I don’t remember when I first happened upon the lump in my breast but I do remember waiting a bit before finally getting checked out. Silly, yes, especially considering what we know about the risks of breast cancer and what not, but I think I was a bit afraid of what it could be and kind of told myself it wasn’t a big deal. I did such a great job that I forgot it was there.
It wasn’t until two years ago, that my current doctor noticed the lump and finally made me confront the issue. She was fairly certain it was only a fibroademona, a benign tumor, and scheduled me for a fine-needle aspiration to see if her assumption was correct. My appointment was scheduled the day Michael Jackson died. Freaky, eh? So whenever someone asks me where I was when I heard the news, I get to say I was on my way to get a needle stuck in my breast. Yay! Anywho, the biopsy wasn’t too bad. The doctor was older and very to the point, swooping in to stick a skinny little needle into the lump and give me his preliminary diagnosis (a fibroadenoma) and reassure me that it wasn’t cancer, won’t turn into cancer, and didn’t occur because I was hit really hard in my breast (really? That was an option?) before slapping on a band-aid, handing me a pamphlet (“So You Have a Fibroadenoma…” totally kidding, I don’t remember the name of the pamphlet), and sending me on my merry way.
Up until this point, my only other exposure to a fibroadenoma was a “very special episode” of Beverly Hills 90210:
I will go through everything that is wrong with this depiction in a future post. Possibly with John Madden like telestrations. Oh yes I maybe will!
I had a few questions: what did this mean? How did it get there? What do I do now? Why does Wikipedia refer to them as “breast mice?” WTH, why are there mice in my boobs?! My options for treatment was either take a “wait and see” approach or opt for removal. I picked the path of least resistance (and admittedly, the easier choice of the two) and kept an eye (or hand…hehe) on it. Fast forward to September of this year and the bf started asking questions about it, seemingly concerned about its apparent growth and my disturbingly nonchalant attitude. With his prodding, I returned to my doctor who repeated his concerns with the growth and scheduled me for an ultrasound.
This is where things flipped into light speed: My OB-GYN appointment was on a Friday. She scheduled my ultrasound for three hours(!) later, where the ultrasound tech and doctor didn’t like what they saw and requested a surgery consult, which ended up being scheduled the following Monday. There, I had a core needle biopsy for a final test to make sure nothing’s changed. I received the test results a day or so later and ended with a tentatively scheduled surgery for its removal (apparently they like to remove them when it’s 4cm long. Mine was 5cm. Even my tumors are over-achievers!). A week later I was back in for a pre-op consult where we discussed the procedure and possible complications, two weeks after that I was back to do some blood work for my labs, including a mandatory pregnancy test (I was really tempted to text the bf, “Guess what? I’m NOT pregnant!” but I figured my humor might not go over too well) and a few days after that, spoke with the anesthesiologist about what to expect for surgery.
The thought of having surgery is a little daunting to wrap my mind around. Of course there is the obvious, cosmetic concerns: the scarring, how will my breast look post-surgery (I’m not that well-endowed and at this point, the lump (ooh, double brackets! Anyway, I’ve resisted the urge to name the lump but I can’t hold out any longer: I shall call him “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,” but I think I’ll call him Schmidty for short) makes up a small chunk of my breast) and the really important concerns: will I lose feeling in that nipple? Will I be able to breastfeed normally post-surgery. Both of those latter questions are unknowns. It really just depends and I’m the first person the surgeon’s operated on that hasn’t already had kids so up until this point, he hasn’t come across that concern before. Dammit Schmidty!
Oh yeah, that name just paid for itself. IT’S GOLD!
But I’m confident in God that everything will be just fine. I’m covered by Him and will all turn out well. I’m already blessed that it’s not cancer! So hey, point for me.
There’s so much more to say but I won’t say it all now because that would make this one insanely long post about my breast and that’s kind of weird. But I do plan on sharing more of my experience as things wrap up because it’s a narrative that should be shared. So get prepared to know more than you ever needed to know about my boob.