Friday, November 12

What Goes On In Their Minds

I had my annual physical exam close to 2 months ago. I was given a referral and prescription by my primary doctor to go see a specialist and undergo 2 MRI-like exams. You see, they felt a lump. Not the first time. A “cyst” they called it.

So off I scheduled and went for the “MRIs”. Since I chose the “first thing in the morning” schedule, I finished both in no time. Thought I'd get off early, but that didn’t happen. A nurse came up to me and said, “Sorry we took so long. But, the doctor wants you to get a biopsy. We called your primary physician and she agreed that it’s the best thing to do.”

After having everything explained to me, I signed off on the consent forms and went thru the procedure. For the biopsy, I had to go through 3 steps.

photo @ ADAM*
Fine needle aspiration. Using a needle and syringe, fluid was drained from the cyst.

Core needle biopsy. A bigger needle was used. But instead of a syringe, a stapler look-a-like and sound-a-like was connected to the needle. This is suppose to get a sample of the tissues surrounding the cyst. Three thrusts (remember it looked and sounded like a stapler) they did.

Clip. This is the cool part, they left a “clip” at the spot where they did the biopsy. The “clip” is the size of a grain of rice and made of titanium. It’s suppose to mark where the biopsy was done should future examinations and treatment be needed. And the first thing they said about the clip was that it will not set off any airport alarms. Nice!

Now, during the 15-minute procedure (I tell you, the pep and prep talks took longer!), aside from straining my neck so that I can watch the procedure from the monitor, the only other thing that went thru my mind was this:

“What goes on in the doctors’ and nurses’ minds when, during the procedure itself, their guts tell them that the cyst is cancerous. Same with the pathologists, who are at attention and at standby during the procedure, waiting for the fluid drained from the cyst and then heading straight to the lab to culture the fluid for cancer cells.”
Do they feel, while waiting for the results, as nervous, anxious, apprehensive, etc. as their patients? Do they feel as sad and devastated as their patients when the lab results scream, “Oh yes, it is cancer!”

I wonder …..

* photo@ADAM

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