This is going to be long, y’all, and for that I apologize.
New Year’s Eve, 2013: I was really sore that day. I started a new lifting program the day before that is based on lower weights and higher reps, and during the month prior I had been doing the opposite, so I was rocking some DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in my triceps and pecs by late afternoon the following day. I was at the office and trying to massage out some of the soreness when I found it; a BB sized lump in the most sore area toward the front of my right armpit.
Crap. Crap, crap, crap.
My doctor’s office had already closed for the holiday, so I knew it would be January 2nd before I could even call and schedule an appointment. I knew better than to worry about it, but my nature being what it is, I worried, nonetheless. We have breast cancer in the family; my paternal grandmother had it, as did my mom. Mom even had it twice. They both beat it in all occurrences. So there’s that. But I’ve been a worry wort pretty much my entire life, so I tried to put this on the back burner and not think about it. Usually the lumps and bumps I find are irregular and sore. This was neither. This was round, hard, and painless (aside from the associated DOMS, LOL…), so that caused me additional concern.
Now, those of you who know me personally also know how my mind works and that I have a tendency to think the worst so when everything turns out okay, I’m surprised and happy. I know how dumb that is, but over the years I’ve almost become superstitious about it. This situation was no different. My mind was zipping ahead to the worst case scenario and thinking about reconstruction (this is on the plus side, given I am still not thrilled with the size of the girls, even after having dropped fifty pounds this year), and how a biopsy or surgery was going to put a kink in my lifting schedule. I know how dumb it is, but on the other side of the coin, if I stop worrying, things will go south. It’s my warped thought process. It is what it is.
January 2, 2014: I got through to the doc’s office and nailed an appointment at 10:15 that morning. I zipped in and proceeded to be scolded by my doc; I was just under six months late in getting my mammogram, and given our history? Yes, I knew better, but damn, y’all…life happens and time gets away from us. So after my scolding, she checked things out and said, “This is unremarkable.” I’m thinking, “Damn…this is the first time anyone has used the word, ‘unremarkable’ when referring to this area of my body!” She, during the exam, found another area she was concerned about that I wasn’t particularly concerned about. I’ve had a cyst in that region that comes and goes, like several other cysts that I have. I’ve had the one in question for a couple years, and it passed my last mammo, so I wasn’t terribly concerned. She gave me an antibiotic, thinking there was a possibility of an infection in my body somewhere, and told me she was setting me up for my mammo, an ultrasound, and a surgical consult. (????!!!!) I’ve never ever gotten past the mammo part, so the surgical consult part kind of (no, we know “kind of” is a lie) freaked me out. They called me that afternoon and told me I had my radiology-related appointments the following Wednesday, and the appointment with the surgeon the Monday after that. At this point, I just let it go; after all, the area she was concerned with didn’t worry me, and that she wasn’t terribly concerned with the area that I was bothered by…well, it was almost a week until my next step, so best just to let it go.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014: Mammo/Ultrasound Day. The mammo started out like every other mammo I have ever had (and I have had them about yearly since the age of 35), but then we got to pay a little extra attention to Righty, and she was pulled and pressed and smashed and just….OW!, okay? I work in the same facility where all of these good times were going down, and I pass my tech in the hall regularly. I know she sees all the boobs, but these are MINE, LOL…She was pretty terrific, and is amazing at her job, so it could have been a lot worse. A good tech makes all the difference in the world. Once we were done, she gave me her card and told me to call her around 12:30 the next day. She said she couldn’t give me the results, but that she does send out the information letters and could tell me which one she was going to send. These letters are basically as follows: “You’re free and clear; no worries,” “Let’s revisit this in a month or two,” and “Get thee to a surgeon.”
Then it was time for ultrasound. My tech was male. (????!!!!) That was a first. So it was just the three of us; the tech, my boob, and me in a darkened room, whereupon we discussed the upcoming 49ers/Panthers game. Squirm squirm. Oh…and squirm. And there’s another face I’ll see in the halls that will have seen my boob.
Once everything was all said and done my boob was sore and not happy, so I called it a day and went home and got a good nap in. The only thing I could do was wait.
Thursday, January 8, 2014: So after what seemed like an endless morning, I finally got to call in and get my results. I get to go see the surgeon on Monday. “Probably benign, we need to mammo and ultrasound you again in six months, but go ahead and follow up with your doctor and the surgeon just to be sure.”
Not what I was expecting, but not as dire as it could be. So I will kick back, enjoy my 4 day weekend and go visit the doc on Monday morning.
I’ll keep you posted…