Tuesday, August 28, 2012

6 Steps for a Successful Biopsy

Blogging was quite therapeutic while I was going through my breast cancer treatment. It let my thoughts flow through the cloud of chemo, and even now it's amazing to go back and remember all the little things about my treatment that I had subconsciously blocked. I celebrated my 4 year survivor milestone 10 days ago. It's kinda like a 2nd birthday for me. But instead of gifts and cake, I get the gift of life.

About a month ago I had a routine dentist appointment. I go every 4 months for a cleaning because for whatever reason my chemo/medication/menopause has messed up my mouth. So in addition to using the fancy sonic toothbrush, Rx fluoride toothpaste, floss, tongue scraper, mouthrinse - I get my gums blasted with baking soda at my dentist. It's worked so far and I have a nice healthy smile. At my last visit the hygienist noticed a 5 mm sized "mass" near my uvula. It was red and kinda gross. I hadn't noticed it before, since inspecting my uvula and soft palate is not something I do on a regular basis. They called my dentist into the cleaning room and she didn't want to speculate on what it was and told me to talk to my Dr. and find out what he wanted to do about it.  Two weeks later I had a scheduled yearly follow up appointment with Dr. Bob (my breast surgeon) and he said "whatever it is- it's not related to your breast cancer." and referred me to an ENT. A week after seeing Dr. Bob I had a scheduled yearly check up appointment with my general practitioner Dr. Marylou. (All of my Dr. appointments just happen to fall into place one after another right around my cancer-versary). She took a look at it, and then took a double take and said- "I think you should see an ENT". Luckily I had already scheduled an appointment as a new patient with an ENT practice.

My throat wasn't bothering me. I had maybe a little more dryness than usual but that could be from the weather, or allergies or whatever. My ENT appointment finally arrived and I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Charley.  He's pretty cool for someone that deals with boogers, earwax and saliva. He looked at my "mass" and speculated it was "just tonsil tissue" but we agreed to do a biopsy based on my a-typical medical history. So here's what went down after that:

Jealous???? So now my tissue is out somewhere being dissected and examined. Hopefully things will come back "normal" but I can't help but fear what happened the last time I had a biopsy. In the meantime I am in some pain. I didn't expect it to hurt this much! After all- I am a warrior - I went through breast cancer. But man, there's something to say about the sensitivity of your mouth. I've been enjoying a delicious diet of water, soup, applesauce, pudding, mac n cheese and Rita's water ice.  And I'm looking forward to Friday when I can find out what's going on.

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