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The Waiting Game

I left the hospital with no official diagnosis. I was frustrated and there seemed to be no resolution. I was still experiencing pain, fatigue, swelling, redness and more pain. So, I waited.

I waited to see what lumpy would do next. I waited to see what the doctors thought would be the next step. I waited for it to get better, for it to just "go away", but that didn't happen. So, I waited.

I'm a Taurus, and if you know anything about the Taurus, we are impatient! I wanted answers. I needed answers! I agreed to and scheduled a Breast MRI and before seeing the results, my surgical oncologist asked for a biopsy. I agreed and scheduled the biopsy with mammography and finally felt like my waiting was paying off.

I didn't realize it at the time, but this would be my first of three biopsies. I checked in to Mammography, was sent into a changing area, had another mammogram taken, then into a room where I would have an ultrasound guided core needle biopsy. I was given a lidocaine shot to numb the area, the biopsy was administered to retrieve tissue from the breast and a metal clip was inserted to signify where the tissue had been taken from. (this metal clip will now be visible on future imaging) The tissue is then sent to pathology for analysis and will (hopefully) lead to a diagnosis. Then, I waited.

Let me describe for a minute what a day of waiting looked like at the time... pain; sudden, sharp, severe pain that would shoot into my breast and radiate through my entire body. There was no pattern, no warning and literally nothing I could do about it. Pain relievers did nothing; cold and/or hot compresses gave little relief; I could not soak in a bath due to having an open wound after the biopsy and the continued waiting game made my frustration grow. The pain was so severe, I would buckle over and uncontrollably cry. While I was driving, I experienced an "episode" and the pain radiated through my breast, down the entire left side of my body until the pain sat in my left foot! It was piercing and all I could do was wait.

As a working mother, I usually waited until I was home, our boys were in bed and all the pain of the day would burst out. There were days when I would work at my desk and silently cry; I would go into the restroom and wait until the pain passed before returning to my work duties. Other days, I couldn't hide the pain and more than I would have liked, our boys saw my pain; the tears streaming down my face as I sat on the floor holding my chest, praying for the wait to be over. Daily tasks soon became a chore. Showering felt like hundreds of tiny needles on my bare breast; sleeping was uncomfortable as couldn't sleep on my left side and laying on my right would cause the weight of my breast to feel like a boulder on my chest; reaching my arms to dress caused sharp waves of pain if I overextended; the worst was not being able to pick up my toddler boys, not being able to carry them in my arms or hold them in my lap for fear their rambunctious and sudden movements might be catastrophic. And so, I waited.

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