Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Breast Care Fight: Biopsy @ NUH Breast Care Imaging

My breast lumps biopsy was considered a day surgery and required at least one incision at my left breast to take samples from 4 lumps that were suspicious for underlying malignant disease. 

As such, I knew that I couldn't do my usual workouts and exercises for at least a few days after that. 

Leading up to my biopsy, I tested my 1RM for squats and weighted chin-up. I had been progressing steadily in my squats in recent times, while even though I hadn't been training my weighted chin-ups until very recently with baby weights, Superman just wanted to see how far I could go now. 

I had already tested my 1RM for deadlift earlier this year and reached 100kg... finally!

For my squats, I managed to do a 74kg while my weighted chin-ups was most surprising as I managed to a 25kg... 

On the day of my biopsy on Tue 13 Sep 2022, I took a nice long shower as I was told it was best if I didn't bathe for 2 days to not get my wound wet. I could try to cover the dressing with plastic but it would be a risk. Also, NUH does not want to use waterproof dressing as they think that it causes skin irritation.

My appointment was at 2.15pm and it registration was pretty quick. After that I was taken to a small room where a young lady doctor, Dr Tan Ee Lin, briefly explained what the ultrasound-guided biopsy procedure was about, how long it was expected to take {about 15 mins for each sample}, expected size and length of the incisions and how to care for my wounds. 

Then I waited for the day surgery room to be ready about 3+ and went in. There was a motherly nurse assisting Dr Tan and first they located the 4 lumps via ultrasound, while taking reference from my Radlink scans. One of the lump was really small and hard to find so that took a terribly long time.

When they finally started the biopsy procedure, Dr Tan injected my left boob with local anesthesia to numb the areas each time she took a sample from each of the lumps with a long core needle, which is a long, hollow tube to obtain a sample of tissue. 

I was surprised that it took effect so fast and I barely felt anything... thankfully, haha. She managed to cut only 2 small incisions to get to the 4 lumps. They were so small that no stitches were required, and were closed using surgical tape. 

Overall, I think we ended about 5.30pm... which was much, much later than expected. By the time I left, the centre was closing and I didn't even get to see my bill as they were helping me to e-file and claim via Medisave and insurance. 

My wounds felt a bit sore and bruised for a few days. I think the most uncomfortable part was not being able to bathe or wash my hair for 2 days haha.. or move my upper body much so as to not risk opening the wounds. 

I rested mostly in bed the next day. Felt like such a slob and was quite miserable actually. On Thursday, 2 days after the biopsy, I went for a short walk and did my light knee rehab exercises. Nothing that required me to lift my arms overhead or stretch my chest area.

By Saturday I was feeling better and even headed out for a ride with some friends into Malaysia. It felt so good to sweat it out and move out in the sun after having limited mobility for a few days!

I really wondered how I am going to survive if I can't manage to exercise at all if I had cancer and had to undergo a worst surgery and longer treatment...

Breast biopsy cost: S$2,435.70

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Before mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries

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