Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Lymph node biopsy

It's amazing the difference the doctor can make.  After several days of being processed by an efficient but sterile machine, we had my last examination with a doctor from Senegal who was so wise and sympathetic that she made us cry.

She put her hand on my arm and told me that I needed to be strong but that I would win.  For my children's sake.  She looked at my husband and laughed, "I won't talk about husbands.  We women, we know that it is our children who come from us.  We fight and win for them."

Her ultrasound examination was reassuring on the whole.  She didn't find anything in my right breast, though it is full of cysts.  She also said that my lymph nodes looked normal which was a huge relief.  Ever since my first examination at the clinic when the radiologist saw something and asked for permission to take a biopsy of my lymph node, I have been convinced that the Cancer had spread.  That may still be the case, but now I have no reason to think that it has.

She also told me that my other results show that my lungs are clear.  She confirmed that there is a lesion on my liver but that this is calcified so probably old.  This is, apparently, quite common.  Perhaps the most reassuring thing she told us though, was that even in the unlikely event that the liver lesion is Cancer, it is small and they can still treat it successfully with chemo.  

It still wouldn't mean I'd die.  Big sigh of relief.

Finally, she took a lymph node biopsy so that they can check whether they are as normal as they look.  I knew from the last time that this is a painful process.  The doctor uses the ultrasound to see where the needle is going but the node is small and there's a lot of prodding around involved.  The first time, the doctor was too apologetic about the pain and she didn't get enough fluid to allow it to be tested.  This time, my Senegalese doctor was ruthless.  My husband said it was fascinating to watch on the screen - he could see a little round nodule being pounded again and again with the needle.  I wasn't watching.  I was desperately imagining myself on Kippepeo beach, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been lucky enough to know.  

It was agony, but better to endure the pain and get it over with, rather than have a marginly less painful experience only to find that they didn't get enough and they have to do it all over again.  Trust me.

All in all, by the end of the session, my husband and I felt that we had travelled through the dark place that yesterday's test had led us into.  There may be many more ahead but, for now, our doctor from Senegal has sent some bright African sunshine to light our way.

No comments:

Post a Comment