Friday, January 21, 2011

A Lump. An Ativan. And a Mammogram.

A few months ago, after showering, I felt something in my right breast that wasn't there before.

I felt a lump.

That night, I was nervous and worried and stayed up for hours examing one breast, than the other, to make sure I wasn't imaging things. Yes, there was definitely something there. Although I am a huge hypochondriac, I tried to put it out of my mind, and somehow, I didn't think about it again, until three nights ago. Lying in bed, I felt it again. A definite lump.

I went to the doctor on Wednesday, and after a thorough examination, I was told it was probably not cancer, but I should go for further testing, to rule it out for sure.

Thanks to our health care system, and thanks to very special doctors and nurses, I was able to go for a mammogram and ultrasound yesterday. The day went by quickly, and was filled with emotions, tears and concern from my entire family. My mom came to be with me, and my husband stopped by to see me from work.

At the imaging clinic, I had a consultation with a very nice nurse, and she marked my boob with an 'x', where the lump was.
I wore a gown, and walked into the mammogram room. It was painless and quick, and then I sat in the waiting room with my mom, who I always need during difficult times.

Going through a health concern as serious as this one is always uncomfortable, and your life suddenly flashes before your eyes. At least, it did for me. Everything gets put into perspective, and through the panic, there is also a feeling of calmness. (Who knows, that could have also been the Ativan I had taken, too.)

As a mother of two young children, the idea that something could be seriously wrong with me was a very real and present danger. Why not me? Although 34 is kind of young to get breast cancer, it is not that uncommon. I know many people who have had breast cancer and have passed away, and many more who have had breast cancer and have survived.

Seeing all the other women in the waiting room was a bit comforting. In a way, we were all in this together. All the charity events I've organized and supported, all those pink ribbons I'd worn, and all the money I've donated to friends involved with Run for the Cure, all of that was suddenly front and centre in my mind, and regardless of what the outcome would be with my tests, I knew that along with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, breast cancer research would continue to be the other charity I wholeheartedly support.

As women, and as mothers, we should stay united in the fight against breast cancer. It's all too real, and it can happen to any one of us.

I had my ultrasound next, and then the waiting game started.

Questions were asked during my exam, questions like "Did the doctor feel the lump?" "How long has this lump been here?" and "Do you have a history of breast cancer in your family?" These questions only escalated the level of my worry.

During the waiting game, you start thinking... "Well, if I live 5 more years, at least..." or, "If I only have 2 years..." or, "Well, I could survive, too."

Waiting is the hardest part. Cue Tom Petty.

Luckily, my doctor read my results instantly and I received a phone call an hour later.

I received good news—it was nothing serious. It was not breast cancer. I was going to be okay.

When I saw my children a few hours later, I was relaxed and happy. I counted my blessings when I put them to bed. It's when I'm reminded how lucky and fortunate I am that I also remember to step back and enjoy the 'now'.

I want to do more support women and breast cancer research. I know a cure can be found in our lifetime, or in our children's lifetime.

Last night, I went to bed feeling thankful, but still thinking about others who received news that wasn't as good as mine. I wrap my arms around all those women.

73 comments:

sam {temptingmama} said...

Oh Loukia. My heart is in my throat. I can't even imagine. I am so glad you received good news. So glad. XOXOXO

Alicia xoxxo said...

So happy that you are ok! It must have been very scary. The "C" word terrifies me. We all must count our blessings everyday and remember to live in the "now" I pray that we find a cure, soon.
Have a fantastic weekend and hug your loved ones a little bit tighter!

Amy @ Taste Like Crazy said...

I know EXACTLY how you felt. I just went through something similar but minus the lump. That's a scary, scary place to be.

Yay for no boob cancer!

Erica said...

Wonderful news Loukia! God bless and Im glad you are ok !

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

I am so glad everything is okay! That is such a huge scare. And yes, 34 is young, but my aunt died of breast cancer at 36 - so I am so glad you went ahead and got checked right away. Early detection is everything!

xoxo

mapsgirl said...

So glad that you got good news. And thank you for sharing your story...sadly, this affects so many women.

rachel... said...

