All about the TaTas


Monday, November 1, 2010


Ok, here’s what’s happening. I have been having a lot of pain that is sharp and hurts to touch, going on about eight or so months. When I called my doctors office to get a mammogram, a couple weeks ago, I was sent to the Shreveport Breast center. I posted about the run around and how upset I got that day because I was told I needed to have a dynastic exam instead. Well, I was scheduled for Wednesday but the office of the doctor who I was to see, called and cancelled my appointment because they didn’t have the x-rays back from the week before and they needed all my old ones from years past. They gave me an appointment for yesterday instead. I’m almost to Shreveport from where I live in Minden, when I get a call from the doctor’s office again. This time the nurse says that Dr. Schwalke wants me to go to the dynastic area at the breast center instead. He needs some more views. I ask why and am told that he just wants to see more views on that left breast. They rescheduled me to see the doctor this Thursday. By then he will have these new views also. Ok then. I head over to the breast center and the tech was so sweet. I pulled one over on her by playing I knew why the doctor ordered more views. I knew she couldn’t tell me anything of what she’s sees on those pictures, so this was my way of getting some information.
Do you see that spot he’s talking about, I ask? Yes, its small, let me take two more views. Painfully, I accept the new smashing and pinching. Turn this way, hold it….let me look at that one, so you can breath, but don’t move. I ask her if the spot the doctor sent me over there is seen behind the nipple. She voluntarily says yes, but somewhat deeper. You can get dressed now, she says. I ask her if I can see the five views she just took. Am I looking for a white area, or black area? She says white and points to the area in question. I see it and ask her if she thinks it’s a sis or lump? I think she may have caught on that I was fishing for her knowledge of what she was seeing so she tells me the doctor will most likely either want to watch it to see if it gets bigger or he will want to do a biopsy. I hold back the urge to cry so she won’t know how upsetting this all sounds. As I get dressed, my mind is going crazy…How do I wait a week to see a breast surgeon, who may or may not give me good news? The Shreveport Breast Center is supposed to be the best there is in the state of Louisiana. I trust that! I trust the doctor, even thou I haven’t meant him as of yet. I goggled him…

My doctor is a published author and researcher who has provided breast care in the Shreveport area for more than two decades. I trust that the tech got the extra views he needs. I trust that God will help me get through the next week without worrying every second and that it will be ok! I don’t trust cancer! Its sneaky, selfish, undetecting until the last minute without warning, and disrupting in so many lives. I don’t know what this will be, heck; it might be I need a new bra size…lol! Maybe I need to stop sleeping on my stomach and smashing those babies….Maybe they were handled a little too must in my youth and hang way to low in my old age…lol! Maybe a bug bit me, or ….maybe…..I don't want to know....

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A MAMMOGRAM--

Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, and even if they have had them before, there is fear. But there is no need to worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam and doing the following practice exercises, you will be totally prepared for the test, and best of all, you can do these simple practice exercises right in your home.
EXERCISE 1: Open your refrigerator door, and insert one breast between the door and the main box. Have one of your strongest friends slam the door shut as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat in case the first time wasn't effective.
EXERCISE 2: Visit your garage at 3 a.m. when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor sideways with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Switch sides, and repeat for the other breast.
EXERCISE 3: Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Have the stranger press the bookends against either side of one of your breasts and smash the bookends together as hard as he/she can. Set an appointment with the stranger to meet next year to do it again. You are now properly prepared!

 November 22, 2010



Yesterday, I had a  Stereotactic biopsy done by my breast surgeon in Shreveport. I cant tell you how nervous I was. Yep, I have had other surgery's, biopsy's, needles galore lately, but just the thought of that being done in such a tender area was really getting to me. One Valium thirty minutes before helped calm me down and I guess that's why the doctor prescribed it for then. 
They have you take off your clothing above the waist. A paper  gown will cover your shoulders. You then lie on your stomach on a special  Frankinstine table that has a hole for your breast to hang through…Really, like they are gonna milk a cow!  A mammogram or MRI is used to find the exact site for the biopsy.

  • Stereotactic biopsy This kind of biopsy is used to get a tissue sample from a lump that cannot be felt during a breast exam, but can be seen on a mammogram or an ultrasound. The lump may be too deep inside the breast to be palpable (felt by your fingers.) The surgeon will use a special type of X-ray imaging, to find the lump that the needle must target, in order to get an accurate tissue sample. The needle will follow the X-ray to the area of concern, and take a tissue sample. Recently, some surgeons have begun to implant a small bit of metal at the biopsy site, after taking a tissue sample, so that in future mammograms or ultrasounds, they can see where a biopsy was done. This kind of biopsy will create some scar tissue, where the biopsy occurred, but the metal tag will help your doctors distinguish between scar tissue and a benign area in your breast.
h9991639_001 Then my doctor numbed my skin with a shot of numbing medicine where the biopsy needle was inserted.  He says ,you will feel three Bee stings, of which I told him, I didn't like Bees. Bees heck, more like a knife stabbing. Finally the area is numb, and a small cut is made in the skin. With a special X-ray to guide the needle, it is put into the suspicious area.  You must lie still while the biopsy is done, one arm up and the other to the side. Very Uncomfortable!
You will feel some pressure and hear a loud noise. Then, my doctor says I did good threw the procedure and he will get back with me in about 4 to 7 days. 
The small cut made for the needle did not  need stitches, just suture strips. Pressure was put on the needle site to stop any bleeding and a hugh  bandage was taped across my chest for pressure for 24 hours. Under that is suture stripes which have to stay on until the doctor sees me on the 30th of November. A small metal marker (clip) is  placed in the area where the biopsy sample was taken. This is done to locate the exact spot where the tissue sample was taken.
The metal marker will stay in your breast if you do not have cancer. You will not be able to feel it, and it will not set off metal detectors. You can still have an MRI safely. When you have mammograms in the future, the radiologist will be able to see the metal marker.

