Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Living with uncertainty

I received the official report from yesterday's mammogram today. Here it is:
INDICATION: History of right breast cancer, status post excision and radiation therapy in January 2009. First post-treatment mammogram.
COMPARISON: Presurgical mammogram from 2009 and printed copies of digital mammogram from 2008.
The breast parenchyma is heterogeneously dense. There is new focal architectural distortion in the right upper central quadrant and retro areolar region at the site of recent surgery. Bilateral scattered calcifications remain stable. No new spiculated mass, suspicious clustered microcalcifications are seen.
IMPRESSION: Interval right breast postoperative changes. A six-month followup right diagnostic mammogram is recommended to assess stability/resolution of the postoperative changes. Findings were discussed with the patient.
BI-RADS 3 - probably benign. Short-interval followup with six-month right diagnostic mammogram is recommended.
I find this pretty hard to understand, and somewhat scary. Suspicious what? Probably benign? Luckily, I know someone who is a radiologist, and he read the report and reassured me that a) the changes mentioned on the report are normal after a surgery, and b) that the fact that the micro-calcifications are scattered and on both sides is a good thing. So they are in fact not suspicious.

Now I have to follow up every 6 months with a breast MRI or a mammogram. Every 6 months.

So I guess you are supposed to live your life, and then get scared just every 6 months. I'm starting -- just starting -- to understand why some women choose the bilateral mastectomy. Because of the "every 6 months."


RivkA with a capital A said...

yeah, that's why. it's so they sleep better.

you might find that over time, the 6 months turns back into a yearly thing.

A Mother Always said...

Medical jargon is a little like legal jargon.. confused and nobody takes responsibility - that's what it all implies.....
Don't live with uncertainty, live well everyday.

Happy New

A Mother Always said...


(sorry too quick)

Unknown said...

this is definitely the week for mammograms for our family....I called Marcia this morning and she was on the way to hers, and I had just made an appointment for mine for next week....not looking forward to the hard plastic and metal, but at least I won't be wearing've described it perfectly......I agree with other comments....just live your life! talk to you soon.

Erin said...

Adena, I'm glad to know you have friends in the right places. I read that and thought, woah. What does that mean?

Keeping you in my prayers.