Friday, February 14, 2020

2.14.2020 Imaging Results


I had the diagnostic mammogram of the "lump" on the left breast, followed by an ultrasound, on Wednesday.

I was impressed with the mammography technician, who handled the breast well, manipulating the tissue to get it on the plate just right. She took 3 images, each of which I went over to the screen to look at when she did. Amazing, the technology of the 3D filter. Before she started, though, she asked about the lump. I'm not good at locating it, but described where it was. She turned around to look at the computer, and reading the description of the location, she placed her fingers in the area and found it right away! And put a marker on the skin, as well as markers on the scars of the lumpectomy and the axillary dissection. And, yes, it was very "uncomfortable", made my eyes leak just a bit. I was thankful it was only one breast being squoze. (like that word?)

She went out to talk with the radiologist, came back in, saying the images were good, and she showed me to a small waiting room to wait for the ultrasound technician. That seemed like forever, but may have been 15 minutes.

She was very nice, too, and did a great job. Because of the location of the lump, positioning was a little unusual. She asked if I could hold my arm up in the air while she scanned, and I replied that I could, if she turns the screen so that I can see it. She got good images, too, turning the transducer in different directions, changing the settings, and so on. She didn't take measurements of anything, though.

My untrained eyes did not see anything odd. The initial tumor of 2007, and the few calcifications, showed bright white in the mammogram. The old tumor was obvious also, in the ultrasound, and there were lots of measurements taken. These current images looked like striae, or the lines of tissue, with the usual wiggles and shadows. And while she was trying to get a good picture directly over the current lump, there really wasn't anything identifiable.

She went out to talk with the radiologist again, and when she came back in, he came with her.

He questioned, a couple of times, about actually feeling it. He says there is nothing showing, either radiographically or sonographically, and seemed puzzled. He said the only thing he saw was some edema in the breast. He recommended "keeping an eye on it", following up with the Clinician, and consulting a surgeon.

Well, my surgeon left town, my oncologist left town, the replacement oncologist left town, and has probably retired. The only thing left in Lansing is my records.  I had a lot to ponder.

This morning, Lisa, the Clinician, called to talk with me about the results. (of course I had already read them in the electronic health record, MyChart).  I've been thinking a lot about what I wanted to do, if anything.

So, here's what I had on the list.  1.) Just follow up in 6 months with Lisa, or sooner if I felt the need.  2.) Maybe repeat the blood test for the cancer markers. (those have been done annually, most recently this past June, and have been negative)  3.) Surgical consult.  Ugh.

Looking back at the choices I made the first time around, if an option had been presented that had a  %  (percent) of  disease-free survival, no matter how small the percentage, that was the treatment I chose. And we all know that early detection has the best outcome.  So....

The blood work is ordered, and the surgeon consult is scheduled for March 4, 2020.

Not that I'm looking to have a biopsy or have anything removed, especially because it's not identifiable on imaging. Maybe it will be gone by then. Maybe it is just radiation fibrosis.

Whatever it is, or isn't, it will hopefully be a non-event.

Thank you for reading. Hugs.

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