I didn’t intend to be all secretive about my breast biopsy the other day. I appreciate everyone’s nice comments of concern and support! My boob is still pretty sore and the bruise looks worse every day (because, according to Jeremy, the blood is surfacing).
So here’s the story of my poor boob.
I mentioned awhile ago that I noticed a small lump in my breast. It was located just behind my nipple so it was difficult to “massage” during nursing and pumping sessions (as many people recommended I do to get rid of it). I know that breastfeeding women often get weird lumps in their breasts but this one was persistent. I didn’t mention the persistence to anything. But it stayed the same shape and firmness for 3 months.
At my annual OB/GYN appointment, I asked my doc about it. She told me the same thing about lumpy boobs being common in breastfeeding women but said that if it hasn’t changed shape, position or firmness for awhile that I should get it checked out. So I did.
Because I’m still breastfeeding, I could only get an ultrasound on my breast and it isn’t exactly the most clear or accurate view of the lump.
The report that came back was that it was a “suspicious abnormality” and that I should have further testing done.
I called my OB/GYN’s office since I had NO idea what to do. My normal doc was on vacation (how dare she take a vacation!) so I spoke to another one of the docs in the office. She said they typically work with a “breast center” in the hospital and passed along their info.
I made the appointment and was told to bring my ultrasound images. I was surprised that they had an available appointment the very next day.
I was impressed by the breast center. There is something about these types of facilities (women-oriented, breast-care) that really ups the fancy (is that even a phrase? I think I’m going to make it one). Everything was so comforting. The staff was AH-MAZING. I would have spent all day with them. They were so sweet and nice and awesome and… I could go on and on.
The nurse pulled up my image on the screen and I was taken aback by the rather large breast I was looking at. I laughed and said, “while I am flattered that you think that’s my boob, it is MUCH larger than what I’ve got.” She sweetly replied, “well these images are blown up so sometimes things look larger.” Um… the boob on the screen was probably a D-cup. While I know I’m a little bustier these days, I’m no where NEAR that.
She realized she clicked the wrong “Charm City Kim” (there is someone else out there with my name!) and pulled up my image.
The doc came in and he was as nice as could be. I wanted to hug him. He looked at the image and then felt the lump.
“It feels like you’ve got an M&M in there.”
He said it felt benign and that it is common for breastfeeding women to develop these “nodules”. He couldn’t tell if it was a cyst or not. He suggested that if I wanted peace of mind, I should get a biopsy and I agreed (totally thinking that would come at a later date).
The nurse then said, “well let me check if they can take you now. Would you be able to go now?”
That really took me off guard but I figured it was more convenient to get everything done at once. And yes, they had an opening.
The staff at this office was also really nice. The radiologist that took the biopsy actually apologized for the stinging pain from the numbing needle.
I spent the whole procedure staring at the ceiling because I knew that I’d FAH-REAK out if I saw a giant needle sticking into my boob.
The actual biopsy sounded like a staple gun. It is a bit jarring but the doc warned me about it. They took 5 samples and then inserted a titanium clip so that they’d have a marker of where they’d taken a sample.
I was warned that once the numbing meds wore off that I’d be pretty sore. I was told that I’d notice blood in my breastmilk. And OHMYGOD – it was SO gross. And yes, Annmarie still ate it and I don’t feel bad about it. We shared the same circulatory system for 9 months, dammit! I only dealt with the blood in breastmilk for that evening and then it cleared up.
The breast doc called me yesterday and said everything was a-okay. He said it was most likely just a cyst from breastfeeding and recommended that I come back in a few months (after I’ve finished nursing).
So there’s my story. But my boob still feels like someone punched me really hard in the same spot.
Seriously – that hand coming at the camera is like, “I will grab on and never let go.”