Skip to main content

Happy Breastday to Me!


I gave myself a very special birthday present this year – I had surgery. Before you think it was to increase, decrease, or “lift” something, let me tell you it was not cosmetic (though I could probably use a few nips and tucks at my age; the infinite number of creams I buy OTC are not working their promised magic).
About four or five months ago, I discovered a hard lump about the size of a large marble in my left armpit.  I had been feeling small pangs of pain in my left chest for several months, but I figured it was just my turn to dance with heart disease.  Everyone in my immediate family is diabetic and suffers from strokes or heart attacks, so I thought – here we go; my turn. I was going to tell my internist about the pangs during my next visit, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the lump.
The Drama Queen in me immediately manifested herself – cancer, I thought.  I have cancer. I searched some more and found that the texture on the left side of my left breast felt different than its right side.  I tested my right breast and compared it to the “patch” and sure enough; I had an area about the size of my palm that felt denser than the muscle around it.
This was when the coward in me wanted to pretend it didn’t exist. What should I do? I wanted to ignore it and maybe it would heal itself; maybe it would go away.
But I have things to do.  I had to find my courage and take care of me.
My gynecologist verified my findings and sent me to get mammograms and a sonogram.  They came back “benign,” and I celebrated, but she persisted and referred me to a surgeon.
SURGEON - Tell me that wouldn’t scare you too.
He explained that the lymph node was doing its job – reacting to the mass nearby. He also explained why the mass itself didn’t not show up as a malignancy. It wasn’t concentrated in one area; it wasn’t a lump.  He agreed with the digital exams, but to be absolutely, 100% sure, that it wasn’t malignant, I would need a biopsy. 
I didn’t qualify for a needle biopsy because the surgical needle is guided by a lump that can be seen; my mass would require a surgical biopsy – an incision from which he could take a sample.  While in there he would try and remove as much of the mass as he could without making a bigger cut.  
It was my decision, he said.  If I could live with the discomfort, I should be fine.
I have never lived in “shoulds.” I can only muster my courage with “definites” and “absolutelys,” so I decided to go ahead with the surgery.
I spent my birthday preparing for the surgery the next day.  I turned down offers for dinners and parties and get-togethers.  I had to get my game on.  If all turned out well, there would be more birthdays in my future. 
The biopsy won’t be back until next week, but from the looks of the tissue, the doctor is pretty optimistic it is a benign growth. The incision is longer than he promised, and the pain is not any worse than the discomfort I felt before the surgery.
I share this with you, dear reader, as a reminder to take care of yourself.  We must find the courage to fight for our own health and well being.  Never “go gentle into that good night.”
I gave myself this present because I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful, feisty family, and many more people to pester before I leave this place.  I beg you to find your courage and take care of yourself as well or better than you take care of others.
Happy Breastday to me!

Comments

  1. God loves you so much. He's an awesome God with a plan for your good. He's able to do immeasurably more than you can ask or even imagine. He is faithful. He's the Great Physician. He's our Provider. He loves to bless His children. No matter what the report says, He is in control and will never leave you. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so glad the dr is optimistic! I am praying!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. As I told you before, I just know that the biopsy is going to show that everything is fine. i hate that you are having to go through this, though. Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love you back. Get your check ups. Please.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Damned scary stuff. I'll be hoping for the BEST test results.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tests came back benign. God be praised. Thank you all for your prayers, but please make sure to care for your selves.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Finding My Muse

1)Because my muse has a wicked sense of humor and visits me at odd times and in inconvenient places, I have learned to record inspirations/ideas immediately before I forget them or they dissolve into nothing. I carry small notebooks, own a digital recorder, and have been known to text messages home. I will scribble on anything – old napkins I find in my glove compartment or old receipts. I even pop out of bed in the middle of the night to jot things on sticky pads. 2)Calendars are great places to find topics. I use important dates, seasons, and upcoming holidays to plan blog posts. I can also go back into my work calendar to refresh my memory about meetings, conferences, or books I have read that might be worth sharing with others.   3)I will sit with a good cup of coffee, pen and paper ready, and read the newspaper searching for topics, interesting characters, or modern trends.  News channels and other newsfeeds are just as good.   4)I love to read the TV and movie guides for titles and…

The Girl Who Eats Canned Spinach

I went to a Catholic elementary school run by strict Belgian nuns, and we could not leave the cafeteria until we ate everything served on our food tray. Once a week, they served warmed, canned spinach with our meal. The spinach tasted nothing like the way my grandmother made it, but I ate it. I gulped it down in three or four bites and it amazed my table mates. I told them we ate it at home so I was used to the taste. Now, my real problem began the day I ate the spinach off my friends’ trays so we could go play outside. As soon as the nun monitoring the cafeteria turned her back, my friends ate something off my tray I didn’t want, and I ate their serving of spinach. I only did it for two of my table mates, but the word spread. On the next Spinach Day, kids followed me to my table.I was suddenly very popular, and as soon as the nun marched off to the other end of the cafeteria, my friends and an army of others who only knew me as The Girl Who Eats Spinach, begged me to take their servin…

Facing My Fear of Guns

With the ownership of firearms comes responsibility, so I had asked HoneyBunch several times to teach me how to shoot and to help me get my License to Carry. I got my wish two weeks ago. HB and I signed up to take a LTC class. He bought me a gun, one similar to his, that would be the type we needed to show shooting proficiency, and for one whole week he tried to get me to become familiar with it, but I was hesitant. I read the booklet that came with the gun. I practiced loading and shooting it in what is called dry shooting (no bullets), and since the flyer said I would have to shoot thirty shots at different distances, I finally tried with it loaded. I was a nervous wreck. The class of twelve turned out to be close to forty people. We were of all ages, colors, and genders, and I was glad I wasn’t the only woman my age. The shooting test came first, and we were separated into two groups. Those who were proficient (or thought they were) would shoot first, and those who were novices wou…