Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meet the Doctor, do the Biopsy

My biopsy appointment with Dr. Monson was 11:00 AM on Thursday, July 10. What a professional staff he has. They are really great people who seem to genuinely like their job. And despite a crowded lobby, I got in pretty quickly.

I was first greeted by Andre, who is either a Doctor or a PA, but an assistant to Dr. Monson in any case. Really nice guy. He did the preliminary work-up on me and then later returned with Dr. Monson.

We first went over the MRI results and talked about what this “could” be. Though this presented like a sarcoma, I was told that sarcomas are rare and that this could be something completely different. A benign tumor was the more likely the culprit. Either way, “we would have to wait for the results of the Biopsy in order to know for sure.” I was told that it would be 3 – 4 business days to get the results (which was a great relief).

The biopsy itself was totally painless, except for the numbing solution they used, which burned like a mother! Yes, I was warned that it would burn and that this would be the worst part, but it felt like a darn blowtorch for about 10 seconds . . . then nothing. He then used a wide needle (shown here) to do what is called a core biopsy. These pretty much operate under the same principal as the large, hollow steel tubes that are used for collecting core samples of earth, just much smaller.

Dr. Monson asked to set up a follow-up appointment for next Thursday (July 17), which would include a CT scan and then a detailed plan for treating whatever I have. What really impressed me was the foresight to set up the CT scan, which he said was because we were going to “act presumptively that this is a cancer so that we don’t have to wait yet another week if the biopsy report indicates a malignancy.”

Overall, I was very impressed with Dr. Monson and his staff and knew that I was in good hands. Unfortunately, I did not share in their optimism that my case was benign (though I wanted to). Instead, I was happy that the next step (CT scan) was already scheduled.

Now we wait . . . and wait . . . for what feels like an eternity for the results.

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