Oh my gosh! I'm thrilled about the good news! What a scary experience. Puts a lot of silly things into persepective for me, too.

Jen said...

Sweetie, I am so so relieved that this is the post we are reading today and that all is well. Huge sigh. We go along never really ever thinking "it could be me" until one day "it might be me, today" becomes terrifyingly real.
Huge hugs. Thanks for the reminder of how quickly things can change.
xoxo

Scary Mommy said...

SO relieved for you. XOXO

Avitable said...

I'm really glad to hear that it wasn't anything - that must have been so scary!

Megan said...

Did this same thing at 32, in the throes of post-partum depression. Good times!

Glad all is well.

lindsey said...

So glad that its nothing serious. What a scary thing to go thru. I think that your a brave woman and that having something like this happen to you and seeing it open your eyes to help others who are in your similar situation is wonderful.
Its fabulous that your sharing this story with us all!

silverneon2000 said...

Good thing you went and got it checked out. Glad everything is well. Good for you wanting to help others.

Nenette AM said...

I'm so glad you're okay! xoxo

Imelda Dulcich said...

Something I learned from the mammogram experience (my sis died from breast cancer) is to try and accompany someone who's worried about going. The first few checks after my sister died were really hard for me. I was lucky my husband was able to sit with me. Now whenever I hear someone is going I offer to keep them company. Takes no more time than a lunch break - and it's a great way to show you care. Glad you had good results!

Lady Mama said...

Oh no - you poor thing Loukia. That really is a very scary and unpleasant thing to go through. I'm so glad for you that everything turned out to be okay - and yes, what a relief - and almost a new lease on life these experiences give us. Even more reason to live life to the fullest. Hugs. x

Jill said...

My girlfriend just had her first breast reconstruction surgery yesterday for breast cancer ... after her mastectomy 2 months ago.

It's so scary that lumps are forming, and mammograms are happening for all of us FAR younger than they should.

So SO happy to hear that all is OK. Don't know if I could handle hearing another friend having to deal with this. Hugs to you!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Oh - I've been there. Once had a strange "spot" on a mammogram and had to go back for an ultrasound. No matter how much you tell yourself it will all be fine - the imagination will have its way...

Now I'm dealing with a totally different lump situation in a different place and yes - the waiting is hard. It's easy to get a same week sonogram or MRI - but an appointment with a general surgeon? More like 2-3 weeks. And the actual surgery? Who knows. But I think about a comment I received that typically "quicker is sicker" when it comes to surgery. So I focus on the doctors not communicating sense of urgency. They don't think a few weeks is a big deal. Best to follow their lead. And painful waiting aside, keep that troublesome imagination in check!

So glad you got the all clear!

Shana said...

Amen to that and so glad you are ok!

Alecia @ Hoobing Family Adventures said...

That is SO SO scary, I am so glad everything is okay!!

Loukia said...

Thank you, thank you everyone. It is such a scary thing and far too many women are having to deal with this reality more and more every day.

Mommyfriend Lori said...

Loukia, I was you back in August. Totally scary indeed. I am so so so glad everything is fine but even more than that I am proud of you for seeing your doctor right away. Early detection is key. God bless you my dear.

Erica said...

check out my blog Loukia you made my top 5

http://erlafontaine.blogspot.com/2011/01/who-do-i-stalk-i-mean-errrrfollow.html

CaraBee said...

Oh Loukia, how scary! I had a similar experience with abnormal pap results that resulted in biopsies and further testing to confirm that it wasn't cancer. Due to a family history, I'm on high alert for uterine and cervical cancer. It was scary as hell, but so much relief when all the tests came back normal.

As a mother, there is nothing that populates my nightmares more than the possibility of not being there for my daughter as she grows up. So many children have lost their mamas to breast cancer. We must find a cure.

ModernMom said...

Such wonderful news! Sounds like you handled this so calmly. Your Doctor should be commended for getting you the results so quickly.
Hugs

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

Oh yikes. I am SO happy to hear you're okay!!! I can only imagine all the scenarios that were playing out in your mind...thank goodness you got the all clear.

Caren with a "C" said...

