As you all well know, this blog is primarily a venue for my reviews of romance novels. Well, for a little while here, we’re going to take a small detour and talk about my boobs. Yes, I know, it’s a little strange. And perhaps a little awkward (for you), but remember – just because I write it doesn’t mean you have to read it.
And so it begins…
As humans (and especially as women) we all have a love/hate relationship with our bodies. There are some parts we adore…and other parts we absolutely hate. One part of my body that comes to mind when I think of this is my boobies. I’ve hated them, I’ve loved them, I’ve talked shit about them, I’ve used them to my advantage and I’ve fought constantly to find bras and shirts that fit them just so.
But, sometimes, life throws you a curveball and you start to see things differently. That’s what happened to me on June 26 at 4:30pm.
Some reference for you…
At the beginning of June my husband found a lump in my left breast. (Yes, men, go forth and feel boobies!!)
I’d never felt anything like it on my body and I my intuition told me it wasn’t good. I called and got an appointment with my OBGYN who then referred me to the Breast Center to have an ultrasound. Immediately following the ultrasound, the doctor at the Center ordered a ‘baseline mammogram’. Again…my intuition was telling me something was not right.
The doctor came in and told me there was indeed a mass and scheduled a biopsy for a few days later. I returned to the Breast Center on a Monday, husband in toe, and made it through the biopsy pretty easily. If you’ve never had a biopsy – it really does go quickly and the pain is very minimal. However, it feels pretty invasive. Take someone along – having a friendly face waiting for me was key to keeping my spirits up.
Then, I waited. And waited. And waited until finally I received a call on Thursday, June 26 at 4:30pm. The lab confirmed what I really knew in my heart all along, I had cancer. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma to be exact, and the woman I spoke with took me through the basics. My tumor is both estrogen and progesterone positive – which is good. This means the cancer cells are actually behaving like regular breast cells and can be further treated with estrogen blocking medication.
The next step was to meet with a surgeon, which I did on July 1. The hubby and I were able to ask a million questions and receive a million and a half answers. Best of all – I was told time and again that I’m young (34), healthy, thin (awwww, thanks Doc!), this type of breast cancer is common, and I have no family history of breast cancer – again, all good things.
LADIES – DID YOU SEE THAT? I HAVE NO FAMILY HISTORY OF BREAST CANCER. But, here I am, writing about my breast cancer. CHECK YOUR BOOBIES. CHECK THEM OFTEN. Then, have some hottie check them too. Hey, it’s a life-saving gesture!!
The way things stand right now I’ll have a lumpectomy along with a Sentinel node biopsy to ensure the cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes. However, we’re currently awaiting additional testing from my biopsy regarding HER2/neu gene, which indicates the aggressiveness of the tumor. The initial testing has shown I’m at a +2 (results can range from 0 to +4). So, of course, I’m right in the middle of the road. The reason we are waiting on surgery is to get those additional answers from pathology regarding HER2 and then decide if they want to start Chemo first to shrink the tumor prior to surgery.
The reason to start Chemo before is to essentially dissolve the tumor all together and make surgery less invasive. This is the kind of treatment plan that has been started within the last 3 years and the results have been FANTASTIC. While having Chemo is about the last thing I want to do right now…it seems like it’s going to happen. Even if they decide not to do Chemo before, chances are pretty good I’ll do some afterwards considering I’m so young and have lots of breast tissue (yes, please laugh, that’s funny!!!!!)
I was given the choice to have a mastectomy (the removal of my left breast completely) instead of a lumpectomy/radiation. Truthfully, the mastectomy option never appealed to me. I have no desire to remove my entire lovely left friend just because some asshole cancer tumor decided to move in for a while. I’ve been reassured the survival rate is EXACTLY the same whether I do a lumpectomy or mastectomy.
I would like to note – the decision for mastectomy or lumpectomy is extremely personal and based entirely on the feeling of each individual woman.
A mastectomy is something I may choose to do one day if this cancer returns (HA HA HA, good luck with that you cancer jerkface) but for ME, for right NOW, I’m choosing the lumpectomy/radiation path.
And that, my friends, is where life stands today. I’ll do my best to update you as I progress on this journey as I feel it’s both therapeutic for me to write about it, and I think it’s a good resource for others. FEEL FREE to comment and share your story below – but if you’re an asshole I’ll totally delete and block you. POSITIVE VIBES ONLY!!! =}