Wondering why I have been MIA for a couple of weeks continue reading….
About two months ago, I discovered a lump in my right breast that just did not feel right. For me, I have been well acquainted with my breasts for some time….some time being since I was like 10. I can’t remember exactly what I was doing but I happened to graze my hand over my breast and noticed a lump. Immediately my heart sank just from this slight touch. It’s not that you automatically want to assume the worst, but in your mind you know this lump is not supposed to be there. So what could it be and why the hell did it have to be my breast? So I did what most people probably do…threw it out of my mind as if it wasn’t anything serious. “I’m too young….I’ve always been healthy…God wouldn’t let anything like that happen to me so let me not worry about it” is what played in my mind over and over again. It was denial and fear of simply having a breast lump that was keeping me from immediately seeing my doctor.
So of course throughout my denial and fear everything I randomly saw and read had something to do with breast cancer. I was having a convo with someone close to me about someone they knew having breast cancer who was fairly young….everything surrounding me had to deal with breast cancer. I worked myself up into thinking these were signs and that I probably had breast cancer. After some thinking, I decided that I was going to be proactive in my health and stop working my brain in making a self diagnosis. So I scheduled an appointment with my doctor for a physical and breast exam.
First Appointment Physical/Breast Exam – Thursday, May 23, 2013
During my appointment, I showed my doctor the area of concern on my right breast for examination. She started the breast exam on my right breast and indicated that she didn’t feel anything abnormal, but just felt normal fatty tissue. Okay…that’s great maybe whatever I was feeling was in my mind…she’s a doctor…she knows best. She then moved to my left breast and came across a lump. She indicated that the lump was very mobile and smooth, which are pretty good signs of a benign lump. After the exam she sent me to radiology for an ultrasound on both breasts. I was so nervous and my emotions were at an all time high. Radiology was able to take me fairly quickly and the ultrasound was a peace of cake. I didn’t get any results that same day and was told to call the following Tuesday.
Phone Call from My Doctor – Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Tuesday was a normal day at the office. Towards the afternoon things slowed down and I was sitting at Jordan’s desk talking and laughing it up. After returning to my desk I returned to find that I had a missed call and voicemail from my doctor. I called her back and was placed on hold. My doctor got on the phone and informed me that the ultrasound found lumps in both breasts. The lumps were abnormal and I was being referred to a surgeon to have both lumps removed through an excisional (surgical) biopsy. She then asked if I would like for them to schedule my appointment with the surgeon…I replied yes. She indicated that someone from her office would call with the appointment time in a couple of minutes. I hung up the phone and literally put my head in my hands and the tears started flowing. My next step was to call the one person I always run to crying…my dad. I didn’t even give myself time to think about what the doctor had just told me. I just knew it was bad. Abnormal…surgery…removal…no explanation…what does this mean??? This was just too much! My dad of course told me that we had to hope for the best and that everything was going to be okay. In my mind the worst already happened.
On the drive home from work…I literally cried and thought about what was in store me for me. If this was breast cancer…what stage? Am I going to be able to see all my babies (Denari, Khairi, Marley, Aria, Zoe) grow up? Not to mention that baby “Bates” isn’t even here yet. Am I ever going to get the chance to be a wife/mother? What are my parents, sisters, and brothers going to do without me? Sigh…why me? This may seem a little dramatic, but it was real and really put me down in the dumps. Then my mother called…perfect timing to tell me to not get myself worked up. My parents know me so well. My appointment with the surgeon was scheduled for Thursday, June 6th which seemed so far away. What was I going to do til then to keep my mind occupied? My trip to NY was coming up during the weekend so that should help take my mind off of things….right?
Consultation with Surgeon – Thursday, June 6, 2013
The trip to NY was amazing…I’m surrounded by such loving and supportive friends. My mom was going to the doctor with me. I was in such high spirits and then the morning of June 6th came and I woke up to anxiety. But today was the day that I would get some clear answers…hopefully. My mom met me at my appointment and we went to the exam room to meet with the surgeon. He examined my breasts and explained his initial thoughts from the breast exam and ultrasound. The lump in my left breast he indicated to most likely be benign. He indicated that it was very mobile and smooth as did my PCP which is a good indication of a benign lump. He also indicated that the ultrasound showed the lump in my left breast as being very smooth on the edges with no ridges and oval shaped…another good indication of a benign lump. So he was fairly confident that the lump in my left breast was simply benign and nothing to worry about. He termed it as Fibroadernoma which is something common in women during childbearing years.
Now to my right breast. The surgeon indicated that from his breast exam and from my indication that it may be hormonal (meaning the lump size changes during my menstrual cycle) that this lump may be fibrocystic. However, the lump on the ultrasound appeared to be abnormal in relation to shape and shadowing. From this he wanted to give the radiologist a call to discuss his (the radiologist’s) recommendation for excisional biopsy. I could tell from his demeanor that he felt that it was unnecessary to go with invasive surgery first. After he left there was just a sigh of relief….simply because the abnormalities were explained to me. There was some speculation as to what might be going on and I wasn’t left wondering in vast field of medical terminology and ideas.
The surgeon came back and indicated that our next step would be to do an ultrasound guided biopsy on my right breast. The lump in my left breast will be left alone for now and that ultimately we may have to do the excisional biopsy as a definitive measure for my right breast. The ultrasound guided biopsy allows for samples to be taken from the breast lump for testing. If it is determined that the excisional biopsy is needed, than we will remove both lumps in both breasts. I just wish all of this was explained to me from the jump so that I had more of an understanding before racking my brain. My mind was somewhat at ease and all my questions were answered (Are my breast going to look different with the excisional biopsy? Will you put me under while during the procedure? Does the needle biopsy hurt? Can we move forward with just removing the lumps?).
So my next step in this process is to have the ultrasound guided biopsy. My biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow but I probably will not receive my results until next week. I just wanted to share what I am going through right now in life and to give insight on an experience that other young women may encounter. If you do experience a breast lump, it is so important and key to have it checked immediately. Trust when I say we know our breasts better than anyone else. I knew my right breast had a lump… I could tell the change…initially my doctor did not think there was a lump but the ultrasound picked up on it.
During this time I spent a lot of time doing research on breast changes and breast cancer in woman my age. Most websites and articles I read regarding breast changes in women during the twenties are normal and benign. While it is not common for women under 30 to get breast cancer…it still happens. I say that to put the awareness out on how important it is to get examined if you find any suspicious changes within your breasts and body in general. The sooner you get it checked out the better. I know we have our fears, but hiding behind them does not allow us to move forward in life. I won’t have a definitive answer until after my biopsy, but just imagine the thoughts that would be running through my mind if I never took the initial step in getting checked out or obtaining answers from a doctor. Regardless of the results to come ahead, I have had time to sit and prepare myself and to place it ALL in God’s hands. I’m not thinking “now what?” I have a plan for what lies ahead and believe that I am going to be okay.
My biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11th. This time my father will be with me but will not be allowed in the room while the procedure is done, but I will be fine knowing that he is outside waiting for me to come out crying like a big baby because my boob was pricked with some needle. (I really hate needles!) But I hope readers can find this post helpful and I will definitely keep everyone posted in the near future with updates. If you feel like you want more insight regarding my experience that I may not have explained as well, feel free to ask…I’m an open book.