Friday, June 24, 2011

Instincts.. To trust them or not?

      So I'm trying to decipher if I'm a hypochondriac, or if I'm a normal human being with rational fears. As some of you may know, 9 years ago, I was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma. It is a form of bone cancer doctors found inside my rib cage. 3 ribs, half of my diaphragm gone, and 9 years later, I am and have been cancer free! My health since has been pretty fair. Some times better than others of course, but up until most recently, my health and ailments (we'll call them), seem to be at their busiest. Sprained ankles, migraines, stomach issues, you get the picture. And to think it was all starting to settle down. Ha! Once again, something else has occurred. About 2 months ago, I found a lump in my left breast that naturally caused some concern. I watched it for a couple days, finding that it hadn't decreased or increased in size. I called my GYN and scheduled an appointment to have this looked at just to be safe. I will tell you, it absolutely baffles me how casual people are about lumps in the breast. HELLO, don't you people know there is breast cancer out there. You're not supposed to have lumps in your breast! Well, my worries and natural concerns were swiftly put aside and I was told that it was probably something with my breast implant. "A fold perhaps." Oh, I think I forgot to mention that part. My children not only ruined my physique, but they also sucked every bit of life I once had in my upper members. Therefore, implants were a MUST to give those creatures God has blessed me with some sort of life back! Anyways, carrying on; after the appointment, she sent me upstairs to have an Ultrasound done. Well $225.00 later and a very angry woman, I left feeling like no person should ever feel. The Ultrasound Tech was not only cold and insensitive, but insisted that there was nothing in my breast and that it was merely a figment of my imagination. My parting words with her were nothing short of kind, and I naturally wished her only the best in her journey to find a heart on my way out! GRRRR!! How dare she make me feel this way! Anyways, as I suspected, the doctor called a few days later advising exactly what the tech had found, and said there was not much else to do. She did however mention ordering an MRI to rule out a rupture in my implant. Perhaps this was the cause for the abnormal lump. I quickly took the order and off I went for the MRI. An hour and a half later, with 4 days following, on top of another co-payment, the results were still not what I wanted. No lump was found, and my implant was indeed intact. GREAT! But not really! Why was this lump still there? How could I feel it, but no one could see it with these AMAZING hi-tech machines that you have to pay for by merely selling your limbs. Needless to say, I wasn't satisfied with these results. Something was going on in my breast, and I was going to find out what it was. Now, here brings me back to the original question. Am I a hypochondriac or are my fears rationalized? The lump I have is about the size of a quarter. It is mobile, shaped circular and a bit oval. It feels fluid filled, almost as if pushing on a small balloon, filled with water. And recently, is becoming more visible on the outer part of my skin. After giving me the results to the MRI, she also gave me the name and number to a local general/breast surgeon if I wanted a second opinion. Hmmm…alright…, so that's done. Let's ship you off and have you bother someone else. I hated the way things had been handled, how they made me feel. I felt small, stupid almost, as if this lump didn't exist. Was it just my imagination? Was I creating this lump that wasn't there? No, I wasn't! It was there and I was going to get the answers I needed. 
 Two weeks later, I finally conjured up the courage to contact the doctor she had referred me to. With that being said, the appointment was scheduled and It was time that I was going to stand my ground. 
Walking into this doctor's office was thankfully a huge relief. The office staff was more than kind and ready to answer any questions I had. I met with the doctor and immediately he had his nurse ready and waiting with the ultrasound machine. After surveying the area and locating the lump, FINALLY he found it!!!! The mass on my breast that NO ONE else could find!!! He took a few pictures and then had me dress so we could discuss our options. The only option possible, with the implants is to have the lump surgically removed on an outpatient basis. It will leave a scar on the top part of my breast, but hey, I’ll take the scar for peace of mind and knowing that the lump is gone. Surgery is scheduled for Friday, July 1st and I'm more than ready to finally get the answers I’ve been waiting a while now to get.  
 Since my appointment, I have found another lump in my right breast. I will admit, my fears of it being the worst are there. They're trying to take over, but my will to know that everything will be fine is so much stronger. I'm not teenager anymore. Being diagnosed with Cancer back than wasn't as scary as it is today. I have a family that needs me and more importantly, I need to be here for them! I meet with the surgeon again on Monday to go over my new findings and see what needs to be done.
 While I wait for the procedure, I will leave you with this. I was never a woman that thought to check her breasts for lumps. It actually never entered my mind. But that day came when something told me this needed to be done and I haven't stopped thanking God since! What if I hadn't .... There's probably a really good reason. But none I'm willing to ponder on. Until we meet again...  

1 comment:

  1. Wow Kristen, all this blows my mind. The only words that are in my noodle is always attack your concerns as you've done. And if you need anything, I'm here :-)