Over the weekend, during a hot bath, I found a lump in my breast. I wasn’t even giving myself a breast exam, I just was soaping up my body and there it was–the classic “pea-sized” hard little ball that I’ve been hearing about for my whole life. I felt it three times, before calling my husband up and calmly saying, “I think I found something.” I made him feel it. I could see his face change.
This wasn’t my first breast lump rodeo. I’ve had fibrocystic breasts my whole life, but this little lump felt different and I thought I was finally the “one” in the “one in eight” statistic.
It was my daughter’s last night of spring break and we were going out to dinner, so I had to pull it together. But my mind was reeling, thinking about what the future would look like if the pea wasn’t benign. I emailed my doctor to asked for an immediate appointment and mammogram on Monday.
Usually this scenario does me in. I can’t eat, I have difficulty sleeping, and fall into a full-on attack of panic, but this time, I just thought, “I will do what I have to do.”Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up some, or maybe it’s because I’m older now, or because I no longer have little kids, but my acceptance of this possibility was new for me.
My husband, clearly shaken up, looked me in the eye on Sunday and said, “I love you, Toni, I will be right here for you. We can get through anything.” This was like a gift from Cartier fell out of the sky onto my lap. It was soothing and reassuring and I’m not sure I will ever forget the deeply sincere tenor of his voice.
I saw the doctor, who knows my breasts as well as I do, and she could feel the lump, but was fairly sure it wasn’t anything, although she sent me for a mammogram and ultra sound to be sure. I had that yesterday and it was indeed just a tiny cyst. My husband and I went out to dinner and CELEBRATED last night.
This is what women go through all the time. We walk around with little time bombs on our chests, hoping that they don’t blow up before we get old and die.
MAJOR GRATITUDE to the Boston Breast Diagnostic Center. This staff makes you as comfortable as if you were in a hotel with room service. They totally get the enormity and intensity of anxiety women feel when having to get a mammogram. The technician was warm and chatty and made me feel instantly better. The doctor who read my mammogram and gave me my ultra sound was reassuring and kind. I said to her before I left, “You guys are amazingly nice. I so appreciate that.” She said back, “That’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Get your mammograms, girls. And if you need a responsive and nurturing environment in which to do so, BBDC is your hotel, I mean office.