Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 29, 2009

Well I think I'm gonna go over some important days from last year because at the time I could have never done it.  This will probably be a one time deal and then I can let them go. 

It's amazing to me that things happened earlier in my life that affected the way I dealt and thought about the way everything was happening to me.

About 14 years ago I had a manicurist who taught me so much.  Toni spoke to me about how to take good care of my nails; she taught me how to paint and file them and taking care of my cuticles.  Toni also spoke to me about her battle with cancer.  Toni was fighting cancer and she told me some amazing stories about mind over matter and how you need to interview your doctor and you need to like your doctor.  Never settle for what a doctor tells you if you don't believe it in your heart!  She spoke of Bernie Segiel and meditation, conversations with her doctor about what exactly he would be doing and praying with him before surgery.  You would never know she had cancer; she was radiant and beautiful.  She also told me about always wanting the cancer cut out.  "If a doctor tells you he won't operate, keep looking for one that will."  Toni always wanted it cut out.

OK so back to my appointment at the Breast Center

Rob met me there
I was taken back and told to take everything off from the waist up
I sat on the examining table and one of the few magazines there was a little one probably put out buy a drug company or something.  In the magazine I read an article about how to manage life during treatment.  I was amazed that this women went through chemo and radiation and worked.  She talked about her kids and making dinner.  I was so amazed because I probably would just be a mess unable to do anything like that.

Door Knock

Hi  I'm Bobbie (not her real name)
Bobbie:  So you had an appointment with Dr. F and he found a lump in your left breast at about  9 o'clock?
Me:  No it's my right breast
Bobbie: OK
Bobbie: OK I'm going to take a look at your breasts
My gown comes off and she has me bend forward
Bobbie: Have you noticed any changes in your breast appearance?
Me: No not until now -  I see that my nipple is pointing to one side and I did have a huge pain in my right breast during the summer.  I realize I have been favoring that breast.
Bobbie:  Arms out the sides and in the air
She checked my arm pits
Bobbie:  Arms down
She checked my neck and collar bone
Bobbie: You can lay down
She puts my arm over my head and does a breast exam- she attempts to make small talk about me not being married that long- but I don't ever remember any eye contact.
Bobbie: Yes I can feel it
Me:  What do you think it is
Bobbie: I'm not sure.  Do you notice that you can't get it way from the skin?
Me:  Yes- what do you think it is?
Bobbie:  I'm not sure I have seen anything like this before.
Bobbie:  See I can't get it away from the skin
Bobbie: Does it hurt?
Me: Yes
Bobbie:  We are going to get a mammogram today and an ultra sound.
Bobbie:  You can stay in your gown and have a seat in the waiting room
The waiting room is the 2nd waiting room....where all the womenn sit with their gowns on waiting to get called for their mamo or ultra sound and it where you sit to wait to see if you are free to go after.
During this time Rob is waiting in the waiting room.  I call my mom while waiting and I think I told her that Bobbie hadn't seen it before and was unsure what it was.

So I get called in for my ultra sound 1st- well the tech (female) was a stone face and super cold.  She had no concern for my increasing fear as she went over and over my arm pit area.  I did try to speak to her - but no look in eyes.   I took it as BAD.  She was either clueless or just plain rude.

Back to the waiting area....

Next I get called for my mamo- this tech (female) total opposite!  She was chatty and super nice to me.  She talked about purses with me.  I mentioned about how my nipple hurts and she was kind and caring about that.  I had some peace during my mamo thanks to her.

Back to the waiting area........
Waiting.....Waiting...........I've been there a couple hours now
Bobbie or someone walks by and tells me that they are just waiting for the radiologist to read my stuff.

I do manage to go out to the waiting area because I think Rob was getting concerned about how long I was back there.  I let him know what was going on.  Rob has to go to the bathroom and can't wait anymore.  He let's me know that he wants to be there when I talk to the doctor again (which I didn't meet any doctors yet).  Not sure what Bobbie was at the very least a nurse- but with special knowledge of breast care.  So we ask where Rob can go to the bathroom.

