Friday, November 30, 2012

The Diagnosis.....

No v.d., no cancer, 
on T.V's the answer,

No father, no mother, 
she's just like the other,
And you know, and I know,
my clone sleeps alone... 

("My Clone Sleeps Alone", Pat Benatar)


Well.....I finally got the diagnosis of what's wrong with my left breast.  And I would give anything if I didn't have to tell you what's really wrong with it.  Please have mercy on me--please don't judge me.  Dammit, this just isn't my month.....

At first when I discovered the lump in my left breast, I got scared, thinking the growing lump was cancer.  I went through the gamut of seeing my OB/GYN and then a breast surgeon.  I endured painful mammograms and ultrasounds where they mercilessly squash your boob with all kinds of frightening equipment.  Lord, I thought---if you didn't have a problem with your hapless boob before those tests, you certainly would developt a problem with your hapless boob AFTER those horrible tests.

(Geez....I never thought that in my whole life I would ever label my boob as "hapless".  In the immortal words of the Wicked Witch of the West, what a world, what a world...)

Finally, I had my final appointment with my breast surgeon.  It was the appointment where all the test results would be reviewed with me.  They hadn't called me beforehand so I assumed it wasn't that big of a deal.  I figured it was just a harmless, benign mass that would have to be removed.  After all, the radiologist had said he'd looked at the films and determined that it wasn't cancer.

And as I waited for the appointment with the surgeon, I knitted nervously with Sashay yarn, making the frilly scarves everybody is talking about.

The reason I started knitting them is because I hadn't ever used Sashay and I wanted a new and different activity that would completely occupy my mind in order to drown out the worry over the breast problem.  

And finally the day arrived and I went to see the breast surgeon.  And do you know what the problem turned out to be?  Get ready---because God forbid but I'm going to reveal something which I absolutely NEVER wanted to reveal to anybody.

Okay....deep breath here...

The hard, lump-like mass in my left breast is scar tissue---scar tissue which is forming around the capsule in which my breast implant is located.  Yes, it's true.  Years ago I stupidly had a boob job like a lot of my fellow stupid friends were doing, and now the left implant has either leaked or ruptured completely, causing contractures and scar tissue formation around the implant capsule---and said scar tissue is getting bigger and bigger over time, causing my HAPLESS boob to become rock hard.  Blaine is astonished at this development.

The diagnosis?  

I was referred to a plastic surgeon for what they call a "breast revision".  Basically, the plastic surgeon will go in and scoop out the implant and the troublesome capsule.  Then he'll put a new breast implant in.  The other breast will be treated the same since it has the same implant and is at risk for developing the same problem.  In other words.....another damn boob job!!!

Sigh again....

The plastic surgeon's PA explained everything to me.  Apparently, the year I had my breast augmentation, the implants weren't as "advanced" in quality as they are now.  She explained that my implants were bad and that they would replace them with the "top of the line" new and better implants they have these days.  She even mentioned a model number and said the implants would come with a "warranty"---because since they are considered so advanced and perfect, that if any complications arise, they will fix things for free.

A model number?  A warranty?  Are my boobs going to be considered as if they're a damn vehicle??!?!?  In other words, the way she explained, my old implants are like Studebakers....

 and my new implants will be Cadillacs.....or Land Rovers.....or Rolls Royces.....or Bentleys...

Where was I?

Oh yes, I have to have surgery.  

So anyway, Monday I go for another torture session mammogram.  The following Monday I have my consultation with the plastic surgeon, and then I'll most likely have the surgery scheduled before Christmas.

The worst part?

The surgery is not covered by insurance since it's "cosmetic surgery".  Thus, we'll have to pay about $7,000 for it.

And this means we can't go down to my uncle's for Christmas because that trip costs about $1000 and we need that money for the surgery.

I have been crying for days over this whole mess.  And I keep asking myself WHY?  Why was I so stupid in my salad days, stupid enough to get a boob job?  Why?  I looked just fine without them.  And now I can't see my mother, uncle, niece, and everybody else in the swamp at Christmas because we have to save money for my surgery.  

And I love my beloved swamp.  My roots (on my mother's side) come from the deep swamp in northern Louisiana and I feel the most at home there than anywhere in the world, alligators and all.  I have tons of relatives in that area.  (My father used to joke about my mother having "water marks" on her legs.)  (And my mother would threaten to snatch him bald for saying that.)

("Snatching somebody bald" is a southern expression.  Here's one of my old blog's posts where I describe how I wanted to snatch everybody in town bald.  The post is here. )

Anyway, I will miss being at my Cajun uncle's house, way up in the sky on the 20 foot pylons that keep the house dry when the river floods.  I will miss my uncle deep frying the turkey in a fryer on his deck.  I will miss his funny Cajun friends.  I will miss his 75 roosters crowing together at any given time of the morning or night.    (He raises game cocks for people who participate in the sport of cock fighting--a sport I heartily despise.)  I will miss everything about having our Christmas holiday in the swamp with my relatives there.  Here's some links if you want to see what a wondrous Thanksgiving we had there one time when the water was up and we could only get to and from the house and town by my uncle's boat.  (These stories are also from my old blog, link above.)

A Cajun Thanksgiving, Part One:

Part Two:
So.... Blaine and I will not be going down to my family's for Christmas.  And now the big problem is....what are we going to tell his family?  They know we are supposed to go down there---and so how are we going to explain why we're suddenly NOT going???  

Sigh yet again.....


  1. First of all GOOD NEWS!!!!!
    Can you not postpone the surgery since it is not a life threatening thing.
    Go have your Christmas and then some time next year have the surgery?

    1. Hi Mary! You're right---I am very glad it was good news (no cancer, thank goodness). I asked the PA about when they would do the surgery and she said the doctor was very busy and that, at the moment, she was looking at availability of December 19th or 21st. But then also she has the 26th available right now. So I hope that by the time I get to my consult with the Dr. week after next, the 26th will still be available---I hope!!! I'm so frightened of surgery that I kind of want to get it over with--yikes!

  2. I'm glad that is all it is! I have cancer n both sides f my family, so am not even sure I want to know if I develop cancer. Sorry you have to undergo surgery though to straighten it out. My son's gf is scheduled to have a breast enhancement surgery on Tuesday - I have offered to donate, but wasn't taken up on it! It sure would have been nice to get a lift out of it though, after nursing 3 kids! Keep us updated on when you decide to do it, but maybe Mary has a good idea - go on the trip & put the surgery off until the new year, if that is possible! Let it be your gift to yourself & let your family fill you up with good vibes for it! Then you also don't have to worry at all about what Blaine's family will say - not that you should allow that to worry you in the first place, but I know how it goes!

    1. Thanks, Cindy! I go for 2 consultations this week, aaargh....

  3. This is GOOD NEWS - that it isn't cancer. I went through intensive treatment a few years ago and I would have rather had a boob job! If the surgery can be delayed until after the New Year (since it isn't life-threatening) may be you could go to the swamp for Christmas, and save a little more money for the surgery. Have you talked to your insurance company to ask if they will reconsider and pay for part of it? Whatever you decide, I hope all goes well and you have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Thank you, Shorespinner. You are definitely right that it's good news. No cancer, thank goodness. But we've thought all the way around it but simply can't come up with the money for the trip. The surgery is going to be about $8,000 aaaarrghh. Blaine did say maybe we could go in the spring or summer, though. I did contact the insurance company (and so did the billing dept.) and the answer is still no....waaaah!