When a person with chronic health issues finds themselves dealing with a new challenge, whether acute or chronic, big or small, it can often feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Back in March, during the time we were buying and selling our house, I wrote about how my screening mammogram turned into an adventure I was not expecting.
That screening exam brought on a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound, followed by a consultation with the resident oncologist. She recommended an MRI which, even fast-tracked took over two months to book.
The MRI was an experience I never want to repeat (but will, of course, if I have to). I was told to climb up onto the table that was fairly high. I had to lay on my stomach with my head and breasts in padded holes. Laying on my stomach for any reason or length of time is excruciating for me at the best of times. Plus, I had to lay perfectly still while muscles and nerves all over my body were crying out for movement.
I got a call the next week to go for a second ultrasound and an appointment with the doctor.
That appointment lasted literally less than one minute. She walked in, said hi, told me that they were seeing something at the “2 o’clock” position that she wanted to have biopsied and another at the “10 o’clock” position that warranted a repeat ultrasound in 6 months.
When I had gone for the second ultrasound the tech mentioned that the radiologist wanted a follow-up MRI in 6 months so there were clearly two differing opinions.
I was booked for the biopsy that very day and apparently got the same radiologist who reviewed the MRI. The lump in question was only about 6 by 8 millimeters and he had a horrible time trying to find it. This is evident with all the bruising in the area. He said he didn’t believe the biopsy was necessary and still recommended a second MRI in 6 months. He did leave me feeling positive that it was benign.
I had mentioned to the technician that I was allergic to band-aids but she was working on me as I discussed with the doctor his findings. The area was frozen and she put a small round ice pack over the dressing so I didn’t really notice anything until I took off the ice pack an hour later. There was a “knuckle band-aid” firmly adhered to the biopsy area. I was to leave it on for 24 hours; however, at about 18 hours the area was very painful. As I removed the band-aid, I noticed raw open wounds and blisters all around the edges and a redness everywhere the glue stuck to my skin.
So, I just figured that the band-aid did all the damage.
When I saw my GP yesterday and she looked at it, she said: “They burned you!” I told her it was the band-aid and I would have to add that to my allergies. She agreed.
But I got thinking about what she said. Yes, the redness all around the glue was definitely an allergic reaction as that is how it affects me. However, maybe she was right about the burning. I had that little frozen gel-pack taped (non-allergic) to the area for over an hour. Most of it was protected by the band-aid but I am sure some of it touched skin. Ice can burn just as easily as fire can in the “right” conditions.
Anyway, while it still is tender, that will heal up over time.
Last night I checked my email late as I was doing other things. When I did only one email came in and it was time-stamped around 8 pm.
It was from my GP and simply said, “Hi Lydia – your breast biopsy was negative for cancer – Dr. C.”
Even though I was positive this would be the outcome, these simple words were like music to my ears.
I wrote to my dear friend Dee this morning, “It is so nice to be able to lean on the Lord and just know He has it all under His control. Having that little email come in to confirm it just made me love Him all the more. He sends us on these journeys to either strengthen us or to show us just how strong we are through Him.”
I feel very blessed today. Even though all of my chronic conditions are at their peak, I am feeling healthy, whole and loved.
Photo credit: Gratisography