Personal Biopsy Experiences
He said, well, I'm going to remove that, do a biopsy. So on the operation table, I'm still awake, they don't numb me, the whole body, just locally because small cut. Then I said "Where did you take it out? Is it all done?" He said, "No, I didn't take it out." I said, "Why not?" He said, "Well, it's too big, but I cut a slice off and I sent it to the lab." So they call freezing something. And he said "We will hear from the lab soon." So five minutes later the lab called and he talked to them on the phone, and he hung up the phone said I'm going to -- well, he finished sewing me up already, because he sent a piece to the lab. He said "Let's go out and talk to your husband." "Oh," I said, "fine." I thought, you know, nothing. So he didn't dare to tell me because he didn't know how I would react. He thought maybe I was afraid of something, but I'm laying there anyway. So he wanted to talk to my husband, tell me husband the news and then my husband came up to me. He said, "Lily, you got cancer." I said, "What? I can't believe it." It just come out of some blue. I wasn't sick, I didn't feel anything. No pain, nothing.
When I had the biopsy, the discovery was that the lump was two and one-half centimeters. At that point, there was some doubt as to whether or not there was lymph node involvement. So of course, the next surgery was to excise the remainder of the lump. Pull out the lymph nodes and make a determination of whether or not they were positive. And unfortunately, there were positive lymph nodes.
I asked him "Will this hurt?" and he said, "Oh no, it'll just be like a mosquito bite." They always say that and I don't know why. And it didn't hurt. He didn't put the needle in very far. I think this cancer was right close to the surface.
They did a needle localization and a biopsy. It was so deep, they had to do a needle localization which is they put the needle, but they had to, found on the mammogram. I tried touching and finding, but it was very deep, very small. It was, I guess, a particularly aggressive type. It was growing fast, but it was very small at this stage.
In 1989, I had my last mammography. I started having mid-life menopause, pre-menopause symptoms. I had some abnormal bleeding and heavy bleeding. I allowed a doctor to put me on progesterone treatment only. Within twelve months, I had a 2.5 centimeter tumor, and I was diagnosed using fine needle aspiration.