Fine Needle Aspiration and Kite Flying

Having the possibility of (ominous sound effects here please) BREAST CANCER (end ominous sound effects) become real gives me this really strange adreline surge but this same shock-rush makes me stupid.

So on Tuesday, as I’m sitting in the (cue in lacy flowers and soft caring music here) Breast Center (continue soft femine sound effects) having a long skinny needle repeatedly jabbed into my breast and armpit, I’m seriously buying that the radiologist is giving me good news when he says that because of this fine needle aspiration I may not have to come back for the more flesh violent core-needle biopsy. He tells me to call the next day after 4pm to find out.

“Not have to come back here!? Why that’s great news!” I exclaim.

The radiologist clearly isn’t sharing in my jubilation. I see this, recognize it, but I’m high as a kite and ain’t coming down for anyone. I’m free associating and what keeps coming to mind is the GREAT epidural I had when my son Paul was born. He was an induced eleven pound baby that came without a single bit of discomfort or pain. I could even move — wiggle my toes, move my legs. The anesthesiologist was on her way to her honeymoon. Wow. She was good.

Well the fine needle aspiration didn’t hurt at all either. And honestly, dealing with death-threatening illness and giving birth taps into some very similar emotional highs.

Despite the high, I know, though, even before I leave the office, that not having to come back means that they find something definitive in the fine needle aspiration. They won’t need to do a core biopsy because the evidence of those malevolent cells will have been found.

I know I have breast cancer.



I must have been thinking on some level that keeping another person’s kid at my house the night before my diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound would somehow otherwise commit me and I just wouldn’t have TIME to be diagnosed with breast cancer. So with that logic, I didn’t just have ANY kid sleep over, I had a kid sleep over who needed to be DELIVERED at horse camp at the same time I needed to be at the (cue in lacy flowers and soft caring music here) Breast Center (continue soft femine sound effects). And just to be sure it was obvious to the universe that I just have OTHER PRIORITIES than BREAST CANCER, I arranged to have some kid I don’t even know, but who was a friend of the kid we dropped off at Horse Camp, come with us AFTER Horse Camp to go swimming. So the anxiety that softly blanketed that morning really, truly, honestly, was all about figuring out how in the HELL!!?? I was going to get kid 1 to Horse Camp, babysitter to house for kids 2 and 3, and husband and me to the (cue in lacy flowers and soft caring music here) Breast Center (continue soft femine sound effects) and then back to pick up kids 1 and 4 on time.


As the technician raced her little ultrasound car around the tracks of lymph nodes circling my breast, I was squinting around her video screen desperately seeking out

“I’m looking at your lymph nodes.”

“I know. I’m just trying to see the time. I need to send my husband to pick up Belle at Horse Camp and sign out Lexie, bring them to Erika the babysitter to play with Delphine and Paul and then return here.”

More bad news. She’s TOTALLY SWEET to me. She stops the ultrasound and runs out of the office to personally deliver the message to my husband.

Honestly, I’m relieved she’s finding something. I wouldn’t be able to live with the terror of this certainty I feel and not have anyone have any idea of how to move forward to find and fix this mess.