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February 8, 2002

Emotional roller-coaster day

Unforgettable wedding anniversary

What a week! Busy at the office and busy to go to hospital. Yet again, another phone call. It was Dr. Eddy called me at the office. Strange. Nobody but Keath has my office number. She wanted to see me immediately, but I have to work. I don't want to ask another half day off again. Half day off tree times in a week is too much. Especially I just started this job and I really like it. However, Dr. Eddy was really serious and I had to say "yes" to see her today. Right after Dr. Eddy's phone call, Keath called me. He sent me flowers for our wedding anniversary so told me to wait leaving the office until get the flowers. The things Keath and the florist didn't know were our company uses 3 floors in the same building(which neither Keath nor the florist know what floor I was in), I'm a temp stuff just started working and most of the employees don't know my name yet. I was worrying about the florist will never find me. I was right. He left flowers at main office reception where I've never been. 2 minutes before leaving the office, an employee asked me about flowers! Yey! I found my flowers! (more like they fond me!) So I started heading back home with beautiful flowers, shaking because nervous.

Picked up Keath home and went to Doctor's office together. Dr. Eddy told me the result of the biopsy. Breast cancer. It seemed the world around me stopped moving for a moment. I cried on Keath's shoulder and thought this is like a movie. Yes, like movie, I wish I could fast forward the whole process to the happy ending. I guess I knew that I have breast cancer when I heard the nurse at women center kept saying "everything would be all right. It will be all right" during the mammogram and biopsy test. I subconsciously knew "will be all right" means there's something wrong with my breast now. It was a big shock to find out that I got breast cancer, and then I remember both my mom and Keath's mom are the breast cancer survivors. If both moms could overcome the cancer, why can't I do it? I can survive like both moms, right? Keath held me really tight as if tighter he holds me, stronger we can get. Dr. Eddy said she hopes my left breast lump is just a tumor. When we all calm down from the shocking news, Doctor told me I need to go through so many tests and need to do a lot of things to fight against breast cancer. She also said that it's very time concern matter. We need to take care of it as soon as possible. OK. What do I need to do now? What do I need to do first?

Dr. Eddy gave us phone number of an oncologist and a surgeon, but the oncologist won't be available until the end of February. What if my condition gets worse while waiting? Should I just wait him and not doing anything? Keath called Dr. Eddy to get other oncologists' phone numbers. Somehow she arranged an appointment for us on 2/20/02 with Dr. Sheldon Davidson. I can wait another 10 days. Besides, I can have my left breast biopsy while waiting. Since nothing shown on the left breast X-ray, it will be ultrasound biopsy for my left breast. Ultrasound biopsy was much less pain and took less time than stereoscopic biopsy. I don't know why they don't use more ultrasound for breast cancer checkup and biopsy. It is less pain and less damage to body.

Today is our wedding anniversary. First time, Keath sent me flowers. It meant to be happy day for both of us. Unfortunately, it became sad day with shocking news. I really hope I could remember February 8 is as JUST our wedding anniversary in the future. I don't want to remember today is another anniversary that I was diagnosed with breast cancer.


February 6, 2002


Painful surprise day - right breast biopsy

I returned to the Women Center for ultrasound again on February 6 then found out they want to get some biopsy samples from my right breast instead of left breast ultrasound. I wasn't ready for the biopsy, but nurse started preparing for biopsy. Waaaaiiitt!!! I'm not ready yet!!!!
In the room, there is a bed with a hole in middle. I needed to lie down and stick my right breast through the hole. Funny thought came up again. What if a woman with tiny breast has to have this stereoscopic biopsy? Even the mattress of the bed has enough thickness, I assume they can access breast area from the side easily so size doesn't matter. Just need to lock one's breast in the position. That's all. Anyway, I felt the nurse put some kind of box or plate around my breast to keep it in the same position. Pain, but not so horrible. Just like mammogram. Hopefully, it won't take that long. The nurse put numb cream on my breast. Put some more, please!!! I don't need pain!!!
Here comes the doctor. Beginning of the biopsy! Stick a big needle with vacuum (to me) to my breast. OUCH!!!! Where is numb cream!!?? I can hear the conversation between doctor and nurse. "It's really tight..." "Hold on." "No!" "Very tight..." They had to take a couple of samples including good part of my breast. Since my breast was really young and tight breast, the doctor had to PUSH the needle in really hard. It was painful and it seemed lasting forever. Finally they got enough samples and released me from the 1-hole bed. I was afraid to see my breast shaped square since it's been secured in the box for too long. Good. Still had breast shape. Not like square shape watermelon. Nurse gave me some ice pack to cool down the operated area. Then I drove home by myself. It was unexpected, painful surprise day. I don't enjoy this kind of surprise. I don't think anybody would.


February 4, 2002


Mammogram at Women Center

On February 4th, this is my first time taking mammogram. Little bit nervous, but still believe the pain was caused by some kind of infection or something. Nothing is serious, right?
In the X-ray room, the technician squeezed my breast with 2 flat panels - sideways, flat, all sorts of painful direction. I had big breast. Big enough to be pinched by 2 palettes, but what if I have much smaller size? How they squeeze those small breasts? Do the really need to smoosh breasts to get detail?
They had me wait for a while and called me back in the X-ray room. I saw my breast X-ray. Some of them had white spots like shinning stars in the night all over the breast. "hhhmmm... It looks beautiful... Like stars... Maybe cysts???". The technician told me "We see some calcification so need to take detail pictures". At this point, I had no idea what calcification is. I thought it's kind of stone inside breast. Some people have stone in kidney, saliva gland, other parts of their body. Why not in breast? The strange thing, calcification shows only on my right side breast which I had no pain, no lumps, no symptom what so ever. On the contrary, my left breast which I had great pain and big lump shows nothing on the film. NOTHING! After all that, they recommend biopsy samples from my right breast and get ultrasound pictures of my left breast.