During a (not-at-all-routine) self-examination, I found a lump. This was in July. It felt about the size of a pin ball, was hard, seemed round, definitely out of place in the otherwise soft tissue. I went to the internet, as I often do when I want to learn more, and searched for breast lumps. I found a list of possibilities: cancer, cysts, etc. I read that sometimes lumps came and went with your cycle, and I was approaching mine, so I decided to wait and see if it went away after my period.
No such luck, so I called my doctor.
I had to wait a little bit for an appointment, mostly because I didn’t want to take off work and I had a day off coming up. I worried about the stupid lump a little bit here and there. I knew it was possible it was bad news, but I was damn proud I’d found it.
So I went to the doctor (I see a nurse practitioner at the practice who is wonderful, Nurse J) and she did the exam and said, “Yep, that’s definitely something.” She referred me for a mammogram and ultrasound, which I schedule for the following Friday, and that was that.
Insert me feeling pretty bummed right about here. I guess I had naively thought that she’d feel it and have something more definitive to say. Totally unrealistic, I know. She’s not Superman, she doesn’t have x-ray vision – though I’d argue that Nurse J is some kind of superhero.
At this point, only two people knew about JP: my husband, Brad (who even left work to be with me at this appointment that I was in and out of before he even arrived at the practice) and my boss (I felt I needed to tell her just in case it was bad news and I needed to go off the grid), but that’s it, because why worry people over something that could be nothing? So Brad is still worried and I’m still all chill about it because I still don’t feel like I have enough of a reason to be anxious.
Meanwhile, I haven’t stopped feeling myself up since I found the lump to see if it has shrunk, changed shape, etc. Which of course I couldn’t tell. The only thing I managed to do was irritate JP and make him sore. Not like a steady pain or anything, just a tenderness when touched. So don’t touch it, right? Wrong? When you have a lump, you’re going to touch it. Over and over and over again…to make sure it’s real, see if it’s magically disappeared, moved, etc.
So next up on the agenda was the mammogram (I can’t even with this scan…it deserves its own post), ultrasound, and possibly a biopsy, which I’ll cover in another flashback post.