What’s Worse Than a Biopsy

Let’s start with the good news.

My bone scan is clear.

My CT scan is clear.

There is no sign of metastatic cancer in any part of my body.

Yay!

There’s some calcification near the marker clip in my left breast. The doctor at the testing centre ran a protocol for calcification and couldn’t exclude DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). I might still have cancer. I might not. Only a biopsy can tell me for sure.

So yesterday we head off to drive one and a half hours to the nearest centre that can offer me a quick biopsy.

First up, another mammogram. Apparently the one taken last Friday needs to be repeated so it’s stand here and lean in and put your arm there and OUCH. The technician tells me I’m a ‘good girl’ for not complaining. I resist the temptation to punch her.

Next it’s sitting in the mammogram room on my own for about half an hour. What are they doing? Why does this always happen when I need to pee? Gah!

Finally another technician fetches me and I’m transfered to the ultrasound suite after a quick toilet stop. What follows is about 40 minutes of going backwards and forwards across my breast in search of the marker clip. You see, the calcification doesn’t show up on ultrasound so they need to find the clip to know which bit of tissue to biopsy.

The technician asks me to sit up. More gel. More scanning. Still no luck.

A very crisp and professional doctor joins us. More gel. More scanning. May as well give the doctor a go, too. I’m propped on my side. More gel. More scanning. No clip.

So it seems that the marker clip, highly visible on mammogram, can’t be seen under ultrasound. Without it I can’t have the biopsy. I’m told to discuss it with my surgeon.

At least they bulk billed me.

I also learned that the shape of the marker clip is meant to be the breast cancer ribbon. That’s cute, isn’t it.

So now I’m back in that familiar state of limbo where I may or may not have cancer and I may or may not require further treatment. I suspect my surgeon will send me back to see the doctor that originally inserted the clip when she returns from holidays after the 27th of this month.

Bugger.

So what’s worse than having a biopsy?

Needing one and not being able to have one.

 

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