Testing, testing

30 Jul

This week has been tiring, with more tests and the stress of uncertainty.

To begin with, I had an MRI on Tuesday afternoon. This was to check both breasts to see if there were any other smaller lumps that couldn’t be felt, or picked up by the ultrasound. They also visualise the surrounding lymph node area.

First I had to get an IV in (I hate needles!) and change into yet another glorious gown – although I must admit, the Hagley Radiology gowns have been the nicest so far. So nice, that I got my sister to take a photo – it’s kind of kimono-like don’t you think?

The MRI takes about 20 minutes. You have to lie on your stomach and pop your boobs into square container thing that is built into the bed (which is more like a tray and less like a bed I think). Then you go into the giant cylindrical machine feet first. They take a bunch of images, during which time you have to lie very still. They also give you earplugs because it is really loud when taking the images. The last image they take uses a contrasting agent that they pump into your IV – this is to visualise the blood vessels. I swear I could taste it in my mouth just after it went in. I felt a little dizzy afterwards but other than that it wasn’t so bad.

I then had another appointment with my specialist to talk about these results on Thursday afternoon. The images confirmed the size of the lump in my right breast (about 2.5 to 3cm) but also showed that it had tendril-like extensions reaching through the ducts towards my nipple, hence it has been classed as a ductal carcinoma. No other lumps in either breast were detected by the MRI, but to be 100% certain the doctor wanted me to have a mammogram on the left breast.

Man – I didn’t think they could squish the girls so much! They really squash your boob in the machine and just when you’re quite uncomfortable and don’t think they couldn’t squash it any more, they wind it up a bit further! Don’t let this put you off getting a mammogram though – it’s not painful (just uncomfortable) and it doesn’t take very long at all.

The mammogram confirmed that there’s nothing in the left breast! Wohoo! I was so stoked about this. A little triumph in an unbelievably crappy situation.

I didn’t get away that lightly though. Due to the size of the lump, the ductal invasion, the location of it just under the nipple, and the fact that I don’t have a set of double D’s (nothing wrong with a small B in my opinion!), I will need to have a full mastectomy of my right breast. This is booked in for next Wednesday morning.

I don’t know exactly how I feel about it. On one hand, I would rather they remove the whole breast because that way, there’s no chance of the cancer coming back on that side. On the other hand though, how could I possibly feel like a whole woman again having only one breast? Earlier in the week I thought I was OK with losing it, but now I don’t know that I am. Sure, I’ll get a prosthesis (which the nurse showed me and it does feel very real), and after chemotheraphy and radiotherapy they will reconstruct it but it’s never going to be the same again.

Either way, it doesn’t matter. It has to come off so that I can beat this. I like to make fun of myself, and while I was away with my husband and a whole heap of good friends last weekend, we were coming up with names for me if I had to have one boob.

One hump. Like a camel? Why not, camels are pretty cool. And anyway, they’re built for survival.

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4 Responses to “Testing, testing”

  1. Steve July 31, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Love the photo Kylie, very Zen like…You are right, Camels are cool regardless of how many humps they have 🙂

  2. Derri August 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    My mum had to have both off in one go – very traumatic… but she also had a double reconstruction in the same surgery (tough cookie!), got through it ok.

    You’re younger, healthier, have a WAY better attitude toward it, and you’re a much nicer person all’round.

    x D

  3. Margy August 5, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Hey Kylie, just wanted you to know that I’m thinking of you. It’s great that you have a positive attitude.

    Love Margy

    • Kylie August 5, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

      Thanks Margy 🙂

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