Confession: I’ve been trying to write this post for over an hour.
I am touched. All of your comments, tweets, and e-mails on my ‘As You Read This…’ post have completely blown me away.
I’m usually pretty good at putting my thoughts into words. Not tonight.
I don’t know where to start. So, maybe I’ll just start from the beginning…
…I enter the exam room. The door closes. I wait…
The room is dark. My gaze is immediately drawn to the decorative fluorescent light covers that makes the ceiling look like there is a beach on it.
The door opens. The technician walks in and tells me to lay down on the bed.
She asks, “what side is it on?”
Nervous and embarrassed, I point to my right breast. She is a few years older than me. I wonder what she’s thinking.
As I lay down, she asks me to pull my right arm out of my medical gown. She pumps her foot down up and down on a pedal several times and the bed rises. Then, she rubs a cold gel over the spot I just pointed to.
I try not to feel awkward. This is her job. She does it every day.
Suddenly, I feel the pressure from the transducer press onto my breast. It hurts a little but I try not to think about it.
I stare at the ceiling. I stare at the beach…
I turn my head to look at the monitor. I see the black mass that is inside my right breast. I watch as the technician draws circles on it on the computer screen. I can’t help but feel like a test object.
She works in silence. It feels like forever.
Finally, she seems to have what she needs, and says she’ll be right back with the doctor.
She leaves. I lay. I wait. I stare at the ceiling. I stare at the beach…
The technician returns with the doctor. I feel even more insecure because the doctor is a man and I was expecting a woman.
He jokes briefly with the technician about the way she mispronounces his name. Then, he turns to me and gives me a serious look.
“Your tumor seems to be about the same as it was six months ago,” he tells me. He says that a biopsy doesn’t seem necessary and that he’s pretty sure it’s a fibroadenoma.
“You’ll have to keep coming back for follow-ups so we can track its growth,” he says. “In another six months, and then once every year.”
And that’s it. I’m free to go.
I take one last look at the beach on the ceiling before I breath a sigh of relief, and head out of the exam room.
It’s over. At least for now. (Note: I have an appointment with a breast surgeon in two weeks to confirm the results)
I think one e-mail I received said it best:
“Even knowing something is non-cancerous doesn’t make it any less scary”
I cried three times this morning.
- The first time was while hugging Jeff before we left for my appointment.
- The second was when I overheard the receptionist say that I might need a mammogram (If you read my last post, you know that I don’t do too well with mammograms)
- The third was while I was waiting for the technician and doctor to come back in the room, just for the pure incredulity of the situation.
I chose to finally talk about my experience on my blog because I know I can’t be the only one who has ever gone through or who will ever go through something like this.
This is a very real thing that can happen to anybody.
I am only 23. I was 20 when I first found the lump.
It’s better to detect these sorts of things early on.
- Please, PLEASE go to yearly check-ups at your gynecologist.
- If you find any type of abnormality on your body, don’t ignore it! Get checked out!
- If you are a man reading this, please make sure the women in your life are taking care of themselves.
Thank you for reading, and please spread the word!