About five days ago I noticed my right nipple was leaking some fluid. It was coming from inside, not from the surface. The fluid was straw-coloured and quite runny, like water. There wasn't much but it was constant. When it became obvious that it wasn't going to just go away, I saw the doctor. She felt my man-boob, said there was something there but it didn't feel like a lump, and sent me to Pathology for a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy.
First up, the mammogram. My poor manboobs were crushed between the glass plates. The machine seemed designed for maximum discomfort, which would account for a lot of sharp corners that dig into the chest, arm-pits and other places. The radiologist did both sides, constantly saying "Move your chin!" but I was afraid I'd tear the skin off the side of my neck. Then, to get a better view of my right nipple, she put in a smaller glass plate. It pressed down with the same pressure over a much smaller area, and hurt. My leaky nipple became a squirt and sprayed bodily fluids onto the nice white machine. The radiologist was shocked when she saw the mess.
If, in the past when mammograms were being invented, someone said to the Inventing Boffins "Right lads! We'll test the effectiveness of this machine by using it on your penises," then mammograms today would consist of sitting in a comfy chair with half a bar of chocolate and a cup of tea. And women do this every year! Bloody hell. Although, in a few short years I have annual prostate exams to look forward to. Compared to this, a finger up the jacksie will be a minor, but surprising, inconvenience.
Then came the ultrasound. It was quite a lot easier. I just had to lay on my back and watch the monitor that showed a slice of my body. Very easy, apart from the litres of cold goo she poured on my chest. The emitter made me feel warm as though I had a dozen happy bats pinging me with sonar. Except for the goo.
After cleaning up with half the paper towel supply, I waited for the biopsy. Finally I was called in to the room. The doctor told me there was nothing to worry about; the right nipple just had some dilated ducts that were stripping water out of the blood and leaking it out. He had no idea what was causing it. Something to chat to Dr Nelson-Marshall about on Thursday.
Okay then, now to biopsy the left breast.
Wait, what? Left breast? Were they sure? I mean, the right breast is where all the action was. That was when he told me about the thing that sounded like "fibroblastoma." First he gave me a local, then nicked the skin with a scalpel ("Give me a scar so I can say I was attacked by ninjas!" "Please stop talking.") then took a needle the size of which I haven't seen since I was last at the vets, and that one had "Horse" on it. He attached it to a device very much like the solder suckers you use to unsolder circuit boards.
He then pushed the needle in, and in, and in, and in even more. I thought he was about to take a sample of the bed beneath me, but looking at the ultrasound I could see the needle penetrating the void. The solder sucker went CLICK! and he had a sample. A few minutes later he had 3 samples and I had a hole in my chest that was pissing out blood. It took a while to stop that, but it did stop. And so I went home.
I now have a very interesting collection of film, a scar where I was attacked by a mini-ninja with a tiny katana, and my right nipple is still leaking.