Much Ado About Nothing

I finally had my biopsy appointment last Friday. After getting an ultrasound first, talking to tech, then radiologist I was told, “I don’t see anything to biopsy. This all looks like normal breast tissue.”  

Um what?!?  The radiologist felt the lump that had brought me there in the first place and she said the shape and size weren’t worrisome and the ultrasound images didn’t show anything. She wanted to do a 3D mammogram to be sure. So I got my tit squished for that. 

After looking at the mammo, she sat with me and told me there was nothing to biopsy. She said that more than likely it was a fat lobule and those are completely normal. I was and still am dumbfounded. 

I went through 6 weeks of mental torture to have a very anticlimactic ending. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I’m healthy. I feel kind of dumb about the whole thing. At least she didn’t say to me “I don’t feel anything.” (Which is what the previous doctor had told me.) The lump was real. I didn’t make it up and it was nice to have validation from someone of that. 

I am glad I had it checked out and happy to put it behind me. I would rather address it promptly rather than delay, delay, delay and then find something major. I don’t think I will return to the original imaging place where I had the mammogram done that started off this 6 weeks of worry and anxiety!  Asshats. 

Hi Ho, It’s Off for a Biopsy I Go

Tomorrow I go for my biopsy consult.  After comparing this mammogram to the last, there is enough abnormality in the lump that further action is required.  There is a classification system used by radiologists called BIRADS and it has a value from 0 to 6.  My lump was classified a 4, which means ‘suspicious’.  There is a 20% – 35% predictive probability that the lump is cancer.  From what I read, when a radiologist gives a rating of 4, they are usually 80% sure it’s cancer.

I’m scared about tomorrow.  And the biopsy that will follow.  And getting the results.  I’m scared to think I may have breast cancer.  The husband is going with me tomorrow.  I’m anxious too.  I want to get the biopsy done ASAP, because it will take at least a week to get the pathology report back, telling me whether or not this is cancerous.

This waiting period sucks.  It fucking sucks.  I have so many heavy things going on in my life right now.  This is one.  Working on our marriage is another.  Hearing from friends whose marriage seems to be crumbling is yet another.  Looking for a new job (hope to have a positive update on this soon!).  Dealing with anxiety and depression.  There is a part of me that thinks to myself, “Goddamn the hits just keep coming!” I’m hoping that this really is  just a difficult season and that things will lighten up soon for me.  For our family.

Throughout all of this, I’ve been trying to be very kind to myself.  I’ve been emotionally eating like no one’s business and I’ve gained back a few pounds that I had previously lost.  Although I’m not thrilled with my actions, I realize that it’s a coping mechanism for me right now.  It’s not the best one, but it’s really not the worst thing I could be doing at the moment.  If I were to follow in family footsteps, I could be drinking or drugging my worries into oblivion.  Yet I’m not.

The silver lining?  I’m still doing plenty of positive things.  Exercising every day.  Meditating most days.  Regularly writing down things I’m grateful for.  Going to therapy.  Getting good sleep.  Asking for support from friends.  Enjoying quiet moments with my family.  Getting past my procrastination to finally get a will done since we are like 18 months overdue on that shit.

The other positive thing?  I listened to my intuition to get this checked out.  I felt the lump and made an appointment ASAP.  My husband couldn’t feel it, my doctor didn’t feel it.  My doctor didn’t think it was anything but sent me for diagnostic testing anyway.  And I’m thankful for that.

There is a quote I found recently while browsing Pinterest that helps give me perspective when I start freaking out or thinking dark thoughts.  I’m not sure who said it, but I love it and think that it’s applicable for so many things in life.

“Everything heals.  Your body heals.  Your heart heals.  The mind heals.  Wounds heal.  The soul repairs itself.  Your happiness is always going to come back.  Bad times don’t last.”

I hope those words resonate with you as much as they do me.  They give me hope and help me to remember that nothing is forever.

Titanium Tit

I learned this week that I have a titanium bead as a marker from a previous breast biopsy. Four years ago I found a lump, went to my doctor, and had to undergo the nerve wracking process of a mammogram and biopsy. Thankfully it was benign. And I’m sure the doctors told me about the bead but hell I didn’t remember so it was news to me. How did I learn about my metal tittie this week?

Another lump. Another mammogram. I don’t know yet if I will need to have another biopsy. I should know  within the next week.

My life is so different than it was four years ago. I’m in a different city, I’m now a mom, and currently not working, but thankfully have health insurance through the hubs. Surprisingly I’m not at freak out level 5 this time. I’m trying to take this thing one step at a time. One doctor appointment at a time.

Have I thought about the whole ‘what if I have cancer’ scenario?  Of course, considering I lost my dad to cancer.  Have I thought about what the potential of breast cancer could be the end of?  Sure – breastfeeding my daughter, possible future babies, possible tittie loss. I’ve tried not to venture too far down that rabbit hole because it gets scary dark fast. All I can do is deal with things as they come. If they come.  This may turn out to be nothing. I don’t know yet.

It’s made me acutely aware of the present moments. Early this morning, I sat nursing my daughter at 4am, gently stroking her soft brown curls, thinking how lucky I am to have nourished her with milk from my body for over 17 months. Or sitting enjoying nature, feeling grateful I can see the sunset, feel the breeze on my face, hear the birds, smell the flowers and taste the salty ocean air.

I’m learning to be grateful for the smallest things.  For now, I’m in a wait and see situation.