So I have been dealing with this for the last little while, and I have finally managed to contact most of my family & real life friends to tell them person to person. SO now dear friends & readers I begin my story for you all.
I finally screwed up my courage to go get my mammogram about a month ago. I've know for ages that I should be having them regularly as breast cancer is in my immediate family. YA know what... I don't even know why I put it off as long as I did. Really we have GOT to stop telling women horror stories about what they are like. Uncomfortable yes, and you have to get pretty intimate with your technician but seriously if you've been a girl for any length of time one gets used to being handled by medical people, it just part of having the equipment we have! So anyway my initial mammogram was over & done , and other than having one boob larger than the other it all seemed well & good. Then I got a phone call a couple of weeks later...
dun dun dun duuuuuuh
Well not yet really, "we just cant see something clearly ,can you come back in for another mammogram & an ultra sound" So off I pop to get another one done.This one was a "Cone" ultrasound so more uncomfortable but still they are so fast that really ya just get through it. The ultrasound is a breeze although you are covered in goo... but the relaxed attitude is a little less evident in the people around you. Still you go home and wait. The next day I got a call from the Breast Health Clinic asking me to come in at 8:30am for another ultrasound and possible biopsy...
and yes this is the time where you lose your shit.
My Dr. had left a message for me with my daughter to call her but somehow this got missed so I was blindsided by this event. The Breast Health Clinic people were excellent and very comforting about the phone call, and managed to arrange for me to come in at a better time, a week later. That seemed like no time at all... until you have to wait for the week to be up. But as I am beginning to teach myself to understand everything is just a moment savour the good ones and find a way to make it through the bad ones, because either way they will eventually be over.
When the day of the ultrasound came I was still holding on to the idea that someone was being over cautious and they were going to laugh & tell me never mind it's all good! I went to the B.H.C. first broke down into tears had a wonderful nurse explain everything to me, a great volunteer take me to the ultra sound, wonderful ultrasound people who did the exam & then took it directly to the radiologist to check it... Instead they came in smiled and said "OK well we'd like to do a biopsy if your OK with that."
Am I OK with that? Hell no! Every part of me wanted to get up and walk... no run out of the room. However I said "Yes" gritted my teeth and waited for them to freeze me up and do it. Now if you know me you know I am PHOBIC about needles, I had so many as a child the absolute terror they inspire in me, well it's bad... it's really bad. But one thing I did learn as a kid was hold still get it over with because if you fight it , they do it again. The Biopsy really wasn't that bad, even the freezing seemed to be less "owie" than I always remember it. It was about 1/2 hr start to finish and I walked out with little more than a band aid, and a bruise. Yeah the boob was sore afterwards, but hell I've pushed a human being out of my body this wasn't that big a deal.
The you talk to the Surgeon. (At the Breast Health Clinic they have everything together so your not waiting around going from appointment to appointment being referred from Dr. to Dr. absolutely the way to do it if one is available to you!) She examined me again told me about the suspected area, and eventually explained what she would do IF it turned out to be cancer. Her speaking so plainly was actually quite comforting, and I left feeling far less traumatized than when I came in. Although I went home & slept for about 5 hrs.
If I thought the week waiting for the appointment was long ... the week waiting to get the results well yeah THAT was LONG.
This past Tuesday my hubby & I went to the B.H.C. for the results of the biopsy. More moments to live through but we joked and waited and held hands and waited and when she finally said "I just want to examine you one more time" and then said "Get dressed so we can have a talk." That's when I knew it wasn't going to be an "Well boy did we overreact!" talk. Ya know what I was still OK.
SO what I have is ductal cancer it is very small, so we got it really early. I have surgery planned for the 26th of July. They are going to do a lumpectomy taking out the tumour and a margin of healthy tissue around the tumor. They are also going to give me radioisotopes ( I was really hoping that my superpower was going to be flight!... but my physics friend has informed me even if it was delivered by radioactive spider I wouldn't get superpowers...BOOO) and a blue dye so they can find the lymph nodes under my arm and take at least one of those too. Then everything gets biopsy again and we decided what follow up treatment is most appropriate.
The good news is they have actually been using the word CURE, not control, not live with... but CURE. So your not rid of me yet folks! I'm going to try to blog about this, because if I can make one woman less afraid , make one woman go get checked out so she can find it SOONER then that's a difference, a real difference.
I am scared, I fluctuate between, "Meh, it really isn't a big deal" and "It's fucking CANCER" I'm sure I'm not fun to live with atm. But it is a journey I am making, just trying to get through each bad moment remembering it's just that "A moment that passes" and remembering to hang onto all the good ones because we need to savour the good things.