Thursday, June 7, 2012


Yep I've kind of been MIA these past few weeks. I have a good reason though. I'm going to share this personal story in the hopes that someone might read it and maybe it will help them or someone they love who has gone through a similar experience....

I went to bed one Wednesday night in May with nothing on my mind other than perhaps work related stress, or what should Robert wear to school the next day. I woke up Thursday morning and after the simple routine of a shower, I was a different person. I found a lump. On my breast. Yikes. I was not even performing a breast exam, I just happened to be soaping up and felt something.. different.. weird.. and more distinct than I have ever felt on my left breast. I tried to convince myself that it had always been there, but it hadn't, and when that realization finally sunk in I felt consumed with a panic that made me dizzy. I had to get out of the shower and lie down for a minute.

I talked myself down from this cliff decided to take the "wait and see" approach. Maybe I felt it because that time of the month was  approaching. Or maybe it was the fertility meds that my Dr. prescribed a couple of months back. I told no one, not my husband, not my mother, not my sister, not my best friend. No one. Telling someone would have made it too real. And this thing was going to just disappear anyway. That lasted for about 2 or 3 days before I finally broke down at work (after many trips to the bathroom to "check" it) and called my husband. He calmed me down, it's probably nothing, etc. etc. I also told my mom. I sensed some concern from her, but she also downplayed it. Then I told my best friend. She looked me in the eye and said to get on the phone with my Dr. and get an appointment for a mammogram and ultrasound. ASAP. If my mom and husband were calming, she was definitely alarming. But I knew why. Her grandmother, mother, and aunt all had breast cancer. She doesn't play when it comes to breast health. Her concern and urgency frightened me but I knew she was right.

I started with my OBGYN. She's great and I trust her and wanted to start this process off with someone who I felt totally comfortable with. She examined me and said she thought it might just be fibrocystic tissue, but that I should definitely go for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound, to be safe. She thought it would be good for me to have a baseline now that I'm 35. I left her office feeling a lot better. It was Memorial Day weekend and I decided to just give myself a break from worrying until the actual appointment at the breast health center. I did pretty well, but the day of my appointment dawned and I was a mess again. A complete nervous wreck. No I was not afraid of the pain of a mammogram. I was afraid of the outcome. Terrified. My husband came with me but had to abandon me in the first waiting room because men are not allowed in the mammogram waiting rooms. I put on my robe, sat in the diagnostic section, and tried to keep myself calm. They called me in for the mammo and it was not bad, not as painful as I thought. A few minutes later I was called back for the ultrasound. Now THAT sent me a little over the edge. I'm in the dark room, getting told to turn and position myself in certain ways while the technician takes measurements of something strange looking with what looks to me to be a frown on her face. The only things I've ever had measured on ultrasound are babies, not lumps. But I got through it and it was time to wait for results. They call me back and the radiologist and breast surgeon are in a room with my mammogram images and ultrasound images all around them. The Dr. tells me that whatever I feel on my breast is nothing, it's fibrocystic tissue, just like my OB thought. BUT the technician did some digging and found something else...

Of course my stomach dropped. The Dr. said something along the lines of, "It looks like a benign fibroadenoma, but we want to biopsy it to check for atypical cells." Of course I totally ignored the "benign" part and focussed on the "biopsy it"part. I was a mess of googling and imagining the worse case scenario for the next few days leading up to the fine needle biopsy. I kept checking this new lump (could not find/feel it) It was all consuming. I felt like an awful mother/wife/teacher/friend. For lack of a more sophisticated term, I was a hot mess. Biopsy day came and I suddenly felt calmer. It was like everything came into focus. Yes I found something/they found something. Yes it's scary. Yes it's most likely benign, but even it's not, I am taking action, doing something about it, taking control of my life and my health. The biopsy itself was not painful, just a couple of tiny pinches and slight pressure. After it was over they put us in a nice private waiting room. I would have results in 30 minutes. And after all the nerves, worrying, and crying, it did turn out to be a benign fibroadenoma. Typically found in younger women, caused by hormones. It might have always been there, or maybe it had something to do with the fertility medication (that I'm no longer taking).  For now it's remaining where it is, to be checked again in 6 months. If it grows or changes at all at that time, that sucker's coming out.

And just like that I went from a person who thought my yearly mammogram screening wouldn't start for another 5 years, to someone who will probably have to be watched a little more closely. But the truth is my lumpy discovery might save me from something more serious in the future. If that's the case, I'm thankful for lumpy.


  1. Wow, what a stressful few weeks. I'm so glad you did get it checked out, as scary as it might be. Hugs to you.

  2. I really enjoyed your post. I found you on Bloggy Moms fashionista page and thought I would only be reading about fashion. Learned something and sending you good thoughts.

    One Chic Mom

  3. Just read your post and I'm very glad for you. Thank you for sharing this very personal and inspiring story.