The Breast Biopsy

The Breast Biopsy

The entire process was described to me step by step which really helped me know what to expect. I will try to recount what the beautiful Denise shared with me. She was amazing and put me at ease through the entire process.

I arrived at Providence Milwaukie Hospital and checked in.  I sat down with TJ, my husband, for just a few moments and then Denise came out with a smile on her face and called for me to follow her. She introduced herself and started with the instructions. It is so refreshing NOT to have to think or make decisions when you are in stressful, overwhelming situation. She talked me through everything. She guided me to a little room where she asked me to leave my purse and coat. Then we went into another room where she sat me down and told me about the entire procedure. Step by step. Here is what I remember…

“You will go back into the little room where you left your purse and coat and you will remove your shirt and bra and put on the gown so that it opens in the front. Lock everything in the closet and take the key and put it around your wrist. Then come out and meet me. We will come back into this room and take some X-rays with the mammogram machine to compare them to the images that we already have. We will locate the calcifications and make sure that we are looking at the correct place on your right breast. Once we identify that we are in the right place we will have the Dr. come in and ask you some of the same questions that I am asking and he will have you to sign a consent form.

Next we will go to the room where the procedure will take place. We will help you onto the table face down with your right breast in the hole. We will try to make you as comfortable as possible. Then I will cover you up with a blanket to keep you warm. Once we have you situated we will raise the table and take some more X-rays with a different Mammogram Machine. We will take a few pictures and triangulate the spot of calcifications. We will use a sharpie marker to create a mark on your breast.

You will be awake during this process and the local anesthetic will have a bit of a sting. We will stick in the needle after rubbing some numbing agent on the spot. I will rub your back to help with this pain as it is going in. Some say it feels like a sharp pain. (I know she used technical words to describe all of this but I am just going by what I remember and hopefully it is helpful).

Once we have you numb, we will take the tool that will remove the specimen and we will insert it into your breast and withdraw the calcifications. We aren’t trying to extract all of the calcifications but rather to gather a good sample in order for the lab to read the specimen. There will be a “Pop” sound and we will warn you when that is coming so it doesn’t startle you. That means that we have the specimen. We will then put it on the petri dish and take a few photos to make sure we have an adequate specimen. During that time, we will have you remain where you are in case we need to go back in to take out more.

If we are all set with a good specimen, then we will insert your internal jewelry (a piece of titanium) that will indicate where we removed the calcifications. This will help to identify the spot should a surgeon need to do a follow up. We will then get you cleaned up, put pressure on it with my hand, and dress it with a bandage.

We will help you up when you are ready to sit up and come down off of the table. We will go back in and take some more X-rays with the mammogram machine, not putting too much pressure. Then we will have you get dressed and you can go home.

You can take Tylenol for pain. Keep the bandages on for the next 3-4 days. Don’t fully submerge in water for the next week but feel free to shower. If you see any signs of infection contact us. You may also have a hematoma which is a collection of blood that forms a lump. Make sure to contact us if that happens as well.

When you hear from us these are the results you can expect

  1. The calcifications are cancerous
  2. The calcifications are NOT cancerous
  3. You have something called Atypical Lobular Hyperplasia

If the calcifications are not cancerous and you don’t have ALH we will continue on as normal with your check-ups. If they are cancerous, we will move forward with a surgeon consult. If there are signs of ALH you will also need to schedule an appointment with a Breast Surgeon so that they can remove a larger sample. Do you have any questions?”

Hopefully I was close enough on the description from Denise. Here is my account of what happened which is pretty much spot on to her description.

Mammogram X-rays like normal. I saw the X-rays. They double checked and asked me if it was the right boob that they would be doing the biopsy on. I said yes. The Anesthesiologist came in and asked me the same question and I signed the consent. We went to the room and there was a table with a hole in the center where my boob would fit. I climbed up, opened my gown, and placed my boob in the hole. She moved me around a bit and then lifted the table. I felt like a car getting my tires changed.

