Needle biopsy, Round 2

There has been quite a development and shift of events since my last post. I was under the impression I wasn’t going to be able to have my needle biopsy done until after Italy. Well, turns out the scheduling person was confused by the two appointments I scheduled with her. She told me I was having another ultrasound this week and my appointment April 2 was my biopsy.

I got a call this week with instructions for my “procedure” Thursday. I was confused because they told me not to eat 8 hours before and this shouldn’t matter with an ultrasound. After several transferred phone calls and several confused hospital staff members, I learned I was having my biopsy this week (two days a go) and my appointment April 2 (which they said was also a biopsy) is the follow up.

Apparently my endocrinologist wanted to make sure he saw me as soon as possible after my trip to Italy and after he returns (he’s gone for over week after I get back). Even though he is fully booked through April, he scheduled me for my follow up to discuss results of my biopsy,  the first slot he could on the day he gets back, which happens to be a slot reserved for biopsies. This is what confused everyone. The hospital schedule has me in a biopsy slot, but only because my doctor was adamant about seeing me then. It certainly brought some comfort to know my new endocrinologist would go out of his way to fit me in as soon as possible when he returns.

First Needle Biopsy (August 2012)

My first needle biopsy was our first attempt to learn if I have cancer. Most people know I am stubborn when it comes to pain, and I can mentally convince myself something doesn’t hurt. I must admit I take some pride in my ability to not cry in physically painful situations. There have been few times when I haven’t been able to hold back tears.

I vividly remember my first needle biopsy. They were only sampling one spot, so they didn’t numb me. However, it was a particularly difficult spot to biopsy, so it took them four times to get useful cells. I was fine the first three sticks, but the fourth time I couldn’t control it anymore, and I started to cry. Still, it was also one of the most tender moments for me, because while my eyes were closed and I silently cried, my surgeon gently dabbed my eyes and cheeks with a tissue. He was very sweet, and while I was in there alone, he made me feel cared for.

Second Needle Biopsy (March 2013)

I had my second needle biopsy Thursday, March 7, and this time around was a different experience and unfortunately, more painful. I went to a different hospital, because my endocrinologist ordered the tests, not my primary doctor. As a result, instead of having one nurse and my trusted surgeon, I had two doctors, and two medical residents around me at different points in time. It was louder, busier and a less private appointment. At least one of the male residents was flirting with me between the ultrasound and biopsies. hah. 😉

My biopsy last fall dealt with a lymph node that was very easy to feel and see from the outside of my neck. This time, however, I was getting a biopsy because several spots appeared on my scan after radiation treatment. Because they are not obvious to touch, they were using an ultrasound to find where they were going to biopsy and then they went into each spot.

I have had a few ultrasounds on my neck by now and most of the time they put a ton of gel and while it feels weird, it doesn’t bother me at all. This time, however, they put very little gel on my neck and they pushed so hard on my neck that it actually hurt… a lot. I was anticipating the biopsies to hurt, but not the ultrasound. Unfortunately, I already started to tear up before any needles touched my skin.


Then the doctor came in to prep me for the biopsies. He told me they decided to biopsy four spots on the right (even though there are also spots on the left), and they would numb each spot. Well, unfortunately each time they numbed me, they went in twice with a needle–once deep and once right under the skin–each time injecting a burning, painful solution for about 45 seconds. With four biopsied spots, this meant eight painful numbing injections, not to mention the biopsies themselves. The last spot also required a much larger needle, which finished off the procedure with quite the bang.

Each biopsy, they shimmied the needle back and forth on the masses under my skin, shaving off cells to use as samples. Needless to say, as the numbness wore off the next couple hours, some intense soreness and pain lingered from the internal damage done. Two days later, there is still some remaining soreness.

However, I did laugh quite a bit when I first saw myself after the procedure. They used an orange sterilizing solution on my neck which had the appearance of a terrible fake tan, and the accumulation of all the numbing made the right side of my face numb and eye droopy. It was quite the sight.


I’m very happy this is over, but even more pleased to hear that I should hear my results Tuesday, (March 12), before I go to Italy. I was concerned they would hold out until my appointment April 2 to tell me anything. It would be hard to wait nearly a month to hear results. No matter what though, I’ll be headed to Rome on Wednesday with my dad, and I can’t wait.

Current Soundtrack

You call me out upon the waters.
The Great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery;
In oceans deep my faith will stand.

So I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise my soul
Will rest in your embrace,
For I am yours and you are mine.

Your Grace abounds in the deepest waters.
Your Sovereign hand will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me;
You’ve never failed
And you won’t stop now.

So I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise my soul
Will rest in your embrace,
For I am yours and you are mine.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my saviour.

I will call upon your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in your embrace
I am yours and you are mine.

5 thoughts on “Needle biopsy, Round 2

  1. Kim Clark says:

    How can anyone with a droopy eye, bandage and bad fake tan look so absolutely ADORABLE???????
    Keep us updated on the flirting intern.
    You know how to keep us entertained while sharing the real deal of your adventure. What a hero you are to me…….
    Thank you for allowing us all to journey with you and to share all the ways we can pray for your restored health……. Blessings and JOY!

  2. Susan Nichter says:

    You must publish your blogs. I agree with Kim. The way you share each trial, prayer need and triumph is priceless.

  3. {sue} says:

    I’m sorry your biopsies have been so painful! Especially this one. I was fortunate and mine wasn’t too bad.

    Thinking all kinds of good thoughts for you tomorrow and sending prayers your way.

  4. Gayle says:

    I don’t see here what your biopsy results were?! I want/need a biopsy but my doctor just wants to watch and wait.

    Been through one round of biopsies and a partial thyroidectomy- not cancerous but bothersome nodule that was getting larger.

    • Lydia Joy Ness says:

      Hi Gayle!

      All of my biopsies were positive. I had a full thyroidectomy and neck dissection with 3 additional surgeries (4 total) over the course of nearly 3 years. Just recently got the all clear for the first time! 🙂

      Please let me know if you have any concerns. I’d trust your doctor for now, though I know waiting is tough. There’s also no harm getting a second opinion, if you’re uneasy about it.

      Take care!

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