It has only been a little over 2 months since I was officially diagnosed with “Stage Two Triple Negative Breast Cancer.”
I have been replaying the events over the last few months that led me to this day, Jan 10th2019.
2018 was hands down the hardest, most emotional year of my life, with a few traumatic turns of events. We won’t get into it all now on this post, because I want to stay focused on the topic of discussion. My Lump.
I had been super conscious of myself since my mom’s severe ovarian cancer diagnosis at the beginning of 2018. (Just one of the traumatic events of the past year.) I had gone to the Doctor for my regular check up, requesting a mammogram and a BRAC 1 test. My mom is positive and I have since learned so am I. The genetics are the same.
The DR at the time put the request in but I heard nothing and months went by and “all the things” just kept happening in my life. So I didn’t really think much about those tests again, until I felt it (my lump).
Often I perform self-exams, but it had been awhile, when I started to feel a burning sensation under my skin on the very left side of my left breast, than eventually it started to feel like mini heart attacks, also I was having severe heart burn regularily. Finally I felt around and found a little lump. It wasn’t big but it was there. I thought it must be stress, I have heard women saying, all of the time they found cysts that turned out to be nothing. This was in November of 2018, we had just gotten over my mom’s cancer treatments and surgery, I would have never in a million years thought that cancer was going to become my story too.
Fast forward to Jan 4th2019 weekend, I had made it a “resolution” to spend more time in nature and practicing yoga. These are two things that used to be very important to me on a daily basis. As life took over I let these important habits drift away. As I am sure many of us busy women do, because our plates are so full we forget to create time for things that we love.
Booking a weekend retreat with my “Breastie” Lorraine, her and I took the trip to Kripula, a peaceful wellness institution in MASS.
We hiked, we rested, we journaled, we laughed a lot and we truly connected to our goals, spirit and bodies. It was the perfect couple of days to recharge.
I was in my yoga practice when the reverse boat pose posture changed everything for me.
In reverse boat pose I rolled to my left side landing on my breast. I released the posture immediately and thought, “Something is wrong.”
After class, I had Lo feel my lump, both of us were surprised at the size and the hard texture of the lump. We could grab it. The lump felt like a golf ball or Lo would describe it as a small toy hot wheels car.
Slightly aggressive is an understatement; in just a short time it grew fast and large. Now looking at the situation of my life, I am not surprised that my lump (which I have since names Patience,) took on a life of it’s own. The amount of stress, workload and emotional baggage my life was carrying truly fueled my lump.
The next few days after the retreat were a whirlwind! That Monday I called my DR’s office (you know the same one who was suppose to get me that mammogram months ago) I was told that they couldn’t schedule me until Feb.8th2019. My response was, “I found a lump, I have family history and you can’t see me for over a month.” I was upset when I got off the phone, I scheduled that appointment anyway and you should have seen the look on the Doctor’s face when I handed her all of my test results, informing her of my diagnosis, no thanks to her. ( The lesson here is stay on your Doctor’s or find a Doctor who really cares.)
Thank GOD for my contacts, clients and connections, I had been introduced a few months prior to DR. Cameila Lawrence, one of the top oncology surgeons for Breast Cancer in all of Connecticut. She saw me right away and with a few days she gave me my diagnosis, and options, along with a referral to an oncologist located closer to me, DR. Richard Zelkowitz equally as amazing.
That is a lot to go through. I was drained, emotionally, physically and in complete shock. It was all moving so fast, and I am forever thankful for the prompt care I received. Each of these tests had a different effect on me. The biopsy was invasive, uncomfortable and I felt a little like my privacy was being invaded. My breasts were exposed for many of these tests for all to see, which I realize now made me feel vulnerable. I would have liked to have been a bit more prepared before going from test to test in what to expect. Bedside manner is a real thing. Don’t get me wrong everyone was very nice, but the situation is not a comfortable one and I wish I had of been more prepared with more questions regarding all of these tests. Instead I felt rushed through it all. Understandably, cancer is an illness that has grown to have negative effects on most people’s health and well-being. It carries a lot of fear with it, in which I hope to change by sharing my story!
Now that I know what I am up against I have made the conscious decision to slow things down for myself. Regarding all things cancer, aka Patience & all things treatment. I am spending some time on myself and healing my body with good nutrition, light exercise and some serious soul searching and praying. I will share so much more; in future blog posts. Today I wanted to start from the