About a month ago, let's say, sometime in March, while I was putting on my Very Sexy Victoria Secret push up bra, and doing what I always do, which is pulling my back fat forward to make the illusion of actual breasts, I felt a kind of little marble in my right boob. I wasn't too concerned, but I did think "that seems new". So, I remember hearing somewhere that before a woman's period, she might have little cysts in her breasts that come and go with her cycle. I decided to wait a month and to see if it would disappear. It didn't. Without much thought, I did the responsible thing and made an appointment with my cute gynecologist to feel me up. Here's where things speed up like watching TiVo on fast forward- but it's not commercials we are racing through, it's the start of my new life.
Day 1: Gyno says "you know, I don't feel one lump, I feel three". Bonus. He sends me for my first mammogram. (I'm 39)
Day 8: Having my boobs squeezed to kingdom come, the mammogram lady says "so, how old are your kids?" As she looks at the images on her computer, I tell her they are one and four. She, no kidding, whines, "but they're just babies!!!!" and runs out of the exam room. Then I'm having an ultrasound at the same clinic where the technician tells me, "Oh, there's nothing to worry about unless the doctor comes in the room." Cue the doctor. I'm in one of those surreal situations with a doctor sitting in front of me telling me that he is concerned and I need to have these three lumps biopsied right away. My heart is on the floor.
Day 10: In surgeon's office getting felt up again (no joy here, damn it), and he says, "I feel four lumps". Again, bonus. He biopsies all 4 while Nick sits next to me holding my hand, while inside I know he is crumbling. Good news, the biopsies really don't hurt even though Nick said he used some kind of knitting needle contraption to jab me about 12 times. The doctor says he really thinks they are benign fibroadenomas and he would be really surprised if they were anything else. Hell, ok, that sounds good. So we didn't freak out.
Day 15: I'm exercising alone, walking around Steele Indian School Park and my phone rings. It's the surgeon. "I want you to come in today so we can discuss your results." Are you f'ing kidding me? Tell me what's wrong!!! He says "They are not what we expected. You will need surgery." I call Nick from the park and recite what I just heard. Let the freaking out begin. We head right to the surgeon's office where he tells me I've got breast cancer and we need to do a mastectomy asap and I need to see an oncologist right away. I've never even considered hearing these words. Never.
Day 17: Meet the oncologist. He is confident, but doesn't have enough information yet to tell me what kind of breast cancer I have. Nick keeps saying "we want the good breast cancer". Doc says I'll definitely need chemo and is proud to show me his chemo room. The room is so depressing, that it's a joke. I'll ask Nick to tell you the chemo room story later. Honestly, it's pitiful. But he's a great doctor, so I'll deal.
Day 18: Meet the plastic surgeon for my new breasts. This appointment seems kind of exciting. Nick and I wish we were here just for some new ta-ta's for me, but alas, it's because I have cancer. Man, that word is harsh. Anyway, breast reconstruction is not like breast augmentation. Let me just say it takes 8 months- yes 8 months and 6 procedures. Holy shit! But worth it, of course :)
Day 22: That's tomorrow and I meet with the boob surgeon and the plastic surgeon again for pre-op discussions.
Day 23: That's this Wednesday April 28th and I go under the knife for my double mastectomy and installation of my "expanders" which will eventually become my new breasts.
Whew!!! I know that was long and I don't blame you if you skipped most of it, but that's the story of my journey so far. Henceforth, we'll try to stay in the present to let you know what's going on. I REALLY appreciate all your notes. In fact, I'm totally flabbergasted. Your comments and emails and gifts and flowers have been over the top, thank you. I honestly feel guilty that I can't thank you for each kind gesture, but please know, I receive and feel grateful for every one deep in my heart. These are the mini-miracles of cancer I heard about. I'm in awe.