She took the X-rays again, marked the spot with the sharpie, and turned on the vacuum sounding thing, which is the tool that extracts the specimen. I was as comfortable as I could be. She kept on talking me through things in her soothing tone. She asked me if I was allergic to Iodine because she used that to clean the spot. Then she numbed the spot with a topical anesthetic. She then held my hand and rubbed my back while the doctor inserted the needle of pain. Not that big of a deal but it made my toes wiggle and I did squeeze her hand pretty hard. It was over quickly and I was numb.

They double checked their mark, took the suction tool and removed the specimen. They placed it in a petri dish and took some photos of it in a different room. Only minutes later, they determined that it was a good specimen and they could finish up. They inserted the internal jewelry, put pressure on my breast, had me roll over and she cleaned me up and placed a bandage over the incision.

I sat up, stepped down the few steps of the ladder and followed Denise to the Mammogram machine again. I forgot to mention that a 3rd person came in while this was happening and she was the one to take all the specimen and label it. She also provided a helping hand to Denise as she was bandaging me up. They said in 4 or so hours the numbing would be gone and I might feel some discomfort. I took a Tylenol just before that time was up. I took two more before bed and 1 more in the morning. I didn’t need to take any after that. Just the regular Tylenol you can buy from the store. Not a prescription.

She took the remaining X-rays and didn’t squeeze too hard. It was numb anyway so I didn’t feel much. Then I went to my closet and got dressed. Make sure to wear a two part outfit. Not a dress. You leave your pants and shoes on. Make sure to bring a comfortable bra that will hold the girls in place. They will give you an ice pack and some gauze. You can rotate the ice pack. 20 minutes on and 20 min in the freezer.


I am telling you this. Of course you can, they say don’t lift anything heavy but if you have gone to the trouble of reading this entire Blog post then follow this advice. Find someone who will take care of you. If you don’t have any family members ask a girlfriend for a favor that you will gladly repay when it is her turn for a Dr. Visit. You need to just sit and do nothing but read a good book, watch a fun program, sleep, or write some letters but get yourself in bed and let others wait on you. That is an order. At least for the next 24 hours. I say this because I love you and I want you to love yourself. <3

Well, then you just wait for the results, which I posted in my first blog here.

If I have left out any part or something important please comment below so I can make an edit to the post. I wasn’t thinking I would need to remember what happened because I was sure it would be nothing. Well…. I guess there is a different plan in store for me.

Guest Blogger ~ Elisabeth Dunham ~ Struggling to stay awake at your desk?

    Beth glasses2Struggling to stay awake at your desk?

Wake up! You can ‘cure’ the post-lunch slump…

The clock says 3 p.m. and you’re not sure you’re going to make it. Two hours until quittin’ time and you want more than anything to curl up in a ball under your desk and go to sleep. At this point in the day – the same as many others behind it – you would give anything for a nap.

But instead you reach for that third cup of coffee or that brain-rotting diet soda and try to refocus your energy on the screen in front of you. Or worse, you head for the candy machine…

Sound familiar? If so, you may be suffering from the dreaded afternoon slump. Think it’s an inevitable part of your work life? Think again! Did you know that you – that’s right YOU – are causing it and you can prevent it too. You are what you eat and if you are eating a bunch of foods that just sit there and decay in your gut then you turn into a ZOMBIE! (And so do most of your co-workers so don’t worry that you are alone in this…).

The good news is that you don’t have to go through life feeling like crap every work-day afternoon. There are, in fact, a number of ways to prevent the afternoon slump and/or beat it back if it’s already upon you. As in now – this very moment!

Let’s take a look at the hows:

How does this happen? Well a few things that can steal your energy are:

·         A diet high in processed carbohydrates and sugars and low in protein and fat. These carby sugary gut bombs (Americanized Thai food, anyone?) tend to putrefy in the gut and cause the overgrowth of yeast and bacteria and turn you into that aforementioned walking dead creature, rotting from the inside out.

