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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Boobie

The prayers and good wishes have worked their magic.  My visit to the Cancer Center was very reassuring.  Well, for the most part.  When I walked in the receptionist commented on how great I looked, which was nice.  Then the nurse called me, and she commented how great I looked.  Still nice. We went down the hall toward a treatment room and ran into the patient advocate, who commented several times how great I looked.  Here's the thing:  I didn't do anything special to get ready for my appointment.  Nothing.  I haven't lost weight or changed my hair or bought any new clothes.  I started wondering how crappy I must have looked before.  Ah, well.  Apparently I'm over that now.

When the doctor came in he took a look at the problem area on my boob, then he did a full exam.  He was pretty sure he knew what was going on but he called in another doctor for a second opinion.  The consensus is the goo balls coming out of my skin are excess sebum, which occurs naturally but usually in small amounts that you'd never notice.  My mammary ducts apparently are clogged, which causes the sebum to build up, until it has no more room, at which time it seeps from my pores as yucky little goo balls. They are very sure that this does not indicate infection or recurrent cancer. Yay!  The bad news is, there is really no treatment for it.  It should clear up on it's own  but if it doesn't the only course of action is to surgically clean out the clogged ducts. Because the effected area is relatively widespread, they don't know how feasible surgery would be for me.  They advised I wait until my next mammo in April, unless it gets worse or shows signs of infection. The area is tender but it doesn't bother me too much from a pain standpoint; it's just the yuck factor that I don't care for.  So waiting isn't a problem.  They do want me to chart how often and how much goo I see, so they can see if it's getting better or worse.  And I have to keep using the skin cream I got last time. 

The assumption is this was caused by radiation treatment, since it's only happening in the treatment area.  The radiologist said it's not common but they've seen it before.  The hormone therapy could be making it worse.  Since it isn't harmful I don't need to worry about it.  Maybe now I'll start sleeping better.  My blood pressure was up yesterday.  Considering everything that's happened recently, I'm not surprised, but I do need to do a better job of taking care of myself.  

1 comment:

  1. Great news. I hope this problem clears up soon. I had a double mastectomy so there was nothing left to react to radiation. I'm also taking an anti-hormone medication since my cancer was hormone related. (I still miss my
    anti-hotflash meds, even if they may have caused/contributed to my cancer)