Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yesterday was a roller coaster ride

For the last week, I have been getting sharp pains in left breast. They are these stabbing, shooting pains, in my breast area under my arm. Two days ago it became a constant, throbbing pain, and every now and then I would get those sharp pains again.

Yesterday, I woke up to an intense pain in the same spot, and decided to feel to see if there was something there. My heart sank as I felt a lump about the size of a nickel.

Immediately the thoughts started to come to me that it might be Inflammatory Breast cancer, because of my family history. I do tend to worry a little too much- something else that seems to run in my family. But, I was scared. I had never found a lump like that before and never had this pain.

I woke my husband up to tell him, and I started sobbing. He was so good to hold me and let me cry. He asked if I wanted to not go to my creative writing class that morning, but I quickly decided that I should go, because I wanted something to take my mind off of all the worries.

So, my friends Olivia and Debbie and I drove down to the writing class together, and it was so fun to just talk and laugh with them. Of course, talking about the book in my head helped too. It was just so nice to have a few hours where I didn't have to worry about what was happening.

When Olivia dropped me off, I went inside and my husband asked me how I was feeling. Immediately, all the worries and feelings came back and I just started crying again.

So, after lunch with friends, and a shopping trip for my husband and his dad, (and a nap for Ez and me) we went to the urgent care clinic, and the doctor checked me out.

She said she didn't think it was a lymphatic infection, and she definitely felt the lump. However, she diagnosed me with all the information that I gave her, as having FIBROCYSTIC BREAST DISEASE, (which I found out isn't really necessarily a DISEASE at all. It is very common, and isn't a precursor for breast cancer in any way. However, it can make DETECTING cancer lumps much more difficult because of the cysts that form.

So, basically I have fibrous tissue in my breasts that are cystic, and usually it happens along with a girl's monthly cycle, and every once in a while the cysts flare up and will cause me problems... like now.

I have never had this pain before that has lasted this long. The doctor told me that it can take a month or two for the cyst to return back to normal. She did, however, order an ultrasound to rule anything else out. She also gave me a prescription for Ibuprofen to ease the pain. It doesn't help much.

So, I had panic, followed by a nice few hours with some sweet girls, followed by worry, and then relief.

I don't have breast cancer. But, this pain might become a regular part of my life.

Even though it is an awful pain, I'll take the pain over the worries and struggles that Breast Cancer brings.

To find out more about Inflammatory Breast Cancer click here.

With Love,


Olivia Carter said...

SUSAN! BAH! I saw you yesterday & had this feeling that something was wrong! I thought maybe it was writing or your story or whatever. Gosh, that's a HUGE cloud to have hanging over your head.

I'm glad to hear its not cancer but the cysts sound so painful! Please let me know what I can do to help. I'm hear for you!

Susan said...

Olivia, I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to freak out more. I don't want to be an alarmist you know? But, please know that you guys cheered me up a lot! So, thank you so much.