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:
I DON’T want to go to follow-up ultrasounds twice a year for the rest of my life.
Fibroadenomas can grow, and having the lump there will make doing self-exams really difficult.
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?
Am I strong? Will I get through this?
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.
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.