Lump

I was watching the season finale of Sons of Anarchy last week, when I found a lump in my breast. A big one (the lump, not my breast). Also, don’t judge about why I was doing a self exam while watching TV. (Very disappointed at the CGI at the end of that finale. Lame.)

I called my doctor the next day, and went in for a check up. She did an exam and said she was pretty confident it was no big deal. But advised that I get a mammogram anyway. Besides, I’m 41, and I should establish a boob-baseline.

Yesterday was the mammogram and ultrasound (ultrasound was necessary since I could feel the lump). I was joking with the techs, and watching on the screens. They took a lot of images, but since this was my first mammogram, I wasn’t sure what was normal. Honestly, I wasn’t worried. I’m healthy. There’s absolutely no cancer of any sort in my family. What could go wrong?

I knew it wasn’t good when the radiologist came in to give the results and asked if I wanted to have someone with me during the consult.

Um, I came alone. It’s just a test, right? Surely, she was going to tell me it was a cyst. Maybe it needed drained, but no biggie, right?

So, there are two rather large masses in my right breast. They’re solid, so they’re not cysts and unlikely to be menstrual-cycle related. They’re also not perfectly round. Good news: they’re not spider-webby, just a little pointy on each side. The radiologist was rating the area as a BIRAD 5. The scale only goes to 6, with 6 being a confirmed malignancy. The radiologist said I could wait until after the holiday to schedule a biopsy since there was unlikely going to be a change. Then she left the room so I could wipe the ultrasound goop from my chest.

I sat stunned as the tech ushered me back to the locker room to change into my clothes before meeting with the surgical nurse, who could answer questions.

I just stared at the tan and blue dressing room curtain. What the fuck does this mean?

Waiting for the nurse in her office, I did a quick google search for things to ask when your mammogram comes back suspicious. I never had a reason to pay attention to news articles or information about breast health. All I could think was “shit, I should have paid attention more to women’s health topics.” I felt completely uninformed.

The nurse was great. Straight forward, which I like and appreciate. I listened to information about the procedure, and then asked her my “what if” questions: what if it’s more than just a mass? What if it’s cancer? What are the options if it’s not cancer? What are the options if it is?

She answered everything, straight to the point, no-nonsense. Then sent me to scheduling.

I go in for a biopsy on Christmas eve at 8:45.

I spent last night researching. I’m a researcher, have to know my options. My head is like a flowchart: if this, then that. And I needed to fill in as many of those holes as possible. I like options, even if I never need them.

B called last night. He knew I was going in for tests. I broke down into tears when I was talking to him. It was the first time I cried since getting the news. I cried even more when I tried to go to sleep last night. It isn’t the procedure or even what it might show. It’s how this will impact the kids.

What if…

Then ((tears)).

One thought on “Lump

  1. ((((HUGS)))) I get it. I am terrified of getting something that will affect my kids. My oldest kid (he’s 24 now) said to me “you’re not allowed to die. We’ve already lost two dads and you’re the only parent we have left”

    Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end. And you are not alone in this.

    (BTW – I totally do the self-exams when I’m watching TV alone too)

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