The Biopsy

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photo taken by Brad Lawless

I tossed and turned last night.  I tried really hard not to think about the biopsy, but it deemed difficult to put out of my mind.

The biopsy was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and I was up and out of bed by 5:30 a.m.  Remaining calm was my intention, but I felt so tense and so uneasy.  The muscles in my neck were and still are hard tight knots.

They called me in after only being in the waiting room for a few minutes.  When they called my name I jumped as if someone said, “Boo!”  I stood up and slowly walked to the door.  I wanted so badly to turn and run, but I knew that I would be running from something that I needed answers to and I needed to be strong for myself and for my loved ones.

I walked with the nurse to a small room where she offered me a Xanax and a glass of water.   I gladly popped the pill in my mouth and washed it down with the ice cold beverage.  She then asked  me to remove my clothes from the waist up and handed me a pink top like smock thing.   She returned a few minutes later and led me to another room.

The next room felt familiar.  It reminded me of the room I had the ultrasound in 5 days prior.  The technician  asked me to lay on the table and then she had me roll on my side, facing the computer screen while she put a wedge behind my back.  She then had me raise my right arm above my head.  I remained in that position throughout the entire time I laid on that table…about an hour.  She then proceded to take an ultrasound so she could get some more pictures for the doctor.

While we waited for the doctor the same awful music filled the room.  If only they played music I could sing along too.  That would surely take my mind off of what was about to happen to my poor little boob.  The worst part was the technician and the nurse stood in complete silence the entire 10 or so minutes I laid there.  I was in emotional misery and they were not helping AT.ALL.

The doctor arrived, looked at the ultrasound photos, looked at the lump herself with the ultrasound machine and then said, “Dr. So and So owes me a coffee for this one.  It is located in a really hard angle to get to.”  Wow…that was really helping me feel better, I thought sarcastically.  Could this room get any more uncomfortable??

It was time for them to start the procedure.  The Xanax had started to kick in and the nervous fidgeting and twisting of the blanket laying on top of me turned into gental petting of the soft material.  I closed my eyes for the rest of the event.

To be quite honest, the best part of the procedure was the procedure itself.  I thought for sure it was going to hurt and not once did I feel pain.  The doctor numbed the location before starting and each sample she drew with the 12 gauge needle, she administered more pain medication.  The sound of the machine that took the tissue sample from the lump was pretty nerve racking as was my fear that I would feel pain. There have been many times when I have had a tooth drilled without enough Novocain and the pain from the drill to the exposed nerve was killer.  During the procedure, I felt no discomfort and more importantly, no pain.

After the biopsy was complete, they had me do another mammogram.  Again, I thought about the pain I was about to endure as they squeezed my tender breast between the tight pieces of plastic, but that was not the case.  The technician was very gental and the procedure, pleasant.

I got dressed and lazily walked out of the office.  I felt a bit loopy from the drugs and was ready to get home and lie down.

I just completed the 3 hours of icing and now I wait.  Luckily, the nurse I had spoken to yesterday was incorrect and I will have the results  tomorrow at 4:30pm CST.  Thank heavens because I don’t know if I could wait another week!


  1. Thank goodness it wasn’t painful for you…. but doesn’t sound fun either. Would have been nice to have had some nice bedside manners at a time like that though. Hoping for a fast boob recovery… and good and negative results!

  2. You are being so brave! I am so thrilled to see you sharing your experiences on this very difficult journey – I know you know that there will be others who read it and make the decision to seek the medical attention they need because of it or that someone who has been there, done that will be able to connect with what you are writing and feel like someone can understand their own feelings.

    I’m sorry the beginning of today was so rough for you. Maybe when you are up to it you could suggest that they offer the clients their choice of music during procedures? Or at least allow an iPod or something?


    • Courtney R says:

      Thanks Robyn! The support has been overwhelming and getting past the fear of sharing has been such a growing and eye opening experience!!!

  3. Im thinking and prayin for you court! Gosh I so remember that feeling :(. My needle biopsy was in my neck ugh! But all will be ok no matter what!

  4. As Sandy said… glad the procedure went well and was not painful. Continuing to pray for good results as well as calm nerves. Sending you love from Texas! You ARE so very brave!!

  5. Glad that it was not painful. Hoping tomorrow the results come with only good news!

  6. I have been running around from school to school with these 4 kids, but have been thinking about you all day!!

    Hope you wake up after a nap feeling a lot better hun, xoxoxo

  7. Thinking of you.

  8. I was afraid that it would be painful too, I am so glad that it wasn’t! I am praying for you while you wait to hear back about the results! xoxo

    • Courtney R says:

      Thank you Jen! I had no idea what the experience would be like either, so I’m hoping by sharing this it will shed some light for other having to go through the same scenario!

  9. Very cool of you to share your story! You are one tough cookie and apparently so is your boob!! Take care!!


  10. I thought about you all day and said lots of prayers for you. Praying that you get a big negative result tomorrow!

  11. Thanks for sharing, prayers that test results come back clear, and you can go celebrate tonight. I will say a special pray of calmness for you as you go about your day, until the results come back. Only God knows, and HE is in control and will protect you.

  12. I am so glad it was not painful! I was so worried about that for you. That is great you get your results today! I just talked to my aunt and she was able to get her results today as well, her cancer is NOT back and it is just scar tissue! WooHoo!! Praying the results are similar for you and you get good news!

  13. My fingers and toes are crossed for you!

  14. right there with you…hoping all is OK

  15. I am sorry to hear that the nurse and technician were not more supportive and that the doctor was a complete ass. Sometimes they forget that we are people and have feeling. I had great support during my biopsy. All women deserve great support during stressful procedures.

  16. ((hugs))

  17. That is a great post, and definitely helpful for those who are facing a similar situation and never having had a mammogram or biopsy. I had a mammogram and biopsy last summer (age 33) and it wasn’t nearly as pleasant as yours! For the biopsy I had to lay face down on this table that had a hole through it – like a masseuse’s table, but your boob goes where the head would go! If that wasn’t awkward enough, they medicated me and numbed me up but I still felt the majority of it!! Eventually they had to stop, they didn’t understand why I was feeling it. Like you, I will never forget the sound of that needle machine! Although it sounded more like a sewing machine to me than a dentist’s tool ;)

    Thank you for sharing your sweet story. Good for you, and I hope everything came back negative and on the up and up!


  1. [...] biopsy took place just yesterday. You can read Courtney’s account of it here. From check-in to coming home, the entire procedure lasted maybe an hour, but it was a damn long [...]

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