First let me say that I am a very private person. I only tell people things on a “need to know basis”. Which means mostly that I keep things to myself. My sisters do not even know about what I am going to say here as I just didn’t need to worry them. I am only putting this out there in case someone else can relate.
A couple of weeks ago; I was trying to go to sleep, tossing and turning as I always do. As I was turning over for what seemed the hundredth time, I brushed up against the lump. I immediately put my fingers on my breast and felt it. It was this big…
I began to worry and soon melted into tears. My husband was still awake from all of my tossing and turning so I filled him in on what I had found. He is so good at calming me down, letting me vent, telling me things will be ok. My worry soon passed and I had a plan in my head as to how I would deal with what would eventually be named my “natural breast implant”.
When I woke up the next morning, I contacted my office manager and one of my physician partners (since I had already seen a midwife, myself) and arranged an appointment. Then, as I am a firm believer in lifting things up to a higher power, I decided to go looking for inspiration. Only a week before, I had begun following a blog called “Iwillcarryyou” to keep up on a family who has a little girl who is living, despite all the odds, with Trisomy 18. This is what jumped out at me when I visited the blog.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
That is exactly what we did. My husband knew he needed to keep my mind off of things and asked what I wanted to do. “Let’s go to Findlay Market!!!”. The drive into the city was beautiful and the market was not crowded because it was soooo darn cold. We put our names on a waiting list for a great little restaurant and then shopped for our dinner items while we waited. After a glorious lunch we came home and cooked a gourmet meal, which is one of my ways of shutting everything else out. No dwelling on it! We had a great day 🙂
When I finally had my appointment for my breast exam, my physician agreed with me that the lump was indeed about 4cm. Despite the size, she put my mind at ease about the findings of her exam. She ordered a diagnostic mammogram and told me that the radiologist would order any further testing that was needed. This is extremely nice!!! I was able to get in quite quickly for the mammogram, followed by a breast ultrasound. Both test confirmed that the lump was a benign (non-cancerous) cyst. Due to the size of the lump, I will be following up with a breast specialist to decide on the plan of care from here.
What does my experience mean for all of you? First of all, finding a breast lump can be very scary!!! Nothing compares to the reassuring words or hug of a loving partner or friend..so tell someone what you found. Secondly, continuing to feel, press on the lump will not make it go away. Distract yourself until you can get in to see your health care provider. Hopefully these facts will put your mind at ease:
- 90% of breast lumps are non-cancerous, 4 out of 5 breast lumps that are biopsied are also negative for cancer
When do you need to see a health care provider?
- you or a partner come across a lump that is new or unusual
- an existing lump seems to have changed- gets bigger for instance
- you notice skin changes in your breast such as redness, puckering, dimpling, crusting or nipple changes
- you notice a discharge from your nipple that is clear, yellow, green, brown or red
Finally, know your family history and your risk factors for breast cancer. See your health care provider yearly for your clinical breast exam and to talk about your individualized screening and treatment plan. For more information and one stop shopping on all matters relating to breasts go to http://ww5.komen.org .
Please consider supporting the Susan G. Komen foundation or the American Cancer Society to find a cure for breast cancer. As you can see, we love to accessorize!!!
What happens if you get the dreaded diagnosis of cancer? Well that is a for another post….