Monday, January 15, 2018
I found it accidentally. I wasn’t looking for it. It wasn’t a self exam. I was lying in bed and my hand just happened to come to rest on my breast without intent. I just happened to place my hand with just enough firmness to feel the tiniest little lump.
Well, I thought, that shouldn’t be there. So my not a self exam turned into a self exam. It was definitely a lump. But there is no history of breast cancer in my family that I was aware of, and from all the information I’ve heard it doesn’t hurt when it’s a cancerous lump. But pressing on this tiny lump hurt a bit, so it’s probably just a cyst. Just to be sure, I’ll book in with my doctor. I’m sure it’s nothing. And I rolled over and went to sleep.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
I call to book with my doctor. They offer an appointment that evening but that would make me miss hot yoga. It’s my newfound addiction, I’m not willing to miss it. I’m sure this is just a cyst or something so there is no rush. She is closed on Wednesdays, I ask for a Saturday. This way I don’t have to miss any gym or yoga time and I’m disrupting my evenings.
Saturday, January 20, 2018
My doctor examines my breasts and says she feels the lump as well as several others. It is very likely just breast tissue. We discuss my family history and how there is no breast cancer. She and I agree it is better to be safe than sorry so we get set up for an ultrasound. If there is something concerning in the scans then she will send me for a mammogram. The y unfortunately cannot see me until Tuesday. I am a little concerned as anyone would be, but mostly I’m confident It’s nothing.
Tuesday, January 23, 2108
I get to the ultrasound clinic. I’m calm. A tiny voice in my head is giving me the what ifs, but it’s overpowered by my self reassurance that I am not really a risk factor and all the women who have told me that most of the time these lumps are benign. However my concern shifts slightly when in the room being scanned as the technician is taking many photos and measurements. I was there for over 40 minutes being scanned. It doesn’t typically take that long, does it? At the end she tells me it is normal to take lots of measurements and asks me to please not worry about it. My doctor will have the scans in 2 to 3 business days. O.k. then, I will try not to worry. I collect my child and we go about our regular lifestyle. We go to the gym, she enjoys the amazing child minding service provided and I enjoy a wonderful session of hot Yin yoga.
After yoga I find a voice mail on my phone from my doctor. She wants to see me asap. Well, now I’m worried. Of course, her office closes in 30 minutes from the time I get the message, I’m a 35 minute drive away, and she is closed Wednesdays. So I’m booked in for Thursday late morning. 2 to 3 business days ended up being 2 to 3 hours.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
I took the morning off so I can take my time before my appointment. I’ve remained calm and have convinced myself that I do not have cancer. The more people I speak with, the more I believe it.
I remained calm, until I got out of the shower to a voice mail from the hospital confirming my biopsy appointment. I hadn’t even made it in to my doctor yet and the hospital is confirming biopsies. The haste is rather intimidating. On one hand you’re happy they’re not wasting any time. On the other hand it’s pretty effing scary they’re not wasting any time!
My doctor was very apologetic for making me wait and not telling me over the phone, and advised me that there wasn’t any definitive results that an ultrasound could provide other than it’s concerning. She said she doesn’t take any risks with this kind of thing so she’s sending me for a biopsy.
16 years ago I was diagnosed with P.T.S.D. and mental health was even more scarce then than it is now. So I was told the best form of therapy while you’re waiting for mental health care is to talk about your experience. Even if it is strictly the form of a secret, hand-written journal, getting it out instead of keeping it in is such a great relief. When you open up to the universe the amazing thing is that she responds. I posted this video on my Facebook and was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support, even from strangers! People who have had their own journey through lumps and scares reached out thanking me for sharing and returning the favour. Knowing that I am not alone was so therapeutic and strengthening, which is why I do it.
Biopsy is scheduled for Thursday, February 1st.
Just keep breathing…