Further Adventures of Lumpy and Leaky (aka my breast cancer concern)

First, thank you to everyone who commented with amazing messages of support last week. The idea for the post came to me while waiting at the mammogram office, but I hesitated hitting the “publish” button right up until the last second. I was worried if it was too much information to share publicly, and if my silly tone about a serious subject would be off-putting. I’m glad now that I did, because I feel ten thousand times better about the situation than before.

I don’t have much in the way of new information, but here’s more oversharing about what happened in the past seven days. Like last week, since this is wordier than a typical Microblog Monday, I have a brief summary at the end. Click HERE if you want to skip to that.

First, a quick recap.

Over the fourth of July weekend, I discovered bloody discharge coming from my right nipple. Because of the holiday and the diagnostic nature of the scans, I wasn’t able to have a mammogram and ultrasound until almost a week later. The good news – both came back within normal parameters. The bad – still no idea why I continue to have bloody discharge from the right breast (now nicknamed Leaky), and an old blocked duct lump in my left breast (aka Lumpy) is now twice as big as they’re comfortable with. This, combined with the recent discovery that both my paternal and maternal sides of the family have issues with cancer, have me more than a little concerned. Oh, and just prior it all, hubby broke his ankle. That pretty much catches you up.

Quiet start to the week.

Okay, more like there wasn’t much L&L related stuff for a few days, but there were bunches of appointments and other things to keep me distracted. For example, hubby had his ankle x-rayed again to check the healing progress, and we got him set up for physical therapy.


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What happens in the waiting room…

Finally the day for my surgical consult arrived. Now, in all prior discussions about the consult, there was not one mention of the C word. However, as I sat in the waiting room with hubby, filling out a bazillion page questionnaire (at that moment, the 4 sheets seemed daunting), I couldn’t help but overhear a nearby discussion. An older couple and their adult child were having a humorous (“the only treatment I need is my bottle of whiskey and my tv shows”) and heartbreaking (“dad, without this surgery, you might not have a chance”) conversation. Suffice to say, that put my worries in overdrive perspective.

Reassuring words.

After being ushered in to the room, asked a zillion more questions by the physician’s assistant, and given a lovely gown to change into, it was finally time to meet the surgical doc. She started off by saying how upset she was that I was sent to the emergency room. It was her feeling that should have called my PC (“because they have a pager number for things like this”) and there would have been much less of a fuss. She figured I would’ve gone to the office for a quick checkup, then my PC could’ve given me orders for to the same diagnostic places, without the $150 ER charge.

Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda

She tested the discharge (and wasn’t impressed it hadn’t been done at the ER), and said her feeling was that the now confirmed blood might be coming from something like a ruptured cyst that was slowly clearing up. After running down a list of surgical options, she finished with her recommendation of having an MRI scan done by a specialist in the Boston area (about 90 minutes from us). Hubby & I said that the drive was totally doable, and we liked the non-slice-and-dice choice best. Then she mentioned that, since their machine was broken and they were in the process of installing a new one, that I wouldn’t be able to have it done until some time in September.

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Frustrating words.

While it was reassuring that the doc was in no great hurry to get Leaky checked out, it was still brain-hurtingly frustrating to think of waiting TWO MORE MONTHS before getting any answers. Assuming, of course, the MRI provides any. She also made mention of the fact that losing weight would go a long way towards reducing my risk of cancer. Obviously, she is misinformed on the magical properties of chocolate.

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On pins and needles.

The next day, we headed to the mammogram place for the core needle biopsy on Lumpy. Hubby got himself settled in (using another chair in the waiting room to elevate the air cast on his left ankle) and I was escorted back to the exam room. I scored a brand-spanking new surgical gown to wear, and they (the nurse and ultrasound tech) had me hop up on the table to get a quick preliminary scan. Afterwards, the nurse suggested it would be more comfortable to meet the doctor for the first time while sitting, so she helped me up. I almost went right off the table. Turns out my newly acquired Zoloft prescription gave me mad bed spins, and it took a moment for my head to clear.

