Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Noodle Boob

Noodle boob? How did this name come about? Well... about two and a half weeks ago I found a mass in my left breast. My first thought was "A mass in my breast? This is not good at all." So with this discovery I try to massage it while pumping at work because of course I am at work and it is Saturday the first day of my two day weekend. I get home and call Jodi to tell her and I start nursing Kiernan with her chin towards the mass. A difficult challenge as she is 21.5lbs and really tall funny to see her in the football hold. I continued working the next day doing the same thing. Monday Jodi did the therapeutic heat ultrasound to get deep heat to the mass. At this point my pain would come and go and was tolerable. By tuesday night the mass would grow from 1/3 my breast to 1/2 my breast as the ducts would get backed up throughout the day.

Wednesday morning I called the OBGYN to have a breast exam knowing I needed an ultrasound. I saw April the PA and she ordered an ultrasound just a few hours later. I left Rowan with my mom as they had their special Mimi lunch out time and I took Kiernan to the ultrasound with me. I became thankful for my stroller as at times it was painful to hold her. Kiernan learned to drink from my camelback spill proof straw cup, the kind you have to bite and drink at the same time. It was my only means of keeping her quiet and entertained there. Ok well it did not last long as she was screaming and another ultrasound tech came in and held her for me while I receive the ultrasound. I was then able to get up get dressed and hold her which still did not calm her down. Thankfully my breast was not hurting at this time as we were bouncing and walking. The radiologists came in to tell me the news that he found an 18mm tumor which he believes because of its shape, size, my age, and BFing history that it is a fibroadenoma.

Fibroadenoma of the breast is a benign fibroepithelial tumor characterized by proliferation of both glandular and stromal elements. The typical case is the presence of a painless, firm, solitary, mobile, slowly growing lump in the breast of a woman of childbearing years.

The radiologist says the typical course is to do followup ultrasounds every 6months or do a needle biopsy. The needle biopsy is the only way to confirm exactly the diagnosis and ultrasounds every 6M to track the size to make sure it is not something else would be crazy expensive and outrageous in my mind. I dont even go to the doctor regularly let alone go get expensive ultrasounds to watch a mass grow.

SO the next step was to leave and call lance to let him know and for us to decide what to do. Not exactly the call I really wanted to make. It is hard to tell the man you love that there is something actually wrong with you and that it could be really serious. After discussing it with lance we decide that the biopsy is the route we want to go. I also let our families know and everyone is very concerned but I wait to tell my grandparents as I will see them in person the next day. I called April and left a message for her to call me as I already had the results from my ultrasound. She called me the next morning and also let me the know the tumor is tiny but there is also a mass which is believed to be swollen breast tissue which consumes 1/3 of my breast. I get an appointment with the surgeon Dr. Lafond one week from then as I am heading OOT that day thursday and not coming home until monday evening.

We Travel to Florida which the 6.5hr trip takes 8hours. Sigh... The kids were great but the stopping to nurse, stopping to pee pee, and then the long stretch your legs for dinner stop sure does make for a long trip. I was super thankful for the car DVD player that we borrowed from Michelle R. Once we arrived I got the kids to bed and then broke the news to my grandparents. I brought a printout of what exactly the tumor was believed to be for my retired surgical room nurse grandmother. With our stay here my pain is increasing and so is the size of the mass. By the end of the day every day half of my breast is hard and very painful. I am icing in between nursing heating right before nursing and nursing with their chins towards the affected area. I am nursing Rowan all day, which she LOVES, because I need that breast drained completely to avoid mastitis. I am taking everything herbal possible to reduce the swelling so that it is not as painful and to avoid mastitis. My mom and grandfather even go to tim buck two just to find me some raw honey. Over and over every day I am working so hard to make my breast feel ok and avoid mastitis. Monday morning we drive home to Summerville. I drove to keep my mind busy. But with all of the vibrations from the car I was in mass amounts of pain. Who knew your breast jiggled so much with just driving in the car. We are driving and driving and driving. Kiernan is fussing in the back and we are not long before our stop. At which i am so ready to stop because I am hurting so bad. I am trying to comfort her by talking to her and passing pacifiers but I just knew she was wet and wanted to be changed and probably hungry. Well we finally pull over and i check her and her diaper is dry. I pull off her diaper and pants and let her walk around right beside the car. My little angel then squats and pees right there in the parking lot. I cant tell you how proud i was of her for holding her pee pee for so long to make it to the next stop. She had her milk and I then let mom drive as I was in too much pain to drive any more. We have a nice lunch later with my dad and off we are to home again. We stop once more when we hit summerville to buy some allicin as I had already been taking some garlic but this is super garlic (aka antibiotic and antifungal).

