Since I knew breast cancer runs in my family, I always intended to get my first mammogram when I turned 35. But soon after my 35th birthday I became pregnant with my son, Oliver. After he was born, we had a lot of difficulty with nursing but I was insistent and persistent. We nursed for 17 months, ending our daily nourishing and nurturing rituals on Memorial Day weekend. Since you can’t get a mammogram while breastfeeding and 6 months post weaning, I hadn’t planned on getting checked until the late fall.
One day I was examining my newly deflated and less firm breasts (feeling myself up, basically) and I felt it. I knew it wasn’t normal but I compared what I felt to my other breast. It was without a doubt a lump. I had my husband feel it, because I think he knows my breasts better than I do, and he agreed. It didn’t feel right. I waited two weeks, assuming it was breastfeeding related, hoping it would go away. When it didn’t, I made and appointment with my ob/gyn.
When my doctor examined me, I saw her eyes widen. “Is this what you were feeling?” “Yes,” I said. “Ya, I feel that too. We should check it out. But it’s probably nothing.” But her face was saying something different.
One week later, I was in the office of a breast surgeon. He took one look at the sonograms and did 4 biopsies on the spot; 2 core needle biopsies of the lump and one fine needle aspiration of the lump and one of the lymph node. Then he asked me if I had time to stay for a mammogram and I said, “yes.” He made a call and it was set up. He said that he would have the results of the mammogram and the lymph node biopsy the next day “just in time to ruin my weekend.” Aka…you have cancer!!!!!!!!! He walked me down to my mammogram while I cried hysterically.
The next day we met in the doctor’s office. “Well, it is cancer. Blah, blah, blah, blah.” I didn’t hear too much after that although he seemed to have my whole treatment planned out (more on that another time).
This was two weeks ago. I have since met with a new surgeon at NYU, had an MRI, PET scan, met the oncologist, the plastic surgeon and scheduled my mastectomy. September 5th.
When you get cancer time stands still. Then it goes super speed. It’s non stop. I guess that’s good. I want the cancer out. But I want to hold on to time a bit, before life changes completely.