Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Once upon a time there was a lump.......

So I've had a few people ask how this all started for me.... How did you know? Did you find a lump? What did it feel like? So I figured instead of telling the story over and over again I would just blog about it.....duh.

One day in early March I got out of the shower like every other day ready to take on the world, and I went through my normal routine, which includes slathering my body in as much lotion as possible ( I was blessed with dry skin).  I just happened to take my hands and wipe from under my arms across both breasts horizontally.  "Wait a minute, what was that?" I thought.  And brought my hand back over my right breast and pressed down from the front.....and nothing.  So I went at it the same way as before and there is was again.  It felt hard.....hard as a rock.  It was very close to my chest wall.  Words like Lumpectomy, BRAC testing, Mastectomy, CANCER......started flooding my mind.  I was familiar with all these as my Mom was just finishing up her reconstruction (she took her time).  She was diagnosed in April of 2010.  I shook all of that information right out of my head as fast as I could.  There's no way that's right......I mean come on.....I'm 28 years old for pete's sake(whoever Pete is......I've always wondered that...sorry ADD moment).  Then I remembered my mom saying things like she had really dense breasts.  That had to be what it was.  I called my husband in just to make sure he felt the same thing.......I put his hand on the right spot and he yanked his hand back like something bit him (he has a bit of a flare for the dramatic, but don't tell him I said that ;).  His response was, "Whoa that's so weird.  What do you think it is?"  I could see the worry all over his face.  I told him I wasn't sure, but I should probably go have it looked at.

In a perfect world I would have been in the doctor's office the next day, but when I took a new job in November of 2011, the company had decided to not offer health benefits (I'm a commissioned employee), but I took the job because I was paying so much money in gas driving to Dallas before that driving to this job would save me enough money to buy an individual policy.  Which yes the thought process made sense, but one of my weaknesses is that I'm more of a thinker than a doer.  But God was working and a new manager had started in February.  She demanded that our owners offer heath insurance and low and behold they agreed!  But the insurance wasn't supposed to be effective until April 1, 2012.  So we decided the best plan of action was to wait, just in case, on the off chance, it was something big.  At the end of March m manager told me that the insurance wouldn't be effective until May 1, 2012.  I don't really remember the reason why, but it didn't really matter.  God used that time to strengthen me to handle what was coming.

I remember on Easter Sunday we were at my Aunt's house.  All of a sudden I had a pain in the breast with the lump.  It was a dull the kind I used to get when I was in those lovely adolescent years when things were "blooming." I remember mentioning it to my Aunt and she said something to the effect of, "It's usually never as bad as we are thinking it is."  I knew she was referring to cancer for some reason.....maybe she wasn't I don't really know, but that's what I was thinking.  I remember thinking, "Yeah I'm thinking I'm not going to mention this lump."  I didn't want to worry anyone when it was probably just something silly.

So May 1st rolls around and I was in my doctor's office on May 2nd just to have her take a to speak.  Her face said it all.  I love my doctor.....she is seriously one of the sweetest women I have ever met. She said exactly what I thought she would say, "Let's not worry until there's something to worry about."  But she sent me off to get a diagnostic mammogram and sonogram, "just in case."  But I knew she was worried.

It was a full week before they could get me into the radiologist office.  It was a long week.  During that week I found a 2nd lump in the same breast.  My doctor did a thorough exam and didn't feel it just days ago.  My husband was out of town when I went.  I knew they weren't going to do a biopsy right then ( since I'd walked this road before with my mom) so I told him he was fine.  I remember going in there and the ladies being so nice and commenting on how young I was (which is now a constant comment I get all the time) and how they get young girls in here all the time and it's just a fibroid and nothing to worry about.  But the mammogram tech's face changed as she started to look at the scans.  I heard God telling me,"I've prepared you for this.  Remember you are not what's on that scan, you are Mine."  She was quiet and led me over to the sonogram room where the tech was also very chatty and sweet, until she started taking pictures.....then it got very quiet.    I remember thinking, "Yeah that's not good."  Again God reminded me that I was ready for this.  She told me to hold on a second and brought the Radiologist in, who was finally straight with me, which I really appreciated.  She told me with me being so young and there being a history of breast cancer she wanted to get me into the Fort Worth office for a biopsy the very next morning. My thought was, "Yeah that's really not good, but I know I'm prepared for this God."  I turned to her and point blank asked her, "Do you think this is cancer?"  Her response was, "To be brutally honest with you, I'd be shocked if it was not cancer."  I told her if it was I just wanted to do the double mastectomy and be done with it.  (I watched my mom go through 2 lumpectomies before she just had the mastectomy done.  I didn't want to go through that. The radiologist told me with that attitude I would be just fine.  I went out to the car and tried to call my husband.  He was on a plane and didn't pick up.  I left a message and sat there not really sure who to call next.  No tears were shed and I didn't feel upset.  God was right.....I was prepared for this.  He made me to overcome.  My sweet husband was not prepared.  He was very quiet when I told him what she had said and had to sit on a plane and think about it, as he called me back from his layover.  

We went in for the biopsy which ended up taking less time that I thought it would, but was very painful.  The radiologist sat down with us and repeated everything she had told me to my husband and his tears begin to flow which of course made me a little teary eyed.  I think the only other times I'd ever seen him so frantic was when something that would require an ER visit would happen to the kids.  But this was a different kind a frantic.  After we left he backed my car into a telephone pole. After I checked to make sure there was no damage it was pretty funny.  We had to wait over the weekend for the results.  We did a lot of praying that weekend.  And God answered those prayers..... just not in the way we wanted Him to...... and the rest is an unfolding story....

You are never too young to start giving yourself breast exams.  I should have been.  Now reading should be too!

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