Lance, the wonderful dad he is, took Rowan to her gymnastics class (which means he has to participate/help) Monday night when we returned. I know Rowan enjoyed her alone time with Daddy. Tuesday rolls around and all i can think about is Wednesday and how I am ACTUALLY looking forward to going to a doctor. Most of you probably dont know that we dont go to physicians unless it is something we are unable to treat at home which means our kids are not vaccinated and do not attend well baby visits. The only thing we do is yearly GYN visits. So I go to my visit with Dr. Lafond and he examines me and I ball like a baby. I am in so much pain that when he manipulates the mass i can do nothing but cry and I just want to jump out of my skin it hurts so bad. I have never had pain this bad before. I could only think of one more thing that would hurt worse and that would be to hack off one of my appendages. There is nothing in this world that can describe the pain I had when he examined me. And of course I start to leak. he reaches for a gauze to blot my nipple as he is worried about this fluid leaking from my breast because he forgot I was breastfeeding. I don't blame him for forgetting I am balling on his table and he apologizes immensely for hurting me and says it needs to come out asap. The earliest I can get it scheduled is Friday at 4:30 which fits great with our schedules. My mom would not be working and Lance would only need to take a half day of work as I needed to check in at the hospital at 2:30.

Thursday rolls around and I am feeling worse. That morning the hospital called and I gave them my history and information. They let me know what we needed to do for friday and that I needed to be NPO after midnight. I now start having a fever and the size of the mass is half my breast and not going down. The pain is not going away any more. I don't remember much of this day. What I do remember is that I kept forgetting what I was doing or things people had said which I thought was odd. I later realize I was becoming septic. Lance comes home from work and gets all of his sub stuff together. I decide this night that he needs to take off all day tomorrow which turns out to be great that I knew this. By night time I am a little nauseated which I chalk up to the pain.

Friday I wake up at 0430 so nauseated and in so much pain I am unable to sleep. Then I start with the uncontrollable vomiting but there was nothing in there so just heaving. I wait until 0800 to call the doctor thinking that maybe the office opened this early. I was wrong. The oh so pleasant answering service said they would call the doctor and let him know but did not think he would call me back. I have never had an answering service be so rude but maybe it is because I always call when I am the nurse not the patient. Well they were wrong and he said that I needed to head to the ambulatory care center. So I jumped into the shower. After sweating all night because of the pain and fever I did not want to be at the hospital all day feeling disgusting as well as in pain. I had already nursed Kiernan, gathered my breastfeeding supplies and reading material. Lance gathers things to occupy his time at the hospital and my trash can (cant go far from that). We make the 13min trip to the hospital and check in. Even though we only had to wait 30min it still felt like an eternity. Lance was bored all day at the hospital as I slept the day away until my surgery that evening. The anesthesiologist lets me know that I will be intubated for the surgery. I remember going out into the hall saying good bye to lance. Vaguely remembering moving over to the operating room table. Next thing I remember is waking up in recovery and thirsty. My oxygen sats kept dropping to 94% in which I would just take a deep breath and they would go up again. I think I was just lazy breathing with anesthesia still in my system. I am no longer in pain the first time in 2 weeks. :-) After about 10min of being awake in there I moved out to lance and they give me something to drink. My bp is 80?/40? which is on the low side of normal for me with my next bp it gets up to 90?/50? and they give me my discharge orders and I am able to go home. That night the drainage is quite a bit and we have to change the dressing.

There was so much infection in my breast I was left with a penrose drain. A penrose drain is a soft rubber tube left in to drain to avoid fluid accumulation. I was not allowed to pick up anything heavy. Post surgery I have only had soreness no pain, no memory loss, and no nausea or vomiting. Twice a day dressing changes with my husband, mother, and mother in laws help. Oh and not to forget my mini nurses help. LOL She has to watch every dressing change.

This Wednesday I got my penrose drain removed and found out the preliminary results were that the tumor is a fibroadenoma and the mass is a fibrous mass. I am still treating myself for the infection and flushing from one hole down to the other with twice a day dressing changes. I also added some steri strips to part of my incision that is not as approximated as it should be. All in all I am healing well, no longer in pain, and do not have cancer.

I have felt so loved and blessed these past few weeks. I have had so many wonderful people praying for me and my family. I have also been given so many meals that we did not have to cook the week post surgery. My wonderful family and neighbor Anna have helped me with the upkeep of my girls and the house. God is so good to send so many wonderful people into our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Ivy - thank you for sharing your story! I am so glad everything turned out okay and I pray you continue to heal quickly. I have been there and although I still have follow-ups I move forward with life and try not to think about the high recurrence rate. If there is anything I can do for you please let me know!