Soon after, the doc arrived, and he explained what was about to happen. Two shots of Novocaine for my breast, then a hollow needle insertion (guided by the ultrasound), followed by lots of clicking noises as he collected 8 to 10 samples from the lump. The procedure itself was pretty quick (maybe about ten minutes) and I could kinda see what was happening on the monitor, since they positioned me so I could watch if I wanted. But I mostly chatted with the three about Florida (doc lives there most of the year) versus New Hampshire weather, and how the doc is always right (a running joke with the staff). Oh, and I mentioned I wrote a blog post about the whole thing, and my new nicknames for my breasts – they laughed, but didn’t ask for the link to read it. Amazingly enough, I refrained from giving them business cards (and not just because hubby had my wallet).

Insult to injury.

After the samples were gathered, the doc inserted a marker/clip (an itsy-bitsy piece of titanium) and placed it on the lump. I tried joking about my disappointment that it wasn’t shaped like an X (“to mark the spot”), but decided making him laugh while there was still a needle in my boob probably wasn’t the best choice. After he was done, the nurse taped me up (three steristrips, about three inches long, that almost made a star shape), and told me the good news – I got to have another mammogram!

She made sure I had my sea legs (stupid bed spins), and escorted me across the hall to get Lumpy squished again. To be fair, it was much more comfortable with the Novocaine, but still – hadn’t poor Lumpy been through enough?

Parting gifts.

The nurse then taped a piece of gauze over the small incision site, and told me to put my bra and shirt (button up, so I didn’t have to lift my arms) back on. She then gave me a wonderful little ice pack to stick in my bra over the bandage, and instructed me to alternate on & off every 20 minutes for the rest of the day. Given the temp outside was just hitting 90, she didn’t need to twist my arm too hard. She also presented me with a little pink gift bag containing my instructions (helpful), a spare ice pack (thoughtful), a pen with their business name (cool), a mini calendar sticker (nice) a mini nail buffer (wtf?) and some Lindt chocolate balls (*SWOON*). I was told to take it easy for the next day or two, no heavy lifting, and they sent me on my way.

Oh, and my paperwork also included a simple flyer for their Peace of Mind Financial Assistance Program. The nurse told me to share it with anyone local who might need help paying for a mammogram. I assume that many other places offer a similar service, so if you’re putting off having a scan because of money, give a call to your local imaging center and see if something can be worked out.

Hey, I don’t feel half bad!

To be honest, I felt a bit guilty, sitting on the couch binge-watching Orange Is The New Black Season 5 the rest of the day while my family took care of everything. Granted, the spinny head was a good excuse, but I didn’t feel nearly as bad as I expected, even when the Novocaine wore off. However, shortly after I got home, I noticed a bit of a pinkish welt, a couple inches long, not too far from the taped up area. I told hubby, and took my temp to be sure. It was just barely on the side of low grade fever (98.8F/37.1C), so we decided I should just continue to rest, drink vodka water, and see what the morning brought.

I’m doing just fine.

The next day, the welt was a bit puffier, but the overall size was smaller – in fact, it now looked like two separate welts. Still only a low grade fever, and when I mentioned it to my mother, she suggested it might be where the Novocaine was injected, which made sense. I took the gauze off, and everything looked fine… except… there appeared to be a three inch long, half inch wide divot next to the incision.

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Did you get the license number?

I showed hubby, and he calmly reassured me it was probably temporary from the procedure whist I freaked out that it might be permanent we both agreed it would probably clear up soon. We figured if it was still like that after the weekend, I’d call the doc and ask about it (spoiler alert – two days later it was almost back to normal).

I also stopped feeling guilty, and started feeling like I’d been run over by a truck. It’s amazing how small things like a ten minute procedure, or a low grade fever, can ultimately knock you on your butt while other things (like when I wrecked my knee last October) leave you feeling fine, but useless.