I’m so glad I got threw that part..now the waiting begins for the results 

Update Nov.22, 2010

If you read the above post about the Biopsy and the Frankenstein table, then your reading what I heard on the phone today while on a girls day out with my daughters and granddaughter. It went like this...Mrs Hall, I'm calling for Dr. so and so...Your biopsy results came back and the pathologist did not find it to be cancer but he does see Abnormal cells that can be the beginning....Blah, blah, blah...he has referred you to your doctor for surgery to remove these cells for further biopsy. The doctor wants to talk to you and your husband next Tuesday  and arrange a date for surgery...Blah, blah, blah...Mrs. Hall?...Can I ask you something, Miss? If the pathologist did not see cancer cells in the tissue sample, what are the chances of cancer in the ones removed in surgery? ...Blah, Blah, Blah...Mrs Hall, he will talk to you about that when he sees you. Please keep your dressing on that you have now and DO NOT remove it until he see you next week...I have Goggled this ABNORMAL CELLS for the last two hours. Most have had cells caught in time, some have had cancer hidden in the mass of abnormal cells, some have had large areas removed, some small. Some had radiation afterwards, some didn't. What is the Blah, blah, blah, I didn't hear? Should I expect the worse? Should I let them do the surgery in the first place? 
So now...I wait again.....


My Breast Surgery  December 17, 2010

Hospital called the evening before (Thursday) and scheduled me from 7 to 5 am. Got up at 3 and we left by 4. When we arrived in Shreveport and checked in they didn’t come get me to check in until 6 to put me in a bed. They started the IV and I talked to the Anesthesiologist. Thought I was about to go, but my doctor had his nurse come with a wheel chair to take me to his office on the ninth floor. She said he wanted to insert another tritium marker….What? I haven’t even had anything in that IV yet to calm me and he wants to do this now? He walked in the exam room and said he was sorry, but he wanted to do that and leave a needle in place also. It hurt, believe me. The nurse came back to the room where they were waiting to take me to surgery. The last I knew was that ride down the hall until I woke up an hour and a half later in recovery. When they took me back to the room the doctor had already talked to my husband and had left. He told him he took a pretty big section out and they would cut it up, take a look, and he would call Tuesday or Wednesday.
I’m waiting again! The Hugh bandages are uncomfortable and it burns inside, The incision is nearly all the way across, but other wise I feel ok. My husband has been so sweet, taking really good care of me. What ever the outcome of the news, I’ll have him by my side and loving me no matter what. To those that have been where I am today, I know you understand. I will update as soon as I hear.



December 18, 2010

It was was BENIGN!
Doctors office finally called today and gave me GOOD news. Its beginning to look like Christmas. All I could do was cry afterwards, I guess it had built up waiting after first biopsy abnormal and then having to have surgery last week. He said the tissue sample was large enough to catch the abnormal cells and he will see me Jan 3 for suture removal. I will have to go every so many months for ultrasound, I have a smaller size bra to look for, and I have a good size incision that may leave scaring....but hay, ITS BENIGN! 




April 5, 2018


In 2010 I had one of those mammys that went like a slow motion picture. Then that followed with the biopsy performed on the Frankenstein table . Then, the surgery that followed, where a mass was removed because of unknow cells.  The not knowing is the hardest to experience after the surgery....and then, the phone call. I will never forget that . That movie played over and over in my mind for so long. Three years of having to go to an Oncologist followed and as that movie and the fear was just starting to fade, my sister faced the experience of the Frankenstein laboratory , the biopsy, the surgery, the waiting...But it was too far gone. She had to endure more, so much more! She had stage one cancer and that followed with a double mastectomy. She is doing very well, a four year survivor now.
Cancer, tumors, a Mass... all are every women's  worse fear. A few months ago, I started notching the fear was creeping back. The same area I had surgery on, the pain I was having, was creeping back after eight years. I had my doctor check me out, who she then sent me to see a Doctor at the Breast Cancer Center, which she then scheduled me with a 3D mammogram instead of the 2D. I will be having that tomorrow at 10:30.... And then the waiting will start. The fear is there, I wont lie. The unknow. I do know that the percent that its cancer is slim, because most of the time there is no pain with breast cancer. But that still makes me uncertain because of the unknown.
By the time most of you read this or stumble onto my blog, I will have this part behind me, perhaps even the waiting will be over with... 

What is 3D mammography?

Digital breast tomosynthesis (tomo), also known as 3D mammography, is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool to improve the early detection of breast cancer. During the 3D part of the exam, an x-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. Images are displayed as a series of thin slices that can be viewed by our radiologists as individual images or in a dynamic interactive animation.

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