Thursday, 26 October 2017

FNA Results & Core Biopsy

After 9 agonising days, we fearfully head back to the hospital to hear the results. This time the waiting room is busy. It is filled with women and their 'support partners' - sisters, husbands, daughters. Again no one interacts. Everyone's heart pounding, hoping. We wait for 40 minutes. During that time my anxiety is through the roof, my tummy flutters and my heart is racing so fast I think it could explode.

"Leanne Nash"

A nurse calls us. "Can I just check your date of birth?" I reel it off, my voice slightly broken by the fear. We are led in to the consultation room and sit down.

Mrs S, the specialist, shakes our hands. The results have come back. The FNA results were inconclusive but the swab from the bloody discharge has come back as 'suspicious'. I'll need to have a core biopsy. This is where a larger, hollow needle is used to take tissue - rather than just cells as in the FNA.

I'm advised that this can take place later on today if we have time to wait, The specialist again says she is convinced I just have a papilloma but because of the discharge she wants to investigate further. Chris and I head over to the coffee shop for an hour while we wait for my appointment.

I feel calm again. I'm not in the clear but at least I don't have to go away and wait for days again. I Google 'core biopsy' on my phone. I'll be given a local anesthetic this time so at least I won't feel anything.

An hour later we head back. I'm given a gown (it will not defeat me this time!) and I head to the changing room. Again there is another woman there waiting. I desperately want to speak to her, share my story, ask hers... but I cant. It's like my voice has gone.

Eventually Im called in to the ultrasound room - the same one as before. The curtain is pulled across and the nurse sent to the fridge to get the lidocaine. The radiologists asks me to remove my gown and lie on my right side with my left arm above my head. It's uncomfortable and I dread that I have to stay there... still... for a long period.

The local anaesthetic is injected in various places to numb the area. She apologies because the area is so close to my nipple and that is the most sensitive part. She keeps going around my breast but at one point she has to call for a superior to come in, one of the needles had gone in to the duct where the blood was and so a new aneasthetic needle was required.

The radiologist was really good at informing me what was happening at each stage however at the time there were so many needles that I thought that the biopsy had begun. Unfortunately that was only the anaesthetic! Eventually, I was numb and the actual biopsy could begin. A small cut was made in my skin and a big needle inserted. When the sample is being taken it's almost like a gun. There's a horrible loud noise and then the sample of tissue is grabbed. This was done 3 or 4 times over the course of hour appointment, with the senior radiologist was assisting and advising on how to best get to the areas that needed sampling. It wasn't pleasant but you just have to deal with it don't you.

After the biopsy the radiologist said "oh I forgot to tell you about this bit, I'm just going to put a titanium marker in place. Ok?" I was so traumatised from the biopsy itself that I didn't really have the chance to question it. I hated that it was just sprung upon me without any real detail and I had no time to think about it before it was done. It made me panic because in my head I felt as though they could see something bad and had to mark it up. I've since found out its so they know where they took the biopsy from so they can go back and remove anything nasty and locate it quickly

Afterwards a small dressing was applied where the incision had been made and I was sent home. The bumpy car journey was as awful as the last time and once the local anaesthetic had worn off it was really achey. Over the next few hours awful bruising began to appear. But for now life goes on, we just need to wait. Again.

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