Time to play the waiting game again.

Thankfully, after a few days of ugh, I’m almost back to (my version of) normal. The welts are now just a faint discoloration, and there’s a beautiful bruise flowering under the steristrips. My slight fever is gone, but I almost forgot to mention – since this whole thing started, I’ve had hot flashes to beat the band. Welcome to the party, perimenopause!

Later this week, we’ll head back to the mammogram place for the biopsy results. I’m also planning to get a second opinion on Leaky from the oncologist my PC mentioned, especially since I discovered a dear local friend recommends her highly. But, to make a short story long, still no official diagnosis. I expect the rest of this week to be a combination of

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and

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Oh, and last, but not least –

Here’s the Microblog Monday version of the above

I had my surgical consult and biopsy last week, but still no diagnosis. I’ll find out the biopsy result for Lumpy later this week, and I plan to see an oncologist for a second opinion on Leaky some time in the next couple weeks. Otherwise, I’m mostly recovered from the surprisingly quick, painless, yet yuck-inducing procedure. Now, time to patiently (HA!) wait some more.

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Lumpy and Leaky #MicroblogMondays
“Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is?
Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.” ~ Melissa S. Ford, Stirrup Queens

The Further Adventures of Lumpy and Leaky Blog graphic

Lumpy and Leaky. This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. Lumpy and Leaky. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. I will keep going until you turn green. Lumpy and Leaky. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. I will keep going until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. I will keep going until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. I will keep going until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. I will keep going until you turn green. . I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. I will keep going until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. I will keep going until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! This is not a passive voice. I am writing in an active voice. My SEO will stop telling me how to write. These sentences are also shorter than twenty words. Stop being so controlling. I will keep going until you turn green. I can’t believe this is still orange. Finally, it has turned. Success! Lumpy and Leaky.

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66 comments for “Further Adventures of Lumpy and Leaky (aka my breast cancer concern)

  1. July 24, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Oh Traci! What a whole lot of crazy stuff! The wait must be unbearable! Fingers crossed for you xxxx

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks, Ritu! Someone, somewhere, must’ve wished for me to have an interesting life…LOL!

      • July 27, 2017 at 3:08 pm

        Bless you, truly xxx

  2. July 24, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I’m glad you’re channelling your inner Wonder Woman.

    There’s nothing quite like waiting for a diagnosis, especially when they tell you that the scan was inconclusive and you have to have a different type, or a ‘procedure’. You’re right about oncology waiting rooms. There are few better places in which to consider your blessings.

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      The phrase, “hurry up and wait” just doesn’t do it justice, does it? Thanks so much for your kind words, April!

  3. July 24, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Fingers crossed for the results- what a day you had! Hope you’re feeling okay xx

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Never a dull moment, that’s for sure! LOL! Thanks so much, Helen. <3

      • July 28, 2017 at 2:32 am

        You’re very welcome, Traci!

  4. noellekelly
    July 24, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Traci, well I guess it’s progress. It’s crap that it’s such a waiting game, but we’re all here for you xxx

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      I gotta say, you girls and guys in the blogging community have made the waiting much more bearable! Thanks, Noelle! <3

      • noellekelly
        July 27, 2017 at 3:36 pm

        Awe, I’m so glad to hear that Traci xx

  5. July 24, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Poor Lumpy, but more so- for you! I can only imagine you just need to know the results ALREADY! You’re doing marvellously and April is right- you are a Wonder Woman. Am sending lots of positive vibes and luv and hugs and CHOCOLATE across the pond to you xxx

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      No wonder I’m feeling like Wonder Woman, with all that awesomeness flying over from across the pond! Thanks so much, dearest Hayley! <3 <3 <3

  6. July 24, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    I’m imagining a version of The Simpson’s The Itchy and Scratchy Show: The Lumpy and Leaky Shoooooo-oo-oow! Take care of yourself, Traci. <3

