Stereotactic biopsy, also known as stereotactic core biopsy, is a biopsy procedure that uses a computer and imaging performed in at least two planes to localize a target lesion (such as a tumor or microcalcifications in the breast) in three-dimensional space and guide the removal of tissue for examination by a pathologist under a microscope. Stereotactic core biopsy makes use of the underlying principle of parallax to determine the depth or “Z-dimension” of the target lesion.
Did you read that last part? Early sign of breast cancer. THIS IS WHERE I SAY POSITIVE THINGS LIKE EARLY DETECTION CAN SAVE MY LIFE and it’s true. My mom and wife brain recognizes that if it is something and not nothing it can be found early and it could mean many more years with my family and friends. And yes, I want that. Of course I do.
But I digress. Where was I?
Oh yeah, the procedure.
…After I listened to the nurse and radiologist with their pop noises here and their done it a million times there, I reluctantly obeyed the instructions: Take off your top and say goodbye to the hubby.
Temporarily. He just couldn’t come inside with me. ?.
I’m led into the procedure chamber. This room housed the weirdest looking massage table I’ve ever seen. Big and pink with a hole in the center. If I wanted to put my face in it, my pelvis and legs would be hanging off the edge. For a brief moment, I wanted to try it out, maybe break the tension I was feeling but alas, the nurse had heard that joke many times before and they were on a tight schedule.
No time for funny stuff, Kristi. Let’s get down to our probing tissue business, shall we??
I hopped on the table and let the nurse guide my messed up knocker into the giant glory hole. I had a moment where a female version of Porky’s came to mind and how I could write that screenplay based on this experience but then the plates compressed my boob and the moment passed. It was time to start the fun.
My head started swimming Just start the novocaine shot already. Get me numb, please. My thoughts were racing as I waited, anticipating what was coming next. I HATED feeling this fear and I HATED that my fight or flight responses were useless here. Fighting my fears was just too difficult. My head was in control now. It had me captive with the worst case scenarios and in my head, the needle was the size of a harpoon and my god WHY AM I AWAKE FOR THIS?!?
Things started happening. It went like this:
Novocaine pinches….Becoming numb
Pressure for the incision. Still numb…
Pressure for sampling needle…Still numb
Waiting as they get the needle into the right location. Needle is also injecting numbing agent at this time. …Sort of numb. Lots of pressure.
Doctor mentions loud sound….
(Omg. I’m shaking as I write this…)
Vacuum powered probe punches needle in
NOT NUMB ANYMORE. YELLING AT DOCTOR THAT IM NOT LONGER NUMB AND I CAN FEEL EVERYTHING!!!
Doctor states that it’ll get numb soon and to just breathe.
Breathing. Crying. Can’t move. Crying harder. Breathing is so hard. Hyperventilating. Moving feet in circles.
Doctor tells me to try and not move my feet.
Inside my head, I’m screaming. The needle takes its samples and the nurse goes to analyze it. If it’s not a good sample, we start all over from square one.
I wait. And pray. Mostly, I just cry.
Minutes are hours are weeks are centuries.
My breathing calms. I hear the “pop” in my head over and over…
Doctor tells me samples are good and can I manage to do another one in a separate place on my breast.
I beg him no. If the samples come back positive, we can cross that bridge. I just can’t again. I’m ashamed that I say no.
He says that he’s confident that his samples will show what he needs. He apologizes. He tells me that some people feel nothing and some people feel it all.
I should get my test results in a couple of days. So, it’s nothing until it’s something.
Boy, that was not nothing.
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