As You Read This (Revisited)…

Note: This post is a continuation of this one and this one. If you’re fairly new to my blog, you may want to read those posts first. 🙂

I went to the breast surgeon today.

I walked into my appointment with my hands shaking and a lump in my throat.

I walked out with an appointment for surgery on October 15.

I looked my doctor right in the eye and said, “I want a biopsy.”

He looked right back and said, “That’s probably a good idea.”

When the doctor at my follow-up ultrasound on August 23 told me that the lump was most likely a fibroadenoma, I accepted it.

I accepted that I’d probably be going to follow-up ultrasounds twice a year for the rest of my life (or until the lump went away on its own).

Then, a blog reader named Erica changed my mind with just one comment:

Hey Rebecca, I am a new reader to your blog, I found it via Caitlin at HTP through her twitter link. I had to click on the link when I saw the words breast cancer. I am a 32 year old breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at age 30 with no family history or any other risk factors, except that I’m a woman. In reading your post, I was immediately taken back to my appointments almost 2 years ago and that feeling of fear and uncertainty that make it hard to breathe, let alone make it through a test. After mammograms and ultrasounds determined my lump was a fibroadenoma, I let it go for a year and a half, before I actually had the correct diagnosis of breast cancer…and a very aggressive type at that. When I finally got to my current doctor she told me something even scarier, that my mammograms and ultrasounds did indeed LOOK like a fibroadenoma, it was only through biopsy that they determined otherwise. Every doctor was shocked to say the least. I’m not saying this to scare you, although I’m sure you have a lump in your throat right now, but only to be aware, which you made very clear in your post and I LOVE IT! We all know our own bodies the best and we MUST be our own advocate! Everything you have explained and all the odds are in your favor, 80% of all breast lumps are totally benign, but I just wanted to tell you my experience because mine was clearly not. And I don’t think I could sleep if I didn’t at least tell you my experience! I’m so sorry if this has caused you worry or anxiety, because that was not my intention at all. I’m so proud of you for sharing your experience, because it is through posts like this that some other woman may have the courage to go get checked out and possibly save her life…go you!!               

[Thank you, Erica, for sharing your story with me]

The doctor gave me two choices. I could either get a needle biopsy to determine what the lump actually is, OR, I could have a biopsy, and the lump removed. I chose the latter for a couple reasons:

  1. I DON’T want to go to follow-up ultrasounds twice a year for the rest of my life.
  2. Fibroadenomas can grow, and having the lump there will make doing self-exams really difficult.
  3. Most importantly, what if it is cancer? What if my experience turns out to be like Erica’s, and I let it go for too long? I’d rather be safe, than sorry.

After the lump is gone, I won’t have to worry about it anymore.

Am I scared? Is it going to hurt? Will it leave a scar?

Yes.

Am I strong? Will I get through this?

Definitely.

Has anybody gone through anything like this? Hearing your stories will make this ten times easier to handle.

My friend, Jess, came to my appointment with me. It’s become a tradition for to go out to breakfast or lunch after appointments like this to take my mind off of things. Today was no different.

We decided to check out Scratch for lunch—a bakery/cafe in downtown Albany that I’ve been wanting to try for a while.

Scratch

Scratch

Scratch

The mission statement on Scratch’s website reads:

Our missions is to provide our customers with the purest artisan food items of sustenance, with service of the highest standards, that will ultimately nourish both the body and soul. Our product is created from Scratch, with the most basic ingredients, and with the technique and pride of artisans. We are the new concept for wholesome dining in the Capital Region.

Scratch Scratch

I ordered a cup of Paris iced tea. I love Harney & Sons.

Iced Tea

After staring at the menu for five minutes,  I finally decided on the Garden Veggie sandwich.

Veggie Sandwich

Hummus, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, carrot, avocado, and cheddar on wheat focaccia bread. (Scratch makes their own bread!!!)

Veggie Sandwich

The combination of flavors was incredible.  Everything tasted so fresh and delicious. After licking the plate clean, Jess and I decided that comfort food in the form of baked goods was necessary.

Baked Goods

Everything in the dessert case look phenomenal, but I finally chose the strawberry-chocolate bar:

strawberry chocolate bar

Jess chose a vegan cupcake:

cupcake

Oh. my. yum. That’s all I can say.

If you live or work in the area, definitely check Scratch out! As I’ve said with all of my restaurant recommendations, you won’t be disappointed.

I was originally supposed to work tonight, but just got a surprise phone call, and found out that I have the night off! Going to take it easy, and relax.

Have a great night! <3

Thank you in advance for your support.

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36 comments

  1. I’m so glad you told the doctor what YOU wanted. So important. I hope everything goes well.

    I’ve never been to Scratch, but I don’t live too far from there. I’ll get there one of these days!