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      LMAO! Beth, that’s wicked awesome – I can’t believe that didn’t occur to me already! Thanks so much for the giggles, and your amazing support! <3

  7. July 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    This does not sound fun at all, Traci. I like your attitude and will be thinking of you as you wait for results. And I can’t believe your husband broke his ankle in the midst of this. When I worked orthopedics we knicknamed ankle fractures, ‘the curse of the ankle’ because they were so debilitating and painful for so many of our patients. Guess I’ll nickname you as a couple, “Limpy” and “Lumpy.” XO

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Yep, fun is definitely not my F word of choice… *grin*

      Holy cannoli, Batman! LOVE that nickname for us! Hubby got a good chuckle out of it as well – thanks so much, Molly! πŸ˜€

  8. July 24, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Sending you all my good vibes and wishing you lots of fluffy popcorn to go with your totally well-deserved Netflix binges! xox

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Awesome, Lorna – thanks so much! <3

  9. July 24, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Quite an eventful week again!! Fingers crossed, all will be well with the mammogram results πŸ™‚

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Yep, eventful is definitely the word for the week, Judy! πŸ˜€ Thanks so much for the finger crossing.

      • July 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm

        I wish you all the best Traci πŸ™‚

  10. July 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    I think humour is the best medicine so with that in mind lets have a good giggle and laugh the bugger away.

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Sounds like the perfect plan to me, Ellen!

  11. July 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Sending you my best. Take care.

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks so much, GC! πŸ™‚

  12. July 24, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I HATE waiting!and I also believe in chocolate…stupid doctor…hang in there xxx

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Yep, even chocolate can’t make me like waiting! Thanks so much, Clare! <3

  13. Jo (Fallen Angel)
    July 24, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks for the update, Traci. Sending you loads of positive thoughts and loads of virtual magical chocolate! Xx

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Awesomeness, Jo! Much appreciated! <3

  14. lois cavanaugh
    July 24, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Ha ! Big deal. I didn’t get a nice gift bag after my needle bx. Or after my surgery. Didn’t even get a green tea latte. Lol.

    • July 27, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      LOLOL! No worries, mom – we’ll make sure you get your latte fix really soon, and I’d be happy to share my spare ice pack with you (but the chocolate is already gone – sorry). Love you! <3

  15. July 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Jeez louise, Traci! That sounds so stressful, and unpleasant. I hope you get results soon and can put your mind at ease (SO much easier said than done). I hope you are done spinning and are feeling much better now. I”ll be thinking of you as you breathe into that paper bag and overthink everything… πŸ™‚ (I am a worst-case-scenario thinker too, so I’m feeling for you!)

    • July 27, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Sorry to hear you have the Overthink Overdrive installed in your brain too, Jess! Most of the spinning is gone, but I’m still a bit off kilter. I swear someone’s added a few thousand extra hours to each day, just to make time move even slower! Thanks so much for shouting out. <3

  16. July 24, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    I’m crossing my fingers for you, Traci. Be good to yourself and don’t feel guilty about binge watching a series. Whatever takes your mind off of your troubles is the best thing for you now. Keep us posted. ((Hugs)) and sending you healing vibes!

    • July 27, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Thanks again for the encouraging words and virtual hugs, Lisa! I’m still planning to pick your brain should the docs come back with the C word, and it helps knowing awesome people like yourself have already been through this process. *hugs* right back atcha!

      • July 27, 2017 at 4:38 pm

        Awww…thanks! πŸ™‚ I’m here to talk whenever you need it. πŸ™‚

  17. July 24, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Waiting is so hard. Sending love and good thoughts your way! <3

    • July 27, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks, Stephanie! I greatly appreciate both! <3

  18. July 24, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    I’m continuing to send huge amounts of healing and positive energy to you, dear Traci! Cher xo

    • July 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      You are awesome, Cher! Thanks so much! <3

  19. July 24, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Eesh, woman! Okay, well, I’m glad the doctor isn’t concerned that it’ll be a couple months before you get more answers, but not having answers sucks. Glad you’re healing up and the fever is gone. Regarding the magical healing properties of chocolate, just remind them that dark chocolate has antioxidants, lol!

