Donna in Hollywoodland

The blog from Los Angeles and Hollywood by Donna Grayson

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Cinnamon in The Blankets

I spent most of the day at home. So its was Cinnamon's chance to get cuddly.

Cinnamon in Blankets

Cinnamon in the Bankets

Yucky Things

Pass by this entry if yucky things make you faint.

Okay, after my Biopsy... they put a medium sized bandaid on. This looked like it was affixed with super glue. I was told that this bandaid needed to stay on until it fell off by itself.

Over that medium bandaid, is a huge square of clear plastic, almost seran wrap but with glue. I was told this bandage needed to come off before I got into the shower.

Well, I don't know what was going on. Maybe the swelling was going down. But the skin was moving, and this clear bandaid was staying in place.
That meant a little chunk of skin was coming off. The glue was moving and taking the skin with it.

Then, I go to take a shower, and I gently carefully take off the clear bandaid, and off comes another chuck of skin. A big one this time.

They work on perfecting this Biopsy procedure so there will be minimal scaring from the procedure.
Then the bandage itself injures you. Oh, I will have scars - and they'll all be from the bandage.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Day After the Biopsy

Sometimes the way I deal with things, are not to deal with them at all. I get really involved in good or fun things, so I don't have to think about the Bad Things.
So even though I had had a terrible nights sleep, I was out running errands. And taking pictures with my cell phone.
I felt perfectly fine. It was only my breast that felt bad. That, and the Yucky factor.

First stop was breakfast at House of Pies in Los Feliz. I felt compelled to kick fate in the face, and ordered bacon with my scrambled eggs.
I sat and read Your Best Life Now by Pastor Joel Osteen . This is one of the best Christian Books I have ever read.
As I was leaving the restaurant, one of the restaurant employees saw I had the book, and said both he and his wife had read it, and absolutely loved it.

House of Pies
Los Feliz 071505

Then, it was off to run real errands. A stop at the Post office in Los Feliz, followed by a trip to the DWP to pay my utility bill. I even waited in a big long line and did perfectly fine, considering ....

Palm Tree
Bricks on Schrader in Hollywood
Walkway in Hollywood
Flowers In Hollywood
Hollywood Athletic Club

I went to Hollywood and Highland . I grabbed dinner in the food court behind the movie theatres. A healthy chicken and veggie dish to make up for the bacon
and eggs at breakfast.
As I was eating, KROQ radio was broadcasting their show from that area.

KROQ Radio

Considering that I just had Medical Tests the day before, it was kind of scary walking through a big crowd of people to make it back to the movie theatres. I kept my left arm out in front of me, so that no one accidently bumped into my left side.

I decided to catch War of The Worlds . It was the perfect movie to get my mind off things. I love special effects, and this really kept me going. Its nice to be able to go to the movies and forget about real life for a while.

Four Parking
Third Level

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Biopsy

A friend picked me up about 9:15 and drove me to the Breast Center.
I made sure I brought a bag of protein bars and apple juice with me, just in case my Hypoglycemia acted up while going through the Biopsy.

After I changed into my gown, they hay had me wait in the waiting area.

I see the doctor go by. The one who looks like Halle Berry.
She is wearing a dark knee length skirt, covered by a white lab coat, and black high heals. Like almost stilettos. Very high and the heels very thin.

All of a sudden I feel alot better.
My doctor is wearing stilettos. She is going to do the biopsy while wearing those.
Gee, she must be good. Because now I almost feel like I am in a Hospital Drama on TV.
How chic.

I show them my little bag of protein bars and juice. I repeat the "Lidocaine with no epinephrine" mantra.
They lay me down on the table. They hook me up to the ultrasound.
I am laying almost on my right side, at an angle, a pillow tucked along my back.
The Doctor is on my left, towards my back. The Assistant, and the Ultrasound Monitor is on my right, towards my front.
I can watch the monitor to the right, while they do the biopsy on the left.

The first needle is to numb my breast. I say to the Doctor "I don't think you gave me enough lidocaine, I don't think I am numb".
She says "Oh, believe me you are numb."
Yeah, I was.

They took about 6 samples of tissue. Each time the needle making a big clicking noise like a giant stapler.
But I didn't feel anything. I just watched the TV Monitor as the needle pierced the Thing inside my breast as it took the tissue samples.

Then, I think my hypoglycemia started to kick in. I started to feel weird. She said they were almost done. They just needed to place a titanium marker on the actual lump. I was afraid I was going to faint.

Before I got up from the table, the assistant let me drink from my box of apple juice. I was pretty wobbly. I started to feel somewhat better after I had a protein bar.

Then, after that, it was another mammogram. Just one. Oh, dear, squishing my poor left breast under plastic right after its been jammed with a huge needle.

And they told me "Oh yes, you can wear a bra afterwards." Well, maybe in theory you can. But you are so swollen, and it can't fit in the bra. I mean they took 6 tissue samples, of course you will be swollen. Once I got home I put an ice pack on it as they told me to, but it didn't seem to help.

