Thursday, December 24, 2009

8 Days Later - The Results

All good news! There was a small papilloma, not visual on the ultrasound, that was causing the bleeding. The cells had changed, but were not malignant. That is all I wanted to hear! This is indeed a wonderful way to end 2009. So...out with 2009. Let's all ring in a happy and healthier 2010!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

So Tomorrow's the Surgery

I have to be at the hospital at 7:30 AM for the duct surgery. I'm unbelievably worried about the outcome, but warmed by the support of friends of co-workers. There are three of us that have desks in the same area who have had breast cancer. They have been simply wonderful as we have shared our trials and tribulations over the past year together. One of the woman gave me a guardian angel token to take with me tomorrow. It's been in my pocket for three days as a reminder that people do care, and that sometimes faith is a better protector than we give it. Pray for me tonight...please.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pre-Operative Testing Day

I was really hoping that the bleeding would go away and I could cancel everything, but I knew it just would not happen that way for me. The reality is that I'm scared I'm going to go through the cancer vortex again, and it's just one place I don't want to go!

It was quite surprising that after 30 years going to my internist, his office could not accomodate me for a pre-op physical. I'm still reeling from a little anger and surprise. Luckily, the hospital where I'm having the surgery on Monday could take care of the exam.

So...I took my letter and went to the hospital this morning. Of course, they screwed up my records. I've become accustomed to not having things turn out the way they should. Ninety minutes later, the admitting officer tells me the problem is fixed, but that was after two chats with the supervisor with my coaxing. We go downstairs for the exam, and the nurse practitioner notes that my name is still wrong with wrong info behind it. She smartly documents manually using my name and birthdate. The exam was fine, as expected.

I sure hope that things are right on Monday...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Nipple Bleeding 14 Months Later

A few weeks ago, I noticed a small blood stain and thought maybe it was from our sweet bichon, Daisy, who had had surgery for torn knee ligaments. A week later, I noticed a similar stain in my bra and on my nightgown in the area of my nipple.

Noticing a dark area at the entrance of one of my nipple holes in the breast where I had been diagnosed with breast cancer last year, I expressed my nipple and out came bloody discharge. Panic was probably the first reaction. This has been a difficult health year up to now, and quite frankly, I don't have the mental energy to handle another crisis.

As soon as I could, I did contact the breast surgeon's office and was sent for an ultrasound of the breast as well as another mammogram. This was a follow-up to a very successful yearly mammogram only 2 months ago. The test results showed that nothing changed. So I am really no more knowledgeable of what is causing the problem as I was before the test.

Per the physician, it could be caused by one of 2 things: papilloma (benign wart-like growth) causing distended breast ducts that bleed or cancer. Usually the papilloma would show on the ultrasound, but it may have been so small it didn't display on my test. So the plan is to remove all the offending ducts and send them to pathology on December 14. I'm very comfortable with this decision, and will have an answer regarding the cause when I go back for my surgical follow-up.

The question then becomes how can DCIS come back so soon since it takes 15-20 years to develop? My understanding is that it may have been there all along, but not been diagnostically visible.

Finally, there are 2 ways to view...if the bleeding is caused by papilloma, the surgery will remove the cause and all will go back to the way it was. If the bleeding is caused by cancer, then I was very lucky to have symptoms to look at this further since diagnostically nothing showed on the tests.

I'll be sure to update as soon as I know more. Happy Holidays to all!