Sunday, April 13, 2008
I recently had a mammogram. Lots of women have mammograms. I'm at that age where it's time to monitor things more closely so I never thought much of it. That is until the hospital phoned to ask me to go back for another AND an ultrasound. "It could just be blurry films" she said when asked if they saw something. So this is what I assumed until the letter came from the hospital and it clearly stated "LEFT SIDE". Blurry films my ass. They saw something and now I'm not supposed to worry. Thankfully work has been exceptionally busy and I was only plagued with a wandering mind here and there, but for the most part I wasn't terribly concerned. The more women I spoke with, the more I learned that this happens quite frequently.
So on Friday I had another mammogram, however it was different this time. She only wanted to see my left boob. She only wanted to xray about a 2" square patch on my left boob. After she got the films she confirmed that yes, indeed I will need to have the ultrasound. CRAP. Don't worry? hmmmmm
I went to the ultrasound and again she only wanted a specific location on my left boob. As she was passing the paddle over my left boob I could see the monitor. I could see her marking and taking pictures of what appeared to be a very sizable dark spot in my left boob. Hmmmmm. Hard not to worry now. I CAN SEE IT. IT LOOKS HUGE! The technician finished and toddled off to show the radiologist to review the pictures.
When she returned she announced that indeed the radiologist will be coming in to speak with me, but not to panic. SAY WHAT? NOT PANIC? I will admit that she was a very sweet lady and knew that no matter what she said I was still going to worry, but she was very good at trying to explain why I shouldn't panic.
Dr. Radiologist then arrived to tell me that all of the indicators of this lump in my left boob are consistent with a benign fibrous mass/deposit, except one. SAY WHAT? He advised that while he was almost certain that this is not a lump to be concerned about, he was recommending a biopsy of the lump in my left boob just to be certain. In his words, "We can do 100 biopsies to find 20 bad ones, which means there are 80 good ones." The other positive factor is that my lymph nodes are showing clear but while these odds are quite favourable, it's so hard to keep my mind in the 80's and not the 20's.
You see 8 years ago my mother found a lump. Within 6 months she was dead from an extremely aggressive form of breast cancer that went into her brain. My mother was over 60, was a heavy smoker and on hormone therapy. All of the conditions under which my mother's cancer occurred do not put me at higher risk according to all the studies, but until I know, how do I not worry? How do I not remember watching my mother die from this evil disease? How do I not fret about reminding my father and my brother about the most devastating experience of their lives?
Thank GOD for my wonderful friends and family who remind me that women go through this all the time and it turns out to be nothing. But how can I not think about those women who go through this and it turns out to be something. There are no guarantees.
I know I can't change life's great plan but damn I'm not ready to face my mortality yet. I've so much left to do with my life. I still need to make a difference.
There you have it. I have a lump in my left boob.....