The Beginning

Three weeks ago (or so) I found a lump on the outside of my right breast. I thought, “Hmmm, Cassidy just stopped nursing. I’ll give this a little while and see if it’s just a mammary thing.” I waited a week and it didn’t go away..and it was sore. So I went to see me friendly GP, Dr. Brand who said, “It’s probably just a cystic mass, but if you were my wife I’d have you get a mammogram.”

So off I go, the next Monday, to get a Mammogram and a sonogram (detects cysts better in younger breast tissue). By the end of the day, everything was definitely not ‘okay’. The report ‘showed an abnormality that requires further follow-up by your physician or other health-care provider….” I call Central Family Practice (where I saw Dr. Brand) and say “So hey…this isn’t good.” They give me a couple of names and I call around. The named physicians aren’t available right now and I get referred on to….da da da dum…Dr. Doom, otherwise known as Dr. Kelly Martinez.

I go to see Dr. Martinez. She looks at my report, looks at my chest, does a brief sonogram of the area and tells me I have cancer. Geesh. She says the lump is huge and that she’s almost positive that it will be malignant, more than likely having spread into the surrounding lymph nodes. Okay…I’m a bit shaky now. She wants to do a Fine Needle Aspiration (biopsy) right then…okay, like I’m going to argue at this point. She says come back tomorrow and well discuss the results…you might want to bring your husband. No kidding.

I’m understandably freaked at this point. I call CFP back (they all know me) and talk to one of the nurse practitioners who very helpfully prescribes some nice little pink pills to help me not hyperventilate. We wait….

Wednesday. Sam and I go to Dr. Martinez’s office. We sit in the waiting room….we sit in the exam room…the nurse comes in and tells us that Dr. Martinez is still on the phone with the pathologist. Uh-oh. Finally, Dr. (Doom) Martinez arrives with an inconclusive pathology report. They cannot accurately call it cancer, but it looks ‘very suspicious’. Dr. Doom then proceeds to try and convince us that she’s still certain that it’s cancer and that pathologists only say that to allow doctors the latitude to perform breast conservation surgery instead of mastectomy. She wants to schedule an MRI and chest x-rays to pin it down once and for all. And do I know if I want to have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy? Are you kidding lady?

Sam and I go in to talk to Dr. Blair (Central Family Practice again) who we both know and love. Dr. Blair is one of those rare doctors that actually sits and talks to you. He only takes so many patients a day so that he has time to answer questions. He saw us on extremely short notice and said, “Kelley, we don’t have a diagnosis.” He looked at the pathology, he looked at me..poked, prodded, and said he would have someone call me before the end of the day to set up an appointment with a new surgeon whom he had worked with for years…Dr. Harvey Worchel. Second opinion time….to be continued…

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