I go back and sit....Bobbie comes whizzing by with charts in a hurry and says I'm not going to wait to see what the radiologist has to say I went over your chart with Dr. "So and So".  I ask to let me get my husband.  Well Rob still wasn't back so I ask them to send him back when he gets back.

Bobbie takes me into her office
No lights- a big computer monitor- I sit down
She shows me the mamo and points out 2 masses
She then shows me my ultra sound which is colors and lights
Bobbie:  See this here
At this time Rob walks in and stands behind us
Me: Yes
Bobbie:  This is very suspicious
Rob: (by this time is mad and sick of being in this place) Suspicious for what?
I knew what she was talking about
Bobbie: Cancer
Rob at this point I think was shocked and tearing up
Bobbie: We can also see this pretty good size lymph node and it looks clear.
Me:  Can it be cut out (this is where Toni's talks about cancer came in)
Bobbie:  Yes- you will lose your nipple and probably need to have a mastectomy.
Me: Do you know where it came from (at this point I was worried I was filled with cancer)?
Bobbie: No- but I've seen this many times before. We can see by this that is has it's own blood flow.
Bobbie:  I didn't want to wait any longer for the radiologist because it's pretty clear you are going to need a biopsy.
Bobbie:  Do you have any surgeon you prefer?
Me: No- We don't know any
Bobbie:   Well I can see who can do it as soon as possible
Rob: Yes, we want it done as soon as possible.
Bobbie:  OK - I'll have "so and so" get you an appointment
Now she leads us back to my examining room where I can finally get dressed after hours of being in that gown.  Before I dressed Rob and I just hugged.  Rob cried and I said - no idea what.  I was totally numb.
We step outside and it's raining and I said, "I just can't believe it".

  I couldn't cry.  I called my parent's on the way to their house to pick up Lucas and told them what she thought.

When I got to my parents I just said - Well I'm gonna have to get rid of my nipple that's OK....
My parents seemed shocked as well.  Mom quiet, Dad talking a bunch.  Rob and Lucas were making their way out to the car and as I hugged my parents I said, "I feel so bad for Lucas".  They said "Lucas will be fine".

So that was a very very hard day- I was very disturbed by the way I was treated and today I still get a little mad.  Bobbie was Bobbie and I trust that she is very good at what she does, but I felt nothing from her.  Things do happen for a reason and maybe I needed that so that when I did find out it was cancer it wasn't a total shock.

The thing that's so important when choosing a doctor- you pick someone who makes you feel at ease.  If I had to go back to the Breast Center- I would go to Bobbie again- BUT only for the fact that I know she knows her stuff- BUT if there was someone else with as much knowledge, but a better disposition I would choose them in a heart beat.  You have to do what feels right for you.

I didn't realize how much Bobbie didn't pay attention to me as person until I was back in that office days later and she was in her office and I poked my head in to say "Hi- Bobbie"---Well she had not a clue who I was.  People in the medical field I guess grow numb to people- but it's important they know you ARE a PERSON - NO JUST A DISEASE.  That was what Toni tried so hard to teach people about patients and the medical profession.  In Bobbies defense- yes everything she told me came true- BUT it didn't have to - I had options - had something turned out different.

I love Lourdes hospital- but those two people showed no compassion for my husband or myself.  I did write them a letter.  I do get angry when I think about that tech not even looking at me.  I really just want to forget that day and release the bad feelings that come back to me when I think about it.

I would also like to say that I did call Bobbie a couple times- Once because I was on the computer and scared I had inflammatory breast cancer and another time because I thought I would lose my mind.  She told me not to go on the computer, no I don't have inflammatory breast cancer and to exercise to exhaustion.  She also told me "This is not a death sentence".

This is why- always go to a doctor you trust and maintain your relationships with good doctors- they are so very important!

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