·         A massive lunch that takes away your energy by diverting too much of your resources to digestion. We knew we shouldn’t have gone back for that third helping of the buffet, but…

·         Not enough sleep: five or fewer hours a night is too little but that’s what many of us get.

·         A dependency on caffeine or other stimulants.

·         Lack of regular exercise. 

How do we prevent and reverse the afternoon slump?

1. First and foremost: Stay hydrated!

All of your body systems need water to function at their peak. Drink at least one glass of water every two hours. You won’t believe how much this helps!

2. Get Some Sun.

A brief dose of natural sunlight can give you a boost thanks to the serotonin-boosting power of all that Vitamin D. Go for a walk around the block, or just bask in any rays you can find while you take a break or eat your lunch. Fresh air will help you un-slump too.

3. Move around

As soon as you feel tired, stand up and make your body move with some stretches or even a brief walk around your office or home. This gets the blood and endorphins flowing and will perk you up. Also, when you are not at work, be sure you are getting adequate exercise. Focus on trying to go for a 30-minute walk at least once per day.

4. Prevent it in the first place. Stop blasting yourself with high-glycemic carbs (white rice, pasta, white beans, sugar and bread) at lunch. What goes up must go down. Instead focus on lean protein, plenty of greens and fresh fruit and a fist size of lower-glycemic carbs such as black beans or lentils. You won’t believe how different you feel and how the afternoon slump is no longer an issue. If you do need to snack, opt for something healthy such as a raw nutrition bar (Lara Bars are my favorite) or a banana with some raw nuts. These natural sugars are much more efficiently assimilated by the body and won’t cause a crash like other carbs do.

5. Get your zzzzzs. Sleeping 7-8 hours a night will give you sustained energy during the day and make you less reliant on caffeine to stay perky, allowing you to break your reliance on coffee and soda. Less caffeine equals fewer crashes!

GO DEEPER! In fact learning to eat well at all meals and take care of yourself will give you sustained energy throughout the day. If you’ve watched Movies Like Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and Forks Over Knives (free on Netflix) then you might be wondering how to go about changing your diet to one that promotes health and energy rather than one that makes you tired during the day.

 That’s where I come in.

Mention my Afternoon Slump special and I will give you 20 percent off any one of my programs, from the minis to the longer term transformations.

Want more? Check out these foods that actually prevent that slump!

Source: mind body green and manifest health now

 We are people like you working for you. We understand the pressures you are under. That’s why we became certified nutrition counselors and developed this easy-t0-follow, inexpensive plant-based program that will dramatically change the way you look and feel in just 10 days (if not sooner) while allowing you to take the best parts with you when you leave.

     We have developed a roadmap to health based on the latest research. Perhaps you’ve watched Forks Over Knives, Food Matters, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead or Crazy Sexy Cancer. Maybe you’ve read the China Study. You’ve heard these diets can reverse and prevent heart disease and other illnesses, reduce cholesterol, inflammation and weight while improving moods and problems with stress. But you might be wondering where to begin and how to make this way of life realistic for you.

     That’s where we come in! We developed the Manifest Health nutritional counseling program to take the guess work out of eating a plant-based, health-promoting diet that will help you feel better than ever.  Let us support you. We work in all 50 states. Just call 503-926-4654 or send us an email at to get started!

You will:

  •          Reverse and prevent many chronic health conditions
  •          Drop unneeded pounds while eating delicious foods
  •          Cleanse and detoxify your body at a cellular level
  •         Have more energy and mental focus
  •        Begin to heal your body and mind
  •          Heal digestive problems
  •          Sleep better

Elisabeth Dunham, CNC, CHC, AADP
Certified Nutrition and Healing Coach specializing in:
Plant based nutrition for all tastes, from vegan to paleo
Health From the Inside Out via Manifest Health Now! 503-926-4654

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