September 3, 2015
“You have really complicated breasts”.
This is nothing I didn’t already know. They’re extremely dense and usually have a lot of fluid-filled cysts. Most of these cysts I don’t even feel.
The technology at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic in Rochester, New York is fantastic. There are now mammograms that are specific for women with dense breasts. Normal mammograms are easier to read; they’re clear. My mammograms are like a cloudy night sky. Technicians have described the films as “having a lot of noise”.
I always have a diagnostic appointment the same day of my mammograms to get a few cysts aspirated via ultrasound and needle aspiration. Today, the Doctor zoomed right by my cysts and went to my lymph nodes. This was not good.
He settled in on the left one and said, “Your lymph nodes look good, but what I really want to get a look at is this”. He moved over a long band that looked like a nebula with tiny, bright stars clustered together and scattered throughout it.
“These are calcifications. We usually don’t worry too about these when they are singular and symmetrical. But, when they are clumped together we get suspicious. We’re going to need to do a core biopsy.” The abnormal section he showed me was large, really large. It looked like 4-5 inches around the outside of the breast.
A feeling that I’ve never had before creeped in, and I knew I was going to lose my breast.