I spent 50 minutes waiting to see the doctor. Was somewhat reassured when they 1) brought me to an examining room rather than his office, and 2) didn't ask my husband to come back with me. A lot of folks don't realize that these, like the word "suspicious," are telling. They're code for "this ain't good."
When the doctor came back, he shook my hand and asked how I was. I asked how HE was, then said, "I don't know--how am I?"
He whipped out the radiology report and said, "There's nothing there."
Nothing there. This is a 6+ centimeter mass that is growing--it is noticeably larger than it was a year ago, and it is even larger than it was 10 weeks ago. But there's nothing there but fat. He even took me out and showed me the MRI. It's clear as a bell, and it's fat. Nothing else.
Not showing on an ultrasound? That's not necessarily surprising, considering I'm overweight AND some neoplasms just don't show on ultrasound. Not showing on an x-ray? Even more understandable--x-rays aren't great for soft tissue masses, and, again, my weight could negatively impact the quality of results. But an MRI?
That's the standard, and, of all the imaging options, it's the one that isn't affected by adipose tissue. Which isn't to say that an MRI can't miss stuff--just last year, an MRI missed a fibroid/mass. But a clear x-ray, a clear sonogram, AND a clear MRI?
He offered a biopsy, and I've taken him up on the offer. Some folks might say I'm being obsessive at this point, but here's where my mind is:
Two weeks ago, this doctor looked at me and said, "The time for an MRI was right after the ultrasound came back negative." I don't want to be sitting in an oncologist's office a year from now, being told that "the time for a biopsy was right after the MRI came back negative."
Soft tissue sarcomas come in all shapes and sizes, and, while none of them are GOOD, some are particularly BAD, and the prognosis can be devastating. This is especially true when they've been missed, have had ample time to have their way.
So tomorrow I'll call the insurance company and figure out whether or not they'll pay for a biopsy performed in a "free standing surgical center." Then I have to figure out if the surgical center will send the lab work to the correct lab.
Single payer. I have a dream, you know?
Thanks for the concern, advice, and care. I'll keep you posted.