On Friday night (December 5th, 2008) in the late evening, I was brushing my teeth, washing my face and putting on my pajamas. I noticed a painful burning sensation in my left breast. "What the hell is that?" was the first thing I thought. It wasn't in the other breast, but when I lifted my arm, it caused an indentation.... Well that isn't good.
I thought that it could be a clogged milk duct (I hadn't breast fed in 7 months, but who knows right?) So I took my electric toothbrush and turned it on and pressed the vibrating head against the lump so it could help work it out (yes, I know it sounds crazy, but it works (thank you BabyCenter mommies)). This time it didn't work but I took some ibuprofen and went to bed.
The next day was my youngest daughters 1st birthday party, so I couldn't let the pain get me down. After the party was over (it was a success) I sat down with a hot washcloth and used it as a warm compress. By the time Monday rolled around it felt better and seemed to move in deeper, but I called my midwife just to be safe. She told me that pain is a good sign (cancer isn't usually painful), that I could either call her in a week and see if it is hormonal, or she had an appt. for Tuesday just to take a look. I took the Tuesday appointment.
After my midwife saw me, she said the she figured the same thing, clogged duct, but since the skin did indent when I lifted my arms, we would get a mammogram, just to be safe. She told me that after the mammogram they would probably do an ultrasound to check around as well.
I couldn't get mammogram scheduled before December 16th, but it was nothing right? What's the rush? So on the 16th, I went to the radiologist and in fear (I heard how much mammograms hurt) waited for my appointment. I was brought into a little room where I could change into a smock (opens in the front), and take off my deodorant?? HUH? Nobody told me that! Now I would have to go back to work stinking! That's not fair, definitely something they should warn you about!
My tech took me to the room and wrapped the lead apron around my tummy. and I bared my right breast. She put my breast in the machine and started it started to clamp. To my surprise and relief, it didn't hurt at all. Okay, so it was a little uncomfortable where my breast and chest met, but for the most part, not bad... (My mom told me later, that I could thank her for that, big ta-tas and all). Then when she moved to my left breast she put a little sticker with a bee-bee attached to it where my lump was. Then she did exam on the left. After that I was brought to another room to wait.
After waiting for a few minutes, I was led into the ultra-sound room. They had the digital picture of my mammogram up (my breast looked perfectly round and perky on the screen, I was so proud) and I saw a dense white blob. Okay, that must be the bee-bee they put on there. So I asked... Uh, no, that was the mass. The tiny little blip on the outside of my breast was the bee-bee. Well THAT doesn't look good.
The radiologist came in and got me ready for the ultra-sound. Everyone was very nice, she even warmed up the gel. So she put the wand on my breast and she found the mass right away. "Oh, that has to come out." Was the first thing she said (uh, that is reassuring, thanks). It looked like an alien from the old Atari 2600 game "Missile Command". That wasn't reassuring either. Then came something neither one of us expected....
"Well, what is that?" She said. I don't know, I thought, your the doctor. There was another blip on the screen. This one was circular and smooth, kind of looked like the outline of a football. She was sure that it was a cyst because of the way it looked, but she would like to biopsy it.
NOW!!! Oh my gosh, I wasn't ready for needles of any kind!!! A part of my felt pretty confident, the mammogram didn't hurt, maybe I wouldn't feel much. So I asked, "Will it hurt?" Her response, " Yes". Well then hell no you are not doing that today. If you are going to have to do the alien mass on another day, then you can do them both on that day, I am not going through that twice.... Side note: I gave birth to two beautiful girls one was 8lbs, 15 oz. the other one was 10lbs, 3 oz, completely drug free.... Why you ask? Cause I HATE NEEDLES!!!
So I scheduled a biopsy on my left breast. The only appointment they had was on December 24th.... Merry Friggin' Christmas...