In addition to not writing posts, I have not been minding my emails. Elizabeth wrote me last week to say that she has started a new breast cancer blog I Am Surviving. I just got around to looking at it and liked the most recent post. Here it is…
Maybe I should start from the beginning. I’ve always been good about having yearly mammograms- starting with baseline at 35 and then every year once I turned 40.
This past March I had a mammogram then an ultrasound because there seemed to be some cysts in my left breast. One of those cysts “didn’t look right” and I was told it was 90-95% benign. I was scheduled for an aspiration of this cyst within two weeks.
The aspiration didn’t happen because things weren’t lining up just so from ultrasound image and mammogram image. Although it was a little uncomfortable and took a long time, I really appreciated their attention to detail in finding THE spot. I was not looking forward to have a needle put in my boob and fluid sucked out – but, that would have been good news.
Instead I was put in some medieval torture device, with my left boob in a hole and then lifted up like a car for an oil change. Then, the mammogram squeeze, a shot and pain (it hurt, but only for a minute). The solid cyst was removed and sent to the lab for testing (really wish I had not seen my blob in a jar from across the room). I was stuck on the table in this most awkward position for 10 mins to stop the bleeding.
Those were the longest 10 minutes I had ever (up to that day anyway). While I was laying there on my stomach, boob in a hole, waiting for the bleeding to stop I realized this may not be the “90-95% chance benign” cyst anymore. It hit me that this really could be “the big C”. My boob was numb and so was I.
Once I pulled myself together and found a moment of comfort in the friend that was waiting for me, I got the hell out of that hospital. Ice cream was in order – I needed a prize and my friend needed a bigger prize for waiting all that time. The ice cream helped me and the ice pack tucked in my bra helped the biopsy site.
In a matter of days my life was completely turned upside down. The phone call came and I heard the words I never wanted or expected to hear. I had breast cancer. A tiny thing (8mm in duct and 2 mm out of duct), but still it was there. I was told how great it was to have been caught early, blah, blah, blah (really, that’s all I heard after the C bomb was dropped). Stunned, shocked and then crying like crazy and calling my best friend, was all I could manage.
It took me days to tell anyone else and I could barely get the words out without crying. I found “the land of denial” was a nice place to be while I waiting for my surgery. Oh, the ice cream helped too.