    • July 27, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Excellent point, Emily! And while there’s come comfort that she’s fine with waiting, my brain isn’t the slightest bit appeased. Stupid overactive imagination! πŸ˜›

  20. angelanoelauthor
    July 25, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I am laughing at your words and smiling at your approach to this whole business. It sounds scary, but that doesn’t mean it has to be ONLY scary. What a whirlwind. I’m so glad to be a part of your world.

    • July 27, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Aww, thanks so much, Angela! The feeling is most definitely mutual! *hugs*

  21. July 25, 2017 at 9:21 am

    hope everything turns out to be alright. a big virtual hug!

    • July 27, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      Much appreciated, Terpsicore – thanks so much! *hugs*

  22. July 26, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Wow…I was holding my breath while reading. How are L&L today? I hope you’ve started getting some good news. Very clever on the picture that accompanies this post!

    • July 27, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks, Lori – I had to come up with something, since I promised my mother I wouldn’t post anything with boobs (which actually gave me the idea, so thanks mom!). L&L are hanging in there for the moment, thanks! <3

  23. Mel
    July 26, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    You win Queen of the GIFs this week. And I snorted at the crossed out vodka. Sending a lot of good thoughts to Lumpy and Leaky.

    • July 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      LOL! Thanks, Mel – I passed your good thoughts along to the girls, and they said, “thanks!” πŸ˜€

  24. July 30, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Thinking of you! After finding a lump I had the same biopsy then a lumpectomy. I was diagnosed with atypical duct all hyperplasia. Some consider it a pre-curser to breast cancer. So I’m on Tamoxifen for 5 years. I hope it’s a minor issue that can be fixed. I love that you named your boobs. You really need a cartoonist to draw them then you create stories….like the chickens above! Lol!!

    • July 30, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Dang, Angela! I’m glad to hear it was a pre-curser, and not the big C, but still – scary stuff. Love the idea of a cartoonist – once I’m out of this holding pattern and have some news, I might just ask someone to collab. Thanks for the inspiration! πŸ˜€

      • July 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm

        The question is, how do u cartoon your boobs without offending. Lol!!

  25. July 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I missed all of this because of my schedule. Ugggghhhh! Sending you positivity and peace for health and healing.

    • July 30, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks so much, Melissa! <3

  26. July 30, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Nothing worse than waiting. Its an out of your control, in limbo, meta crisis overthink with a bad dose of google. I think you were wise to hit publish too; very brave in fact, but an excellent release mechanism for frustration. Go You!

    Good to see the humour is still there though πŸ™‚

    • July 31, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Awww, thanks so much, dearest Gary! And yep, it will take more than misbehaving lady parts to make me lose my sense of humor! *grin*

      • July 31, 2017 at 3:13 pm

        Very tactful, lady parts is! I do feel for you though. It’s not much fun in the middle of the night when sleep decides to bog off somewhere leaving you stewing on what ifs. Humour is the key though and you have oodles of that usually

  27. July 31, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    bwaaaaahahaha OMG i just spit stuff out of my nose laughing! How DARE you! lol ps the dizzy bit could be an intolerance ask your dr i can’t take any ssri, I am NOT a Dr, just a patient who will react and can react like the 1 percenter I Am!

    • July 31, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      Oopsies… LMAO! Definitely chatting with my doc soon about the dizzy – thanks!

  28. July 31, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Hugs. Thinking good thoughts for you.
    (Isn’t season five of OITNB GREAT???)

    • July 31, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      OITNB was AMAZING! I was a bit worried how it would all play out, but it did not disappoint in the slightest. Counting the seconds until S6! *hugs*

Feel free to shout out!