lump and cancer, and what I told her was “A benign lump is a tumor, as is cancer. Most non-breast cancers (as I understand it) have benign tumors and malignant tumors. In the case of breast cancer, unlike those other cancers, only the malignant tumors are referred to as cancer, and a benign tumor is just referred to as a benign lump, a benign mass, a pseudolump, etc.” That’s what I’ve got, and it needs to come out.
We set up an appointment for Monday, November 5th to talk about treatment options. In this case, that means when I’ll be having surgery and how much he’s going to chop out. Now that we’re at this point in the process, Tom and I agreed that it’s time for him to start attending appointments with me.
Doctor appointment to discuss surgery schedule and options.
For those who want details, here’s the important section from the pathology report:
Benign fibrofatty breast tissue
Microscopic Examination: Numerous levels are examined on a total of six slides. Only a few of these slides show the entire submitted needle biopsy specimen. The core biopsy tissue consists of fibrofatty breast tissue with about half mature adipose tissue and half dense fibrous tissue containing occasional small breast ducts and ocasional areas of lobular breast epithelium. There is no evidence of atypia or a neoplastic process within the submitted biopsy material. No fibroadenomatous change is identified. Correlation with the other clinical and mammographic findings is suggested. If there is a breast lesion suspicious for malignancy then a repeat biopsy may be needed, if clinically indicated. Clinical follow-up is suggested.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that the surgeon wasn’t 100% positive that he was able to actually get the needle into the lump itself, and the results are completely consistent with the needle picking up surrounding tissue and not the guts of the lump. Or in other words, I’m not completely in the clear yet.
Either way, it’s time to cut it out for good. The doc (understandably) wants to wait for the swelling and bruising to go down, so I have to wait a few weeks.
BTW, Tom went with me on this visit. His first comment after the doctor left the examination room, “I see why you like him so much.” As I’ve said before, it’s important to me that I feel like I’m in capable hands.
So now, more waiting. Oh joy.
Pre-op doctor appointment. Pretty straightforward, really. I need to be at the outpatient surgery facility Thursday at 10:45 am. Nothing to eat or drink (not even water!) after 3 am. Surgery around 1 pm. Results back on Friday. Today’s guess diagnosis: Giant Fibroadenoma. I sure hope so, as most of the other options are worse.
His plans are to remove a lump about 5 cm x 6 cm (2″ x 2.5″), which is about lime-sized, as I understand it. He says I’ll be left with more of a small dent than a divot, which will, due to the wonders of gravity, go away with time. The good news, btw, is that I’ll be getting more than just a local anaesthetic. I’ll also be getting something that will make me relax. Yay for anesthesia!
SRMH called this afternoon and spent a lot of time with me on the phone discussing care and answering questions. I have to say, one of the nicest things about all this is how willing everyone has been to let me keep asking questions until I’m done (and they answer them, too!). She said that I should be able to go home about 3:30 or so tomorrow afternoon.
Outpatient surgery scheduled.