There was another possible concern raised at the medical case conference, which was ruled out today by a good old fashioned mammogram. (I have decided to call the state of the art positronic emissions mammogram (PEM)  that I am having next Monday, a “fancygram”.

Bear with me, because this is going to require a little background explanation. When I had a biopsy last May, they inserted a tiny titanium clip into the biopsy site. This way, if the site is cancerous there is a marker there that helps the surgeon and radiologist find the site. And if it is benign, the fishy looking but benign clump of cells will be marked for future routine mammograms so you don’t have to keep getting biopsies on the same site.

On the morning of surgery, a radiologist placed a wire in my breast and used ultrasound to make sure she placed the wire according to the location of the clip. However, during surgery, the clip was no longer visible so the surgeon used the wire as a guide. He was not unduly concerned about it but enough to tell us. But then the pathologist didn’t locate the clip either in the excised tissue. Now apparently, these clips can get lost on occasion and it’s not something to get hugely worried about in and of itself. However, someone at the case conference pointed out the possibility, though unlikely, that the tissue that was excised was not the right tissue and it just happened that Dr. Beatty excited tissue with tumors in it. He/she recommended that I have another mammogram to make sure that the clip was out. And by the way, mammography has not had trouble “seeing” metal as opposed to the other imaging problems. Today, I got to see the metal markers that the surgeon placed as well as earlier pictures of the various wires and clips.

The clip is not in there. Hooray!