The rules : No shower for 24 hours, no heavy lifting for 48 hours.
They said it would hurt after the lidocaine wore off. Well, no it didn't. As long as I didn't move my arm. It only hurt when I really tried to use my arm, like opening the curtains.

Frankly, if it was painful, I think I could have dealt with that.
I can't deal with yucky boo-boos on my breast. Even if they are covered with 2 different bandages.
All afternoon and evening I said to my breast "Oh, you poor baby." It looked horrible and was swollen. And I could see a nice green and purple bruise forming on it. I felt the need to check on it almost every hour.

I laid on the couch most of the day, reading. I did get on the computer alittle bit.
I found that the most comfortable position to sleep in, was the one I had on the biopsy table. One my right side, with a pillow at my back so I could tilt back alittle. It was not a good nights sleep at all.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Appointments - Doctors and Church

At 1:30, I arrive at the Breast Center and have to wait about 45 minutes because the doctor is doing another biopsy on another patient.
I wait patiently in one of the exam rooms.

The doctor is finally done, and I meet her in what I guess is her office. Its very small. There is a desk, and all along the wall is the light fixture that they put X-rays up against. She has my mammogram up on the light fixture and is showing me my lump on the Xray film.

I like her right away. She reminds me of Halle Berry. I kid you not. And if someone reminds me of a celebrity, I tend to like them a little bit more - especially if they are my doctor.

When I lived in Redondo Beach I had a doctor who looked like Matthew Perry (the healthy version), which was really nice. It was fun. I had great insurance, and so I got tested for everything. Plus he was the best doctor I had ever had.

My current Regular Doctor in Glendale reminds me of Peter Jackson when he was making Lord of the Rings . Short and round, and laughs alot.
He even acts alittle bit like a director when he is going over my chart with me.

So, if a doctor looking like Halle Berry is going to do a biopsy on my breast, I guess thats okay.

As she is talking, I am really not to worried about the actual biopsy. I am more worried about the fact that I am Hypoglycemic, and I can't have epinephrine or
my blood sugar will drop. If they are using Lidocaine, they have to use Lidocaine without epinephrine.
We go over this in detail. She writes "NO Epinephrine" in big letters all over my chart.
Everytime someone says the word "Lidocaine", I follow with the words "with no epinephrine".
I want this drummed into their heads more than anything else I can tell them.

They show me the room I will have my breast biopsy in. Luckily, I will be on a regular table because they need to use the Ultrasound machine.

I feel alot better when I leave.

After the appointment, I head for another appointment at church . I am meeting with one of the Church Counselors to talk over my situation.
I ask to be assigned a Stephen's Minister to help me go through this entire thing.

Then I head back to work.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Panic Time

I am starting to panic about the entire biopsy thing. I look up "Breast Biopsy" both on Yahoo search , and on Google Images .
I see pictures of Biopsy scars and pictures of the biopsy needle.

I realize I have never met the doctor who is going to do this. And how do I know if I even like this person well enough to allow them to stick a huge needle in my breast ?

The Breast Center seems to have a system for handling all these tests. And once you fail test one, they scoot you to test two, and so on and so on.
I feel like I am on an Assembly Line, with no real personal attention. Every time I have gone into the Breast Center, a different person deals with me.
I haven't talked to the same person twice.

And I am coming out of the numb fog I have been in. Its easy to regress to child-like behavior when you go through something like this. I see it in many of the
other women at the Breast Center. They are like children being lead through all their tests, not really knowing what is going on or what else to do.

No, I tell myself - I have to get back in control. Its my life,and I need to be informed and in charge. I need to perk back up.

I call up the Breast Center and ask to speak to Customer Service. The receptionist replies with a "You want Who?"
She transfers me to the right person anyway and I tell them how I am feeling, making sure I say the words "Assembly Line".
I say I want to interview the doctor who is going to do the biopsy.

They are completely understanding. We make an appointment for me to meet the doctor tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Today was my day to teach the 3 year olds at the Summer Sunday School. I was
at Church bright and
early at 9 am.
I had contemplated not going, and canceling out because I didn't think I was emotionally up for it. But playing with the 3 year olds got my mind off of things, and gave me alittle bit more energy.
Teaching a Bible Study lesson to nine 3-year olds is really funny. First, they sit there with their hands in their lap, their eyes on you, and they are taking
everything you say in. But within minutes, they are squirming around and looking at the ceiling, and talking to one another. Not long attention spans at all.

During play time, some of the kids like to just sit and read. And some of the kids like to go through all the toys in the classroom. I was sitting at the table reading to two little girls, when a minor argument broke out in the play "kitchen" area. Turns out one of the kids was hoarding all the plastic play food.
Such dilemmas...

Later, during church service I mentioned to a few people that I had to go in for a biopsy. I guess its best to get people to pray for me. I am in such a fog over this whole thing, I can't manage to pray at all.

Nothing much else is getting done either. I realize that I don't know how I will feel after the biopsy, and I spend the afternoon doing some laundry and cleaning my apartment. Because if I don't get it done now, who knows when I will be able to get it done.


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