The original appointment date to follow up on my biopsy was set for Monday, June 24th but I just could not wait any longer. I’m sure the receptionist at the doctor’s office was annoyed with my phone calls to see if my results arrived, but the wait was just too much. I called yesterday and lucked up as my results had arrived. Luckily, someone had cancelled and they were able to schedule me to come in today. My father and I arrived to the hospital at 8:50 am as my appointment was scheduled for 9:00 am. We ended up having to wait an hour as the doctor was running late. Once he arrived he did a brief breast exam and provided me with the results. Sidenote: My father wasn’t in the room for the exam…probably would have been a bit awkward. But he came in afterwards for the results. The lumps in my breasts are benign and confirmed to be fibroadenomas. I felt like I could breathe when I received the results. I had feelings of relief, excitement, happiness, and joy.
The next part was deciding on whether or not to remove the lumps. My father and I both had questions regarding removing the lumps. Are fibroadenomas linked to developing cancer in the future? Will the surgery to remove the lumps alter the shape of my breasts? Will I be okay with leaving them alone? If we leave the lumps in how often will I have to get check ups? What will the check ups consist of? First, he noted that fibroadenomas are not linked to the development of cancer. Second, he indicated that he felt okay with leaving the lumps alone and simply monitoring them in the future. Monitoring the lumps would include self examinations and breast exams during my Woman’s Wellness exam. If there are any new changes with my lumps or if I (or my primary) find new lumps, further examination will be conducted. The doctor also indicated that the removing the lumps probably wouldn’t alter the shape of my breasts but I would have visible scar from surgery. So my father, doctor and I made the decision to leave the lumps alone. I’m confident that was the right decision for my situation.
This whole experience has had me on an emotional rollercoaster, but I have learned so much from it. When faced with a potentially life-altering situation, you begin to really think about life. The past, present and future. You truly learn to live and let go. It’s a natural thought process that sometimes evades our minds until an event arises that makes it almost instinctual. I kept hearing “try not to think negative thoughts” but the reality for me was that I’d rather be prepared for whatever outcome was ahead.
Regardless of the outcome, I knew I had the support of God, family and friends. But mentally, I had to develop a way to determine how I was going to deal with my situation. The doctor says “We’re not sure what they are so we are going to remove them”…ok then what? The doctor says “Oh they are just fibroadenomas” …ok now what? The doctor says “You have breast cancer”…ok so then what? I took my moment to cry when thinking of each scenario? Yes I cried for a couple of days…but what was I going to do next? Thinking things through and placing myself in each scenario really helped me wrap my mind around what I was experiencing and how I was going to deal with this situation first hand. I felt as though I was ready for whatever was about to come my way. That’s what worked for me. Call it the counselor in me but I’m a realist. Unfortunately these things happen. These experiences can be scary, emotional, and nerve-racking. But more importantly, they can be a true eye-opener.
Thank you to everyone for all the kind wishes, prayers, texts, and thoughts. I really appreciate all the love an support. I hope that my experience can help others in the future to not be afraid to do self-exams and to get any lump checked. Health is so important and I think we can take it for granted at times. Keep God, family and friends close because support is key in getting through tough situations. And I love my support system dearly. XoXo