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May 3, 2017

Benign

I can't believe we're already in May, right?
Like....the year is almost halfway over already, sort of...

If you follow along on Instagram (@shehasgoodgenes) then you know last week I asked for extra prayers because I was having some testing completed. Here's the whole story.....


So, way back on New Year's Eve, Mark and I were sitting by the fire, sipping champagne and generally trying to be as happy as possible, given all that we had been through in 2016.

I should interject with this little tidbit too....this is kind of gross, but you should know I am a poker. (that's what she said)
I get a weird satisfaction at poking and prodding and picking at things.
I like popping pimples, and checking my dog's ears for gunk, and generally making sure everything seems okay.

Like how you see monkeys groom other monkeys?
Yea, that's me. I like grooming the people and pets that live in my home.
Not, like....randoms.

ANYWAAAAYS....so on NYE, I must have been generally checked out at one point. My boobs hurt in previous days, likely because of the pregnancy and hormone drop after the miscarriage, when all of a sudden...I felt something.

A lump.

I'm sure my complexion went ghostly white, and I just froze.

Holy. Shit....I'm thinking.
So I start massaging the area more...is it really there? Am I making this up?
I check the other side...nope...not the same.

WTF!!!

I have Mark feel.
Yup...there is definitely something there...

I consult Dr. Google.
I keep reading that if it moves (it does) and if it seems like it isn't rooted to anything (it isn't) and that it feels like a pea or a marble (it does)...then it's likely a cyst.

We both vow to calm down. It's likely nothing. After everything I went through, who knows what these hormones have done to me.

Over the months of grieving, I did forget a lot that the lump was still there.
I waited until I finally got a real period....and noticed it was still hanging out, same size, same shape.

I had a breast exam from my gyno at some point in January, and he told me I have fibrocystic breasts.
This means they are more dense, and generally more lumpy, whereas a lot of other woman have pudding-consistency boobs.

So fun.

But the nodule is still there. Why didn't he say anything to me about it? Am I overreacting?

I had a physical in February where I ask my physician about it.
He tells me he does feel it...but agrees the hormones may be messing with me.
I should keep tabs on it and if it doesn't go away in a couple months...come back in.

Well guess what?
It never went away.

And now what used to be a small nagging feeling of it might be cancer starts coming to the front of my thoughts more often.

Like I need more bad shit in my life!
I wrapped up a rather shitty review at my job, am trying my best to get my head straight, battle depression, find joy after pregnancy loss, and now this.

I headed back in for another check and am promptly referred to the hospital for further testing.
After my, rather extensive, research, I have three conclusions:

1. a cyst - a fluid filled nothing. Nothing to worry about
2. a fibroadenoma - this is again, not really anything to worry about. It's common in women with fibrocystic breasts, but should be monitored and tested to ensure it's not something worse
3. cancer - we all know what this is

My gut kept telling me it was a fibroadenoma, but at this point, I just needed confirmation, before we move forward with any additional hormone therapy with IVF.

At the hospital, I had an ultrasound that immediately ruled out a cyst. The doctor suggested I move forward with a biopsy, just to be sure, and as luck would have it, I could get in that afternoon to have the procedure completed.

I was also lucky enough to have a dear friend at my side before and after each appointment as she works in the same hospital. I'm telling you, having a support system means more and more every day of my life...and a lot of times it hasn't been my husband.
But that's a whole other story for another day.

Now...the biopsy. After everything I went through with IVF, them telling me they were going to plunge multiple needles into my body didn't really phase me.
The doctor and nurses were so caring and kind, and walked me through the whole process.
From start to finish, it was roughly 15 minutes.

The first needle stings as they numb the area. Once numb, you don't feel anything more than pressure.
The biopsy needle makes a loud rubber-band snapping sound, and they performed three separate biopsies of the tumor.
I was cleaned up, given some steri-strips and a band-aid, and shuffled off to a mammogram.

They had placed a marker in the tumor, for future documentation, should the tumor grow or need to be removed.

Per usual, I ignored my need for downtime and headed back into the office.
Everything was fine until the numbness wore off, and I felt like I got hit by a truck.
I just felt off. Sad. Worried. Overwhelmed. The whole deal.

I left work early and cried in the parking lot.
I finally got home, still blubbering.
I asked for Mark to leave me alone as I laid in the guest room, generally pouting because at this point, I've just had it, you guys.

I'm sick and tired of fighting to become a mom.
I'm tired of being scared and worried for myself, for my future, for our lives.

I need a break. A real break in all this chaos. Not like time off.
Like I need some positivity and guidance that says what I'm doing is worth it.

All I wanted was to become a mom, and it's like every step of the way is just a huge slap in the face, and yet...I'm supposed to keep getting back up and saying...IS THAT ALL YOU GOT!?

So I carried on with the next couple of days. The biopsy site was very sore and I had limited movement on that side. I wasn't really allowed to shower for the first day, so kind of half-assed hung my head over the tub to wash my hair.

The biopsy was on a Tuesday, and I was told I wouldn't have results until Friday.
So you can guess my surprise when my phone rang Thursday afternoon.
I looked at the Caller ID, and started having flashbacks to when the IVF nurse would call with our results.

I said a quick prayer, then answered.

Hi Tia, this is Sandy, the nurse who worked with you Tuesday? I wanted to be sure to call you as soon as I got your results because I know you've been on pins and needles.

Your results were negative. It's benign. You have nothing to worry about.
What you have is a fibroadenoma. It will never transform into cancer, my dear.
It may grow or it may go away.

IVF will not affect anything, and I hope you move forward and become a mom. 
I have high hopes for you.

You can elect at any point in the future to have it removed, but it's doing no harm to stay put.
Also, you don't need yearly mammograms just yet, you're so young!
But if you are ever worried, please have your doctor schedule an ultrasound and we'll get you in for peace of mind.

Take care.

BENIGN.
The most beautiful word I have heard in a long time.
My health will always come first in this journey, and I am lucky to still get to pursue my dream.

So ladies...feel your boobies.
You are your own advocate for your own health.
If something is weird, or pops up unexpectedly, like mine did, get it checked out.

Chances are, all your worries will be washed away. But you never know until you know.

For me, I felt like this lump was the last piece of the grieving puzzle, over the last five months.
I have been working through a lot of things, trying to find the girl who used to be so carefree and ALIVE and excited about the future.

I have done a lot of personal growing this year.
Sometimes I don't think so, when I'm in the thick of depression, but as the days pass, I realize how much more confident I am with my choices and with my life.

I am learning to weed out the bullshit and focus on only the things that will bring my soul joy.

Closure, my friends, it's all about closure.


Thank you for reading. XO

3 comments:

  1. 1. I am so glad you had a friend at the hospital.
    2. What a sweet and lovely message that nurse left you. I'm a big fan.
    3. The closure reference at the end is magic.
    4. Grooming randoms - I DIE!

    SO GLAD this bump in the road (no pun intended) gave you a break. I am so glad you are OK Tia!

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  2. Glad to read that you can put this one away!

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  3. Thank God!!! I cannot imagine how terrified you were. I thought I felt something one day, too, and after having a cervical cancer scare years ago I leave nothing to chance. It went away but you can never be too careful! I love you and am thinking of you and hope and pray for some goodness in your life soon. You deserve it.

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