1/22/14 - Another Day, Another Lump

It's been a busy couple of weeks. I had my Herceptin infusion on Tuesday, the 14th. My lovely nurse Christine, had a difficult time getting in my vein. I guess they are getting tired of being poked. We ended up having to use the surgery arm which I'm hoping is ok. I guess time will tell.

Robyn and Michael in Monterey, CA

We drove to Northern California on Friday morning to visit Robyn. We stopped on our way in and took her to lunch. After lunch we drove to our hotel. We stayed at the Toll House in Los Gatos. It's a cute little hotel surrounded by shops and restaurants and if you're ever in that area, it's a great place to stay - very clean. It was our first vacation after all this cancer stuff, and it was so nice to get away. Friday night we stayed close to the hotel and Robyn and Michael met us for dinner. Saturday we drove to Monterey and spent some time on Cannery Row.  Then we drove to Carmel to see the ocean. We got up very early on Sunday, had breakfast with Robyn & Michael, and started the trek back home. The whole weekend went by way too quickly. I was happy I finally got to see Robyn's new apartment. It's really adorable and she has it decorated so nice. It was a great trip. Wouldn't it be nice to stay on vacation forever?

Beppy & BudBud in Monterey, CA
So, back to reality on Monday morning. I had my ultrasound appointment at 10:30 a.m. and the second part of my radiation simulation at 2:15 p.m.  They quickly determined the lump I was feeling was not a seroma. The tech showed the results to the doctor and we all know the next step by now - US core needle biopsy. I was shocked and stunned. It felt like someone kicked me in the gut. The one test I absolutely hate and they want to do it again. I don't have enough adjectives to describe how I was feeling. Defeated, lost, distraught - I could go on and on.  My last core needle biopsy hurt so badly, I just knew I couldn't do another one. My surgeon came down during my test and I begged her to just cut it out. Surgery I can handle, another biopsy was just out of the question. Of course, I didn't get my way. They scheduled an ultrasound guided core needle biopsy for the next day. UGGGGGGGGGG. I cried the whole way home. In fact, I cried most of the day and most of the night. What a wuss. I'm not sure if I was crying about the test, or that I felt like I was starting all over again from the beginning. I also felt ticked off. I did everything they asked of me, chemo, surgery and was on my way to radiation and there it was - another lump. Do I have some kind of lump making machine in me? Like on I Love Lucy when the chocolates keep coming by, and you can't catch them quickly enough to package them.  The chocolates are my lumps! So yesterday, I went kicking and screaming into the radiology department. I felt like a two year old. I took two Ativan before the procedure - suggested by my surgeon. That made me even more emotional - I was like a blubbering idiot. I was on the table and just got up and told them I can't do it. It was just so painful last time - I just can't do it. Let me just say, the team I had was amazing. They explained that the doctor I was having that day was very gentle and goes very slow. This wasn't one of my finer moments in life. I felt like a puddle of jelly. As I was getting ready to get up and leave, guess who walks in - yep, my surgeon. The same lady that held my hand last time (bless her heart). I knew once she walked in it was all over. She's like a bulldog and she wasn't letting me out of that room. For the second time, she kept me calm and held my hand. The doctor came in (he looked really young), and was very nice and understood my bad experience from last time. The team convinced me to go through with the test. I'm not sure why there was such a difference. I have to attribute this mostly to the doctor, but the test didn't hurt at all this time. He used a ton of lidocaine, and didn't rush like the last doctor did. When he made the first click and I didn't feel anything, I told him I loved him. In fact, at that point, I loved the whole team and told them so. It was such a relief. He got four cores out of a tiny lump of 6mm. I should know whether the cancer has returned by Friday, January 24th.

I thought I was fairly stoic throughout this whole process. From originally finding the two lumps, through testing, to diagnosis, and then the start of treatment. I'm not sure why I broke down at this point. Maybe because I was so close to being done, with only radiation left. Maybe it's the reality that now every little lump and pain can lead to a higher stage of breast cancer, or maybe everything just hit me all at once. I feel guilty for being weak - I'm typically not an emotional person, although I did cry when I lost my hair. I think it was the culmination of everything. Having to have another Core needle biopsy felt like I was starting over again. All I could picture was the mouse on a wheel.

While that certainly wasn't one of my proudest moments, I'm sharing this for anyone else that has to go down this path. My tantrum, emotional outbreak or whatever you want to call it, is over. I've given myself  permission to be a cry baby and a wuss, as long as I don't make it a habit. :) Today is a new day.

I'm optimistic that my results will be good and show no new cancer. If it is cancer again, there is nothing I can do to change it, so I will deal with whatever comes up. Not because of strength or courage but because what other option is there?

So the point of this post, is to have your bitchy, whiny, tantrums when you need them, then it's time to get over it, and do what you have to do. Onward and upward - well, hopefully not upward just yet  <evil grin>.

And by the way, radiation has been put on hold until we know what we are dealing with. Thanks for checking on me!




  1. hi beppy. i know exactly what you are going through my name is kathe, and i did everything they asked of me, and i had a biopsy yesterday, on my lumpectomy breast. it hurts like the muffer, and also the lymphatics on that side are compromised, so i am worried about that. i found you on bco, under not diagnosed wirth a 2nd... so i have to wait until follow up on the 28th of jan to find out. hopefull for both of us, it could be complex cyst, or, dying node. much rather have that. i have been telling them my rib hurt forever. 2, measured at 3mm each! that is like half a lentil, or 1/2 grain of rice. i am 3c, and am kathec on the hermit thread. i finished rads last april, and last herceptin in november. i have just read the one post of yours, so will read more. you got a lot going on. the blog i have, was about my art, but am thinking of starting a 2nd about this particular mess. you can look at my art while you are waiting for test results. it may be that all you have to do is radiation, i am hoping for good things for you. kathe www.kamikazikat.blogspot.com

    1. Hope your rib pain is getting better. Love your art - thank you for sharing it with me. I'm not very artistic, but I love looking at what other people can do. I can draw stick people. Even my stick people aren't very good. Oh well - those that can, should - those that can't, shouldn't. You are definitely in the CAN category!! :)

  2. You are entitled to have tantrums whenever you want! Love you!

  3. You are entitled to have tantrums whenever you want! Don't feel guilty about that. Love you!

    1. hahahaha. Was that a repeat comment??? I'll follow suit....

      Thanks Melissa - Love you too!!!

  4. Beppy, as you know, i am re-reading your whole blog more slowly this time and not all in one night like the first time, like a great book i couldn't put down. And I have to say: you are most definately not a wuss! you may be the strongest woman i know. Also, i was thinking,if they took the trouble to biopsy that new one, then maybe you are a lower stage. i am not sure at what stage they quit poking holes, but i do think there is one.