  2. I’m glad you made the decision that is right for you. I’ve had no issues with breast health but when my dermatologist found something on my shoulder I had it removed instead of just biopsied for the same reason. I have a scar but knowing it wasn’t cancer is better than wondering and waiting for it to grow. Now I just need yearly skin checks instead.

  3. Good for you for taking control of your situation! Two years ago I had a “bad” mammogram which led to a “bad” ultrasound and ultimately a biopsy. The two months start to finish were excruciating. The biopsy result was a simple fibroid. My last two mammograms have been free and clear. Stay strong — you have a lot of support here!

  4. All I can say is wow. I am truly inspired by your courage in making what I’m sure was a tough decision. I can only imagine the emotions you must be experiencing going through this time. I have never been through a major health scare, but I can certainly relate to feelings of fear and uncertainty. I’m rooting for you!

  5. Good for you for not being “too scared” to not get the biopsy, or not get it removed”. I think removal is a great choice. Very Brave! I’m not sure if i could. I would, but i’d be scared out of my mind. Let me know how both go… i guess I’ll probably read it on here.. but call/text/email me anyway. Again, good luck!!!

  6. I felt a lump in my breast and within a month I had surgery to remove it. I saw my regular doctor first, then a specialist, then had a biopsy. Thank goodness I didn’t have to wait too long to have the surgery because I was an emotional wreck. It was non-cancerous and while the experience and the surgery was traumatic, I’m glad I did it.

  7. I have experienced an uncomfortable change in my right breast which began in May. Since that time I have had a persistent problem that has turned into frequent pain that is localized and recurrent. In July I went to my normal doctor for a physical and she advised me to schedule an appointment with my ob-gyn. I have gone the entire summer trying to convince myself that if I just wait one more week it will go away. It hasn’t, so now, 4 months later I am going to face my fear and have everything checked out. It is very difficult for me to face the idea that just maybe things aren’t right. My family has breast cancer history on both the maternal and paternal side. I know that I have the medical background to be at a higher risk; unfortunately it is hard to face that fear. Sometimes being an adult and knowing that YOU have to make the decision to pursue something is very difficult. I commend you for sharing your story and your bravery will help me to address my own fears. Thank you.

  8. I definitely applaud and support the decision you made, one that is preventative and that you felt was right for your situation. I was in the same situation as Cynthia (as it all changes) and even at the relief it’s not cancer, I have yearly skin checks instead. But I also have peace of mind.

    Thanks for sharing your story – as the comments prove, you’re far from alone and you’ll get through it no matter what.

  9. All I can say is I admire you for confronting this head on. I think you’ve made the right decision. I would do the same thing if I were in your shoes.

    Boobs cause us more trouble than they’re worth.

  10. I am so proud of you for sharing your story with others. You will never know who may be reading this and she will take the step to get something checked out. And I am honored that you chose to share my story with others.

    I will say an extra prayer for you as you go through this. You’re gonna be fine, doll! Way to “FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!” (((hugs)))

  11. I’m glad you’re doing everything you can to get to the bottom of this, even though it’s so scary. And it’s great you’re sharing it- you never know who you might encourage to go to the doctor or take the next step for their own health. Of course you have SO many pairs of crossed fingers that it’s absolutely nothing!! Hang in there girl 😉

  12. Rebecca – I just found your site through your guest post on Tina’s. I wanted to chime in here, as I have been through this experience twice now…and the first time was at 22. At 22, my doctor found a lump and recommended that I see a breast specialist. The specialist was very concerned. It appeared to be cancer. I had a needle guided biopsy and a lumpectomy and it turned out to be a very rare mass called a radial scar. Something that presents itself as a malignant tumor in all tests, but is non-cancerous. What a relief! Even though I had it removed, I did continue to see a specialist for ultrasounds every year. Nearly 10 years later (about 6 months ago) at 30, another lump was of concern. I had it biopsied on the spot at that same appointment and waited and waited for the results. They came back inconclusive. At that time, I did exactly what you are doing and just made the appointment to have it removed. It was causing me discomfort and I didn’t want to have to wait for more results, especially if it was cancerous. I had it removed and it was a fibroadenoma, thankfully. I have had a few surgeries, so that process does not scare me a ton, but of course, its always a little scary. But, you will be fine! Have someone there with you and be prepared to be very out of it for the rest of that day…and prepare for a bit of pain. Nothing extreme, just serious discomfort. You will need to take the pain medicine for the first day or two and also ice regularly. After day two, you will begin to feel back to yourself! I took two days off total from work for my surgery (day of and day after), if that helps you gauge how to plan…and I was back to light exercise, such as walking, in just a few days.

    So sorry for the long comment! Be proud of how you are handling this at such a young age – I know its scary! Please feel free to email me directly with questions.

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