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You're going to feel some pressure.

Dr. Donald. The radiologist who was in charge of performing my first ultrasound biopsies name is Dr. Donald. I wonder if I will ever forget the names of the people who have cared for me on this ride. Probably, when I’m old, I’ll be telling the story to my grandkids, and I’ll have to pause to try and remember. But today their names and their masked faces are seared into my memory.


The biopsies are something I wouldn’t mind forgetting.


I have two tumors growing in my breast. One is 2cm and is shaped like a grape. I can feel it when I push into the side of my breast. It is the one I found myself. The other, a half-centimeter round ball that is so deep that they aren’t sure if it has broken through the breast tissue and pushed into my chest wall.


The larger of the two should be able to be biopsied using a standard ultrasound, they say. The other will need to be a mammogram-guided biopsy. According to the doctors and nurses is quite an ordeal and they want to avoid it at all costs. Not because it’s dangerous, but because it is quite uncomfortable for the person getting it as you are sitting on a chair with your breast locked into a mammogram while the radiologist guides a needle deep into the tissue guided by what they see on the live mammogram.


Dr. Donald said he thought he could get to the smaller tumor guided by the ultrasound. I like Dr. Donald.


My breast is injected with lidocaine to numb the area and using an ultrasound a long needle is guided through the tissue to the tumor (I’m not a medical person so this is not technical, but rather my interpretation of what was happening to me). Dr. Donald found the smaller tumor and pushed the needle in. And holy motherforkin’ shirtballs it hurt. A LOT. This was more than pressure and I said so. So Dr. Donald pulled back the needle and injected more lidocaine. This happened multiple times until I was FINALLY numb enough to only feel the pressure.


I wish I could explain what it feels like to feel a needle push into the wall of your chest. But I can’t really, so let’s just say it hurt. Like, HURT.


A titanium marker was left in both tumors and the biopsy was taken with a loud snap! It startled me. I cried. Tasha held my hand. She gave me a Kleenex. She told me I was doing a great job and that I should cry if I needed to.


After the biopsies more mammograms needed to be done to confirm the placement of the markers. But they couldn’t find the deep marker. They had to go back in. I will save you the descriptions of why that marker was needed, but it was. And after a second marker was left, I was back in the mammogram machine. This time with the help of a technician, the marker was seen on the mammogram. But so were the bones of the hands that pushed my breast deep into the machine. Which I found rather amusing when they showed me.



I thanked everyone a million times. For being so nice, for holding my boob in the machine, for letting me cry. And I walked out into the waiting room where Dan (that’s the husband of this story) sat.


Now to wait for results.

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I had needle biopsy a couple of years ago. your description of the process is spot on. It hurts but the gratitude that you feel for the people caring for you helps. Thinking of you today, Beth.

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