In June of 2006 cancer claimed the life of a wonderful man named Louis. He was the father-in-law of my brother. My brother called me to give me the sad news. When I answered the phone that night I had picked it up with my left hand. Then I sat down at the desk. I put my left elbow on the desk and I was kind of leaning on the phone and slouching with my right hand sort of in my armpit between my arm and the outside of my left breast. I felt a lump. It felt like a marble but bigger more like a gumball. What the heck was that? I’d never felt it before. My heart dropped into my shoes. It was Saturday, June 3rd, 2006. As soon as I got off the phone I checked out the situation more closely. I bent my body in every way I could and the lump was still there. I did not have a good feeling about it. The lump was still there the next day. And the day after that.
|My Garden - Spring 2006|
My husband, Mike, was out of town so I had to make the road trip to the funeral alone with our kids. I kept thinking about the lump. I didn’t want to tell anyone about it but at the same time I really wanted to talk to someone. That was hard because I was going to be seeing my Dad and other family and friends when I arrived. One night I spent the evening with my dear friend Trish and after a few glasses of wine I almost mentioned it to her. But I didn’t. Even though we have been friends since ninth grade and she was my Maid of Honour, I kept it to myself. I wanted to wait and find out more before I talked to anyone about it, even Mike. I also wanted him to be the first one that I talked to.
When the kids and I got home from the funeral Mike was home too. So I told him. I just couldn’t keep it in anymore. He was very calm about the whole thing and was convinced that I should see my doctor but that it was probably nothing to worry about. That’s , cystpretty cliché but everyone always says it anyway right? I think he truly figured this would amount to nothing. I called my family doctor and made an appointment to see her the following week. In the meantime I kept thinking that the lump might just go away. It didn’t. I spent hours trying to think of all the possibilities to explain the lump.
|My kids at the beach on|
Manitoulin Island-June 2006
When I went to see my doctor on June 14, she too could feel the lump. She ordered a mammogram and an ultrasound to be done as soon as she could get me an appointment. I’d never had a mammogram before and the thought of it was a bit scary. Wasn’t that something that older women had to get done? I had just turned 40 for goodness sakes. I didn’t really know what a mammogram was anyway. The learning curve was beginning.
I learned that a mammogram is basically an x-ray of the breast that looks inside the breast and takes pictures of the tissue inside. Mammograms will show if there is anything unusual or suspicious that might need further investigation. The ultrasound won’t find anything in detail but it can detect other elements in a certain area where you already know there is a lump. Ultrasound waves are sent into the area and will travel through the lump if it is filled with fluid but will bounce back if the lump is solid. Cysts are fluid-filled and cancerous lumps are solid.
Since we had already planned to spend the last week of June on Manitoulin Island, my appointment for the mammogram was scheduled for July 4. I had no idea what to expect.
I Need a Doctor - Dr.Dre / Eminem / Skylar Grey
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