I know I never posted this past spring about the unwanted visitor that came into my life. I thought about it, started to and am sure I never did. The visitor is a lump that was found in my breast last April just a few days after I enrolled in school at IIN and the same week as my hubby’s bday. Gotta love the timing on that huh? I want to say that it was one of the darkest weeks of my life waiting for my midwife to call back to tell me what it was and what we were going to do about it. Actually the whole appointment was horrible.
The whole thing started out rather normal. Went for my yearly visit and my midwife had a very nice and concerned student doing an internship with her. I might be weird but I have never said no to an intern working with me. I figure a fresh mind is a great thing. The most odd intern story I might have is about 15 of them or so at Yale Hospital back in 1994 watching my son nurse after a cleft lip repair and some of them wanted a better view but it was in the name of helping them learn. But that is a whole other story.
Back to this visit, the intern found a lump and was sweet to say it was most likely nothing. I had to go for my lovely boob torture (read that as mammogram) this year any way so I was trying to think nothing of it. Trying being the key word here. My aunt had breast cancer and had both her breasts removed so I was worried in the back of mind but kept telling myself the chances were slim. So off to the mammogram appointment I went.
This is where things get a little ugly. I was still doing ok to be honest as I waited in one of those cold backless gowns. When I saw a nurse that I knew from a visit before, I was feeling a little better. When I explained that I was in fact having pain in my breast and a lump was found and my yearly vist, we discovered that my midwife never wrote up for them to look at that lump. She didn’t even mention it. My nurse, having been through a few things herself, got on the phone got the right paperwork but I could only have half the test done at this office and would have to go to another office. She did the toruture and sure enough saw the lump clear as day and did her best to not run to the front desk after she was done with me, where when I arrived, she was making it clear as day I needed to get to the other office that day for an ultrasound appointment. She made her point and I had an appointment at another office for 2 hours later. She again turned to me and said it was most likely nothing but it’s good to check these things out and gave me a hug and a really sad look. I know she meant well and was thinking of what she went through. I am grateful she pushed to get me an appointment.
At this point I am still trying to hold it together. I walked out to my car, lost my favorite pair of earring my hubby bought me on the way, and drove home for a cup of tea and to try to figure out what just happened. Then back in the car in the traffic to my next appointment and the unknown.
The next appointment wasn’t so caring or nice. The technician could care less and was more annoyed she was not going to get to her party earlier than she thought as I got pushed into her day. The doctor, whom I had never met before this point, came in and he was yelling at me about why I felt pain in a place there wasn’t a lump. Gee Doc thought that was your thing to tell me. He shows me the lump on the screen and tells me he doesn’t know what it is and that I should come back in 6 months and if it is still there we will name it. I bit my tongue on suggesting names but his was in the mix. After his two minute appearance and my cleaning up and getting dressed, my films were shoved in my hand and I was led to the door where the woman actually said “good luck, someone will call you” and as I stepped outside I heard the lock of the door behind me. I had overheard they had a happy hour party to go and my lump and I were in their way from some drinks and forgetting their troubles.
Now it had been raining all day that day. I remember it clear as a bell as I was in the breaking sunshine as I stood there, the clouds were breaking up and the rain falling at that point was my own tears of what the hell just happened and what is this thing in my breast? Also gees I am glad I am not going into this side of the medical world also crossed my mind. Is this how everyone is treated? I calmed down and then took the long and winding back roads home past a few farms and down the river and through the trees as it’s a drive that relaxes me and I needed that time to just think.
I waited 3 days for my midwife to call. I actually had to call her. Somehow in her mind I was going on vacation and she didn’t want to leave a message on my voicemail, she told me, to make me worry before the Easter holiday weekend. Um really? Cause not hearing from her totally erased this from my mind. She said almost the exact thing the lab doctor tech guy (whatever he is) said to me. We don’t know what it is and we are going to just watch it and if it is still there we will name it and go from there. I quickly added her name to the list of possible names for this lump.
I then did what I always do, took matters into my own hands and reached out to people I knew might have some answers. I looked on line, I asked on my school board and got some of the best advice I think, hit the library for books, and shared with a few friends. Then I planned my course of action which was to cut caffeine, white flour, sugar, alcohol and processed foods out of my diet completely or as best I could. All of which help with estrogen dominance and could play a part in this lump being there. I next tackled the stress in my life and found ways to bring more peace into it and learned to meditate. Which I should have learned to do years ago to be honest. I went to any and all women’s health talks and talks on breast health I could. I talked to a medicine man (no really) who spoke at one lecture I went to and he surprised me the most with his answer to my question about what to do with my lump with, “you know what to do, your a healer too”. So I’ve been trying to nourish my body, mind and spirit.
It’s now 6 months later and my appointment for a recheck is coming up. The pain I had in my breast is gone. I am hopeful my still unnamed unwanted visitor has either shrank or is gone. I’ll be honest I can’t seem to find it. In the process I have lost a little more weight, am enjoying more energy and have clearer skin and feel a heck of a lot more balanced then I did six months ago. Not a bad tradeoff at all. I think back to that day crying as the sun was breaking through the clouds and feel like it was a sign that it was a fresh start on my health and my life in a lot of ways.
So we will see how it goes when I go for my revisit next week. I have my plan already to go no matter what happens. Funny how things work out too. I had already been thinking about taking my medical care else where and ending a nearly 17 year relationship with my midwife when a letter came in the mail she no longer will be taking my insurance. That just sealed the deal with me it is time to move on. Don’t you love when things work out this way? I call them my personal neon signs from God.
I am hopeful that I wont have to pick from the names I have in my head for this lump and that it can just be another teacher that came into my life and made me put myself on the top of my list for self care and extra love.
On that note I have to end this with something funny. To know me is to know that I love to make people laugh if I can and especially if I am talking about anything serious. So enjoy this video on checking your breasts from Rethink Breast Cancer.
Till next time,