Saturday, February 9, 2013
My annual mammogram came back with microscopic calcium deposits in my left breast that were not there the year before. The new digital mammography is excellent for seeing the smallest things but they also require that all the smallest things be investigated. A biopsy was ordered.
A breast biopsy is a awkward ordeal. The machine is an uncomfortable table where the patient lays on their stomach and their breast hangs through a cut out. A mammography machine compresses the breast and film is made of the affected area. The breast stays compressed through the procedure leaving the patient in an uncomfortable and awkward position for about 40 minutes.
A Valium and pain pill was given to ease the process and the area was locally numbed before the needle was inserted and the biopsy performed.
I am not a modest person by nature so stripping to the waist with the female nurse and x-ray tech was not difficult. The unfamiliar procedure and possible results had me on edge.
The nurse took her time in explaining the process, what would happen, where everyone would be and what I was expected to do. Once I was informed and comfortable these two women pulled me into a companionable conversation, asking about me and my family as preparations were made.
I was loaded onto the table, my head and arms locked in position, then the nurse stepped into my line of sight where she would be throughout the procedure providing a running commentary on what was happening.
The doctor arrived, stepping into view to introduce himself as the ladies provided him with some information they gleaned about me so he seamlessly entered the easy chatter keeping the atmosphere casual and relaxed.
These three have done this same procedure many times and even though I was one on that road of many I want to thank them for seeing only me at my turn; for caring that I was comfortable and taking measures to see to my peace of mind.
I want to particularly thank N., my nurse, for holding my hand through the poking, prodding and cutting. It was a gesture of compassion and a warm and welcomed comfort.
Footnote: The results were back on Thursday and all was clear and benign.