…actually it is.
About a month ago, my breasts were really tender mid-month, which isn’t terribly uncommon. My right breast seemed super tender though, way more than usual. While laying in bed, I was massaging it to try to get some relief, and I felt a very large, golf-ball sized lump. I immediately had Eddie examine it and he agreed that it was something that didn’t belong. It was really painful to the touch and I ended up having to ice it a few times for relief.
I already had an appt scheduled with my NP for about a week later, so I decided to just wait and bring it up to her then. The pain lessened by then, but the lump seemed about the same. It was smooth and moveable. And big.
I had my appt and had her do an exam. Upon first check she didn’t really feel what I was feeling, because it was deeper in the tissue and moved a bit, so would wiggle around and hide when you first would examine it. She was eventually able to feel it and agreed it needed to be checked out. We thought maybe it was just a cyst and could be drained. But a sono and a mammogram would tell for sure.
I had to wait almost 2 weeks to be able to get in for my tests. I was not looking forward to it, because I was imagining it would be very uncomfortable. Thankfully, my experience was not that miserable. It wasn’t great fun, but it wasn’t awful pain either. After the mammo, they did the sono, and I was able to see the big blob on the screen.
Afterwards, I was to meet with the radiologist, but she had an emergency, so I ended up seeing the nurse, who I actually went to high school with, and she told me about my pictures.
She said that I have a 9cm egg-shaped mass, or tumor. They suspect based on it’s shape and size, and other characteristics that they look at, that it is a benign, non-cancerous tumor. She said that whenever they are worried about something being troublesome, they let you know, and that I didn’t need to worry that they were minimizing the seriousness.
Despite them assuming that it is benign, there is no denying that this thing is huge. Look at a ruler to see how big 9cm is and you will see that we are not talking about a marble sized mass, we are talking a full-on egg. It could be a number of things-could be a fibroadenoma, or some other mass that sounded like “hammer-toe” but had a real name I’m sure. It could be something that developed in my breast tissue during puberty and I’ve been carrying it around all this time and just now noticed it due to weight loss. Or it could be a very rapidly growing type of tumor, considering last time I did a self-exam I didn’t feel it. The hope is that it is not the kind of tumor that doesn’t know when to stop growing.
The next step is a needle biopsy. I will go in one week for that. They will numb the area with an injection, then make a tiny cut and go in and take several samples of tissue to send to the lab to evaluate. They will then leave a little titanium marker behind that will allow them to know exactly where the mass is in the future. After they place that, they will take a few more mammo pics and I will be on my way.
She said even if this thing is benign, as they assume, they will probably recommend I get it removed due to the sheer size of it. It doesn’t need to be in there. The pic below is NOT my image , but as close as I could find online. The image on the right is very similar to what mine looked like.
Due to the size , I am likely going to have some cosmetic differences in my breasts. Imagine taking an egg sized piece out of one of your boobs! The surgeon that would likely do my surgery has special training though that can make my breast look as contoured as possible, rather than being all dipped in and puckered where the mass was removed. The doctor is Dr Ray, who happened to be the on-call surgeon the night Eddie had to have his emergency surgery for his necrotizing fasciitis in 2011. So while no one really wants to have part of their breast removed, I would rather have it gone than risk the pain and possible growth that could come by leaving it there.
How all this will fit in with baby-making remains to be seen. If no baby this month, I will maybe wait another month to start ovulation meds so that I can get the mass removed. If we are lucky enough to get knocked up this month, then removal will have to wait. Based in the biopsy results , they may tell me that we can just monitor it every 6 months to be sure it’s not growing and just leave it alone. Time will tell and we will just play it by ear.