Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How it all began

I went to bed on Sunday night thinking that my great day would let me have a good night's rest.  SO wrong.  It was a terrible night, my body was exhausted but my mind was racing.  Which led to a really shitty Monday and Tuesday.  Good news is that I am feeling much better now, thanks to some great ears (and eyes.. via bbm/text) and great company.  Love, love, love you all.  Now that I'm feeling better, I'm ready to blog away again.

I've had a lot of people ask me how I found out.  Well, it's kinda funny actually, because I never do self-exams.  But one night at the end of November, for one reason or another, I decided to check.  And there it was.  I wasn't sure if what I felt was a lump or not, so checked the rest of that side, moved on to the right side, and checked the left side again.  It was bigger than a pea in size, but smaller than a grape.  So the following week, I went to get it checked out.  The doctor at first thought that it might have been a cyst.  He did an exam and said that it was harder than a cyst, but because of my age he thought it could just be due to fibrocystic changes, a lump or lumps that come and go depending on what time of my cycle that I am in.  Common in women my age, he says.  But just to be sure, he sent me for a mammogram.

A week after my mammogram, the doctor called me and said that I should go for an ultrasound and biopsy.  At that appointment, I pretty much already knew that it was cancer from the way they were talking.  I asked the doctor what exactly the mammogram showed.  He told me that there were calcifications, and a mass that "looked pretty nasty."  His exact words.  When he placed the wand on me for the ultrasound, he looked at his nurse (I think she was a nurse?) and said, "Well.. look at that!"  There was a cyst, which apparently was good news.  But, the mass that showed on the mammogram was directly beneath the cyst, so he proceeded to take 3 biopsy samples, including one from the cyst.  After he left, I confirmed with the nurse that his reaction from finding the cyst was a good thing, and as I spoke with her, I suddenly started to cry tears of relief.  She also reminded me, though, that the mass was still there, BUT that it is small, so if it is cancer, it's still early.

I went home and I have to say, that biopsy site hurt like a bitch after the freezing wore off.  I had to ask Jon to go out to buy some Tylenol, and I had to leave the ice on it continually instead of just the 15-20 minutes every hour like they told me to, it was so bad.  Anyway, I remember having conversations with Jon in the days leading up to my biopsy, and even on the way home that day, about how I wasn't all that afraid of the results coming back with cancer.  It's not a death sentence, I would say... they'll take it out and  I'll be fine!  The only difference with that conversation we had on the way home was that I had a hard time saying it.  It was strange how I started the sentence off so confidently and then literally out of no where, and mid-sentence, the words couldn't come out.

Anyway, a week later I got the results.  I posted previously about that, you can see that here.  

So what's next?  A mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and chemo.  Radiation is still up in the air, it depends on what they find in surgery.  I have had a lot of people ask me what stage of cancer I'm in, but that I won't know until after surgery.

And that is my looooong, detailed story on how it all began.  I've had a friend tell me that I often throw in a lot of irrelevant detail when I tell stories, lol, so I tried to cut some stuff out before actually posting this.  Hope it wasn't too boring of a read. 

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