So glad you are alright! There is nothing like a possible medical emergency to put life into perspective. We had one with my husband a few months ago. I got to the point of searching the internet to figure out what I could be employed at if he couldn't work. Luckily it was a false alarm.
Happy SITS Day!

misssrobin said...

What a beautiful story. Not just in the happy ending for you but in the honest struggle and concern for others.

I am so glad your results were good.

Stopping by from SITS. Enjoy your special day as the featured blogger. I hope it brings you many new followers.

Ashley said...

Cancer sucks! It makes me so angry that so many people have to suffer at the hand of cancer. I hope beyond hope to see a cure in my lifetime. Thank God you're fine. It is a scary experience just going through the thoughts of what if. I can relate. Visiting from SITS.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Happy SITS Day! I had a similar experience when I was 31... two kids... no husband... it turned out it was a blocked milk duct 3 years AFTER I stopped nursing!!! It was scary though, but like my doctor said, now I've got my baseline mammogram out of the way!

Happy SITS Day!

Babes about Town said...

Wow scary stuff and so glad it turned out ok. Really important that you shared it as it's something that affects so many.

Just wanted to pop by and say your kids are so cute and congrats on your SITS day. Relish it :-)

The Blonde Duck said...

Happy SITS day! I had a lump removed this summer after it came back after being bioposied. I was so stressed out I lost weight over it. It's not fun, and it's such a huge issue for women. I'm so glad you're ok!

(Florida) Girl said...

*Sigh* A happy ending.

Stopping by to wish you a happy SITS Day.

nmaha said...

That was scary. Thank you for sharing your feelings so openly.

Happy SITS day to you.

Karen said...

Happy SITS day! When I was about your age, I felt a lump. It did not show up on mammogram and they even had a hard time finding it on ultraound. But everyone could feel the darn little thing. So it was agreed it should be removed. It was and it was fine. But I know much of how you felt, in the wondering, as a mom.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Happy SITs Day! I am so glad your results came back negative.

Alison said...

Scary thing to go through...and one we all dread. So happy you are okay!

And...Happy SITS Day!

LisaDay said...

It's a scary time. I am glad everything is OK.

Happy SITS day.

LisaDay

Ginny Marie said...

Coming over from SITS to congratulate you on your day, and I didn't expect a post on something that is very real to me!

I know exactly how you felt...until you came to a sense of relief! Unfortunately, I was one of those women whose lump was malignant, and I was only 27. I'm a supporting blogger for www.armyofwomen.org. Have you heard of Army of Women? They are part of Avon and Dr. Susan Love is the leader...joining Army of Women is an easy way to start helping those women who are diagnosed with cancer everyday!

Congratulations on your SITS day!

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

I know that was scary!!! My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor & I lost an aunt to it about 6 years ago, I'm always afraid I'll get it too. But what woman doesn't worry about it?!

So glad you're ok! And I loved your last line about wrapping your arms around the women who don't get the best news.

Happy SITS day! I hope it's amazing!

Michelle Saunderson said...

Glad that you are okay. Visiting from SITS.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Sometimes little scares like these are actually positive as they make us appreciate all of our blessings. So happy that you received such good news.

Congratulations on your SITS day and your health!

Sunday said...

I had the same type of scare last year and I was a nervous wreck. Thankfully, just like you, my lump was nothing serious and I was told to come back every year to have a repeat mammogram.

Ms Bibi said...

What a truly frightening situation. I can't even imagine all the thoughts that went through your head.
I am so glad that you received a good news. My hubs lost his mom to breast cancer after fighting it for 7 long and painful years.

Stopping by from SITs on your day.

Sarah said...

wow, I am so glad to hear you are okay. cancer is so scary and ugly.

just stopping in from SITS - have a fabulous fb day!

Mellisa Rock said...

Coming over for your sits day...thankful that it was good news and that you have a good support system. Thanks for posting this - as there might be women out there who need to make a doctor's appt. but don't because they are to scared.

Lindsay Blogs said...

What a scary thing to have to go through, but I'm glad it left you with some peace and happiness. Also glad it turned out not to be cancerous! (Stopping by from SITS)

Dixie Mom said...

Stopped by from SITs.
How scary! I have only had one mammogram and while I was in there seeing all these other women in there for the same reason...I wondered...how many of us will have scans that show cancer? It was a surreal moment for me. I'm glad that it all turned out okay.

polkacabana said...

YIkes that is soooo scary! I am happy that you got good news. I do not even want to think about how scary that must have been. Thanks for the reminder, I am stopping by from SITS, thank you for the inspiration.

Sheri Carpetenter said...

So happy you are ok. Stopping by from SITS I hope you enjoy being featured.

Susie said...

Congratulations on your good news and your SITs feature! I hope you enjoy celebrating:-)

Laura said...

First of all, your mammogram wasn't painful? I need to go to your doc. But I have been going through a similar thing. In 2010, I had 4 mammograms. They were watching 2 "spots" they said were "probably not cancerous". I get to go back in 6 months "just to make sure". It is nerve racking every time I have to go though.

Glad your news was good. Happy SITS Day!

Nicole @ Chic & Cheap Nursery said...

What a scare! Thankfully you received good news. My heart goes out to those women who aren't as fortunate.

Nice to meet you!

Stopping by from SITS!

Amanda Broadfoot said...

Thank you for sharing your story. The more women talk about experiences like yours, the more (I hope) will get screened and checked and the earlier things will get caught.

Date Girl said...

Oh wow, I'm so glad you're alright. Very scary stuff and I can only imagine the fear you must have felt.

PS Happy Sits day!

Rach said...

What a blessing to have received such great news!

Happy SITS day by the way :)

Sara R. said...

Happy SITS day. How scary that must have been.... I had a girlfriend who had breast cancer at 32, so you are never too young! Great blog and enjoy your feature day.

Chaplain Donna said...

Happy SITS Day! Thanks for sharing such a personal and scary experience.

Ericka @ Creative Liar said...

Stopping by from SITS. So sorry to hear this happened (my mom's had lumps that they had to biopsy and the whole situation is heart breaking and terrifying) but I'm so happy you're okay!

bianca said...

What a relief! I can't imagine the scariness this brought to your mind. Thankfully you're fine! A good reminder to give it all you got everyday : )

Jenna said...

Found your blog through SITS! I am a comms graduate, emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. Great blog.

Mommyof2girlz said...

Happy SITS Day. So glad to hear you got good news.Thank you for sharing your story. Have a wonderful day full of lots of bloggy lovin :)

JennieB said...

I had a very similar experience, with a good ending as well. So glad all is okay!

Visiting from SITS.

Karen Kaye said...

You must be so relieved! Happy SITS day to you. I always thank goodness for OHIP and our medical system even though it gets lots of flack. I'm glad it's good news for you and congrats from a fellow Ottawa Blogger!

Penelope said...

So relieved for you! As a mother of 2 little ones, I have the same fears.

Zeemaid said...

This brought instant tears to my eyes. I felt a lump in bed the other night and while the next minute I couldn't find anything and thought I must have imagined it.. the panic was instant. Yet there are other reasons for lumps beside cancer. I'm so glad for you that everything is alright!

Kristy said...

Yes, I would think that situation would call for Ativan. Thank goodness for your good news!

mommylebron said...

Glad you're ok! I know Ericka from Women On The Fence is going through the stress right now waiting on biopsy results.

Cook Clean Craft said...

I can relate to your story. I found a lump, was told it's probably nothing to be concerned about but still get it checked. I was calm until driving home from having a fine needle biopsy, when I suddenly burst into tears. It was not cancer, but such an emotional experience.

Stopping by from SITS!

Shannon said...

I am so glad it turned out well. I can't imagine how scared you were. I often think about what would happen to my family if I wasn't around. Urgh!

Hollywood Farm Films said...

Mammy every year from now on Lady!

Elaine A. said...

I don't know how I missed this post! I'm so glad it was nothing Loukia. So scary. Glad you're fine!! xo

ativan said...

Every time i have a attack i would go to the ER and get Ativan 0.5 mgs and by the time its time for me to sign out and go home it has kicked in and worked very well for me now it may not for others. All I can say is it was like a huge house was sitting on me was lifted right off of me. but like with other meds u have to becareful.

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