Lumps and Bumps

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.

Image

Appears harmless enough. Don’t let its innocent looks fool you. Ow! But even so, don’t avoid it.

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…

Absent Without Leave, No Excuses

Yes, that would be me…

Well, maybe just an excuse or two.

I will try to catch you up.

First off, to get it out of the way, the insurance company denied my surgery, so I have decided to take the summer (because, REALLY? who wants to NOT swim for six weeks when there’s a pool right off the back deck, slam in the middle of the summer) to do it the old fashioned way; I joined a gym. Have lost SIXTEEN pounds already. Yay, me. Now, once I am able to get to my optimum weight by summer’s end? If I am still having back, neck and shoulder issues, I will revisit. However, I am still frustrated as hell at shopping for clothes. The bottom half numbers are dropping like a ton of bricks, but not so much the top half.

Secondly, we have had some family “stuff” going on that I don’t really want to visit on this forum right now, but perhaps at a later date.

Thirdly, I am TRYING like the dickens to get Claire’s book edited. Thought I would be able to pull this off during the day, but I don’t know WHAT happened, the day job has gotten busy.

Those few things said?  I apologize for my not being around. I know it’s bad when Twitter sends me an email telling me they miss me. And on Twitter (like everywhere else) I am a small fish in a HUGE pond.

Now, I know all three of you that are actually reading this know what is going on and I love you guys for sticking by me through thick and thin. You girls know how thick it has been lately, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. (SD, Claire, and Sandra) That said? Pray that there isn’t a freaking train attached to it this time, huh? I’m gonna look like ground chuck (or Jules. LOL) if this keeps up.

I promise I will try to do better at keeping things up. Sometimes life just gets in the way, and I hate that, but it is what it is.

Till next time…

So Who is Up for a Boob Update?

Do you think the title is too much?

No? Ok…I figured I’d get more FUN readers on the search engines if I used BOOB (read in your head as a southern-style “bewb,”), rather than BREAST (and read that in your head with a bit of an upscale British accent, huh?

That said, let me introduce you to the players in the game this season:

The bane(s?) of my existence – six years of neck, shoulder, and back pain.

And I have to laugh at this point, because in order to keep things loading smoothly here, on the interwebz, I choose a “medium” picture size, even though I also have a choice of “large,” and “full size.”  Well, we know which is the most accurate, DON’T WE?????

Ok, so my plastic surgeon had me come in this morning for a quick re-cap and pre-op instructions pertaining to outpatient surgery. He also wanted to double check to make sure everything was good before sending the letter to the insurance company. I also told him that I had been nicotine free for six weeks and two days. He said he KNEW I could do it, and that is what he’d told me when I walked out of his office six weeks and two days ago. A pain free existence and a more proportionate body are all the the motivation this lady needs to do the right thing.

Sadly, however, Dr. E. warned me that trying to LOSE weight while quitting would be setting myself up to fail. So the fact that I only gained three pounds is a good thing, the way I see it. Now, I just have until two weeks before surgery to un-ass as much of this winter weight as I can, because I won’t be able to really exercise (read: swim in the pool) for six weeks post op.  The final two weeks pre-op are for eating healthy, well balanced meals, because good nutrition is a very important part in the healing process. I have also told him that if he has to pick between a larger and smaller size to go for the smaller size. Then he tells me that if I lose a lot of weight post-op? They will get smaller… REALLY?  Say no more. 😀

In other news, we had a very special delivery today.

Our back yard is in dire need of top soil in many places, so my sweetie decided to get some…to the tune of twenty ton’s worth.

Don’t know what 20 tons of dirt looks like?  Here:

So between the tractor, Johnny, Tim, and myself…SOMEBODY is going to be busy this next few days. 🙂

Oh, and PS, Men? If you are going to rag on your woman for doing this? (And to be clear, I do NOT refer to 20 tons of top soil in the driveway.) Perhaps you need to re-evaluate your priorities…ESPECIALLY if you have been together more than a year or two.  Does she care for your children? Does she help pay the bills? Hell, does she PAY the bills, balance the checkbook, cook the meals, work a forty or more hour week in or out of the home? Does she make sure your socks are clean, that you make it to your doctor’s appointments? And you love her for all that she does for you, yes?  Then if your woman is going to be healthier and happier for doing an elective surgery to make her more comfortable? Just be glad THAT is what is happening and not some more DEADLY alternative that requires a complete and total removal of her breasts, ok?  Just sayin’.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I’m not always this combatant. Ok, maybe I am. *shrug*

Till next time…