15 March 2008

me and my boobie

i have a really great scar now, p/s.

i've been meaning to write a little something about this all...

i found a lump in my breast when i was 17. i had a mammogram and it was deemed a fibrosomething or another... something harmless. i was told that after i gave birth, it would go down in size. at the time, it was a size of a dime. on and off over the years, when it kept growing, i would wonder about it and ask at my annual ob gyn visits. every doc i've had over the years would feel it and say not to worry.

after bebe was born, it hadn't gone down. it was still growing. i thought that was odd. my doc said after he was done nursing, we would pull the fluid out of it, so he could "prove to me" that it wasn't anything.

when the time came, he dug around in it with a needle for about 5 minutes. nada. no fluid. i saw the look on his face when he gave up - then he said, "we need to get you scheduled for a mammogram and sonogram asap." he said to get dressed and meet him out a the desk to schedule it.

he left the room. i don't think i've ever had such a visceral reaction to something in my life. i just started crying. really hard. i kept seeing bebe's face in my head, my boo's face- and the thought of leaving them... it was too much. i pulled myself together and got the appointment made.

i received the results back from radiology before my doc called. it scared the crap out of me. it said i needed an immediate biopsy - with some crazily high rank of it being cancer. i spent the next week trying to get my doc on the phone, to tell me what it meant. he finally called back and said not to worry, that we didn't know anything yet. i was scared. i asked around for a surgeon - and found one that was/is AMAZING.

at my first appointment she reviewed everything. she then did the exam. when she felt it, she said, "this is not cancer." i had already decided, that even it was something scary, i was going to kick its' ass. then she asked me what i thought about it and i told her that i've always been worried, that i knew it was something more than what i was being told it was over the years. she asked if i was intuitive. i laughed and told her that i liked to think so.

she decided to take it out, as opposed to a biopsy. good thing she did. she found that it was a rare type of tumor, a phyllodes. it was benign! with these types of tumors, they can't be easily identified by biopsy or needle biopsy. more often than not, the results come back as that fibrosomething.

and apparently, if they turn from benign to malignant, typical breast cancer treatments just don't work.

since one of the margins was close, she went back in to take a little extra tissue out - to try and ensure that there were no little remnants for a new one to grow from. when phyllodes tumors come back - they do so with a vengence - they grow aggressively and fast. mine was the size of a half dollar!

(i can't help but wonder if that "harmless" chemical spill in my hometown that resulted in a bunch of other rare types of cancers and whatnot to pop up in the following years was the cause. my lump appeared the year after. the evacuation area came right up to our house. i'll never know, i guess - but i do wonder. and i digress.)

so the moral of the story is this - ladies, if you feel like something isn't right - it may not be. it's ok to press for answers and ask for more tests. i had no family history, i'm 34, etc. and it still was "something" after all, that could have been scarier. and as much as they say these things are rare - i sure have talked to a bunch of people that have either had one or more - or someone in the family has.

this is a great tool - you can sign up to have an email sent to you each month, to remind you to "check your boobies!" h/t to sicily sue for this!!!!



FAIR USE NOTICE: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We have posted it here in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific, social justice and other issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The material in this site is provided for educational and informational purposes only.