Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's a cluster...

That's what the radiologist said after looking at the ultrasound.  A cluster.  The only things I know that 'cluster' are grapes and a headache.  This was neither.  It was some cells.

Today I had my annual mammogram.  I get them yearly because of my family history and for the simple fact that if something could be detected as early as possible, it would be a good thing.  I made some mental notes while the first set of images were being taken.  I needed to make a stop here, and then there, and then that other place and hopefully get home before I'm too starving for lunch.

After the first ones were sent to the mysterious radiologist (kinda like the manager at a car dealership), mammogram lady came back.  We need to re-take one side.  We go through that process.  I thumb through a very old magazine feeling uneasy.  She returns in about 10 minutes.  We see something.  You will need to have an ultrasound done.  Can you stay?  Of course I can stay.  You are telling me something looks odd and ask if I want to leave?

So I wait once again in my fuzzy white robe.  It should be keeping me warm.  I'm feeling very clammy.  Well downright nervous if you must ask.  Finally they call me to ultrasound.  Two ladies are there.  One 'rookie' and her expert witness standing behind her.  They are looking intently on the screen.  They are marking little dark spots (as I crane my head to look).  This goes on for about 7 or 4 or 6 minutes.  I'm in full-blown panic now.  Finally I say, 'what are you looking at?'.  Oh, just some cysts for sure and maybe something else.  Finally they finish.  After waiting another five minutes, the experienced sonogram lady comes back and says they are having a problem getting the images to the aforementioned radiologist.  Would I mind if he came in to read them right on the screen?  Um.  No.  I have my fuzzy white bathrobe for protection.

He walks in.  He's tall and middle-aged and seems a bit shy.  I'm thinking he didn't excel in the outgoing department and so he likes his mysterious position there in the hospital where he reads stuff all the day long but doesn't have to make much eye contact.  He says murmuring things to the other lady.  They point and talk in hushed tones.  I'm waiting like a sitting duck for the verdict with wet palms and a knotted stomach.

Finally he turns around.  His first words were 'well it looks benign', then adds a "but".  There's a cluster.  A cluster of cells that turn into cancer in some cases.  We could biopsy real soon, but I don't think it is necessary.  What I would like though is for you to come back in six months.  We need another ultrasound done then to see if there is growth or if it has changed to cancer.  Are you comfortable with that?  Well Mr. Radiologist, are you?  Assuming he is since that was my first option, I nodded yes.

So I changed out of my fuzzy white robe and got my clothes on and responded to the Chairman's many messages that kept coming in wondering why I hadn't called to tell him good news right away.  I wish I could have.  But I couldn't.

However, I did what any sane person would do when faced with a medical situation.  I Googled it.  I found out that 20% of the cases turn to cancer.  Eighty-percent do not.  So again, like any sane person, I'm assuming I'm the 20%.  I'm reasonable like that.

So why am I telling you this?  I'm not sure.  I waver between wanting to be completely private, and wanting to share with you since I consider my audience to be friends.  Friends that share the ups and downs of life.  Today was a worrisome day.  But the odds are in my favor.  I'm thankful for early detection if that is the case.  I'm thankful for my health now more than ever.  I'm thankful the Chairman is such a rock and the voice of reason crying in the wilderness.  And I'm thankful for a mother that was boarding a plane and took the time to say to me, 'I know exactly how you feel'.  Because she does.  She's been there.  Twice.  And hers wasn't benign.

So there you have it.  My inward thoughts on post #889....


  1. So sorry, the unknown is nearly as bad as the known. Worrisome, thanks for sharing and know that we care. Hoping for the best.
    Hugs from SW Minn

  2. Thanks for sharing. Hopefully it will STAY benign! Will be keeping "fingers crossed" for you!

  3. This hits close to home right now... been experiencing some of the same... I think if it eases your mind a little it wouldn't be all bad to get a biopsy done of it. My PA told me that with breast cancer and/or cysts they operate almost immediately (even though they don't have to, usually) because of the high level of anxiety that comes with this sort of finding/diagnosis. Hugs to you. I was talking to Craig about my high level of anxiety (I've never been much of a worrier.) and pointed out that as we get older we worry more, because we've seen more people our age getting sick. Love you!

  4. Though we've never met, I do feel a bond that only God's people know. Thank you for sharing...sending love and care your way, Cindy

  5. I understand completely. As the saying goes 'been there, done that'..about 9 or 10 times. A biopsy (with good results of course) gives such relief. I have a mother that has had breast cancer 3 times and it just doesn't seem safe to sit on something questionable for 6 months, especially when a needle directed biopsy is simple! Good luck!

  6. Personally I would probably pursue it in light of my sister's recent cancer and Becky's. Thanks for reminding me to make that appt for myself. Thinking of you and sending you hugs!

  7. Sorry to hear that... hoping for the very best!

  8. Thinking of you and appreciated your thoughts on the matter. Sometimes writing things out is so helpful and then, of course, the comments that come are encouraging and heartwarming too. Hugs!!

  9. Thanking you for sharing Linda! What I have learned, when we are going through something like this, just knowing there are people out there that care, make everything we are facing just a little bit less scary. I had something just like this last month. They ordered my first ever mammogram. I was scared to put it simply. My husband had a BIG meeting. I told him not to worry about going with me. My plan was to NOT tell anyone...so as to not worry anyone. My good friend had known I had an appointment for a yearly check up and asked how it went. I considered again...not telling her, but I did. She drove over an HOUR to come be at my appointment. I told her it was going to be nothing, she said...that's what I plan on it being....but I am going to be there anyway. It moved my heart, and made me realize that it's okay to let people be concerned about us. It's not selfish, but its God's and Jesus spirit at work. Sorry to ramble on and on here, but thank you for sharing, so we can all do what we are called upon to do...care, and be there for you if needs be! Love to you!