I have a long history of developing benign tumors, cysts, and polyps pretty much everywhere in my body. I've had plenty of biopsies and surgeries. Cancer does run in my family. My father and grandfather passed from it. Because of the family history and because I have so many foreign masses, I have to get a lot of internal imaging done. It seems that every time something new pops up, the doctors always want to investigate.
I had a mammogram done last October. My doctor said she hadn't received it in November. In January, a different doctor contacted me saying that he just received the results to my mammogram, and there was something suspicious, different from my usual cysts, and I would have to get a biopsy. Apparently, the imaging place lost my results over a period of three months, and then sent them to the wrong doctor once they found them.
My doctor told me to go back to the same imaging place in my town for the biopsy, and that if no one called me in the morning to set up my appointment, I should call them. They did call and set up the appointment, only to call me back a few weeks later to inform me that the doctor wouldn't be in the office, and we would have to reschedule. The postponement of several more weeks had me worried. I've known several people who have died just a few short weeks after receiving their cancer diagnosis, so I was bothered by these continued delays in my diagnosis. I was beginning to feel that by the time I actually did get the biopsy done, I'd probably be in stage 4.
In preparation for the biopsy, I had to go off all vitamins which I rely on to give me energy, and I had to go off of my anti-inflammatory medication so that I wouldn't bleed too much or get clots. That meant being in pain and not being able to ride horses or walk for a week. Of course, the week of my biopsy ended up offering perfect horseback riding and hiking weather. I did manage to get in one ride knowing that would destroy me. In the days that followed, my joints were definitely inflamed.
The nurse called me and gave me my instructions, and told me that I would be sore, so I should have someone drive me. I didn't want to bother anyone or worry anyone, so I insisted on driving myself. Then my husband's car broke down and was in the shop for several days. He had to take my truck to work, which left me without transportation. I figured that if I still didn't have my truck by the day of my appointment, I'd take a cab. Fortunately, I got my truck back in time, but I was stressing out about it beforehand.
I drove to my appointment, signed in, and sat down in the waiting area. When I had pulled into the parking lot, I noticed an official looking white car and white van driving around. They ended up bringing in two female prisoners dressed in orange with shackles around their wrists and ankles. They had three armed guards controlling them. One had her arm wrapped in a temporary cast. They looked like they had been in a fight. That was something different to see.
My appointment was at 1:15 PM, and the receptionists were just farting around for a while. They finally called me up to the front desk at 1:40 PM and asked why I was there, because I wasn't in their appointment book. WTF?
"Someone just called me from here yesterday to verify my appointment. Wait. Let me guess -- they scheduled me at the wrong location?"
The lady said sternly, "We don't do biopsies here."
I said, "But my doctor said that you did. He told me to come here and the two ladies who set up this appointment never mentioned another location."
She pushed a map toward me and said, "You need to be there."
"Is that far?"
"About twenty minutes down the freeway."
"Well, should I reschedule? I wouldn't get there until after 2:00 PM, and my appointment was at 1:15."
She called them and explained what happened, and they said to come on over. I had to drive through two cities through awful freeway traffic to find the place. I began wondering if I'd be too sore to drive all that distance on the way home. I wasn't worried about it before, because I lived just a few miles away from the first imaging place I went to. The receptionist at the second location was stern and said, "Let's not waste anymore time!" as if I were the problem.
They did another ultrasound, and then got out all their surgical tools. The doctor walked in, looked at the image and said, "Is that what we are doing the biopsy on? That's a cyst."
She then did the ultrasound herself and showed me and the other two technicians how the mistake had been made. I had one large cyst that had smaller cysts beneath, above, and behind it, and depending on what angle the image is taken, the large cyst can look to be of an abnormal shape because of the smaller cysts.
The doctor said, "Well, I saved you from the needle. Sorry for the scare."
And she sent me on my way. I wanted to scream, "Your staff just robbed me of one of the nicest horseback riding weather weeks of my life!"
But at the same time, I wanted to celebrate because I'm alive with no major threat of being ill on the horizon. I stopped in at a spa and inquired about getting that pedicure I've been putting off for a year, but the technician had gone home, so instead I celebrated by enjoying a Build Your Own Grand Slam at Denny's. It was delectable and succulent. The first thing I did when I got home, after taking the dogs outside and changing diapers, of course, was to take my anti-inflammatory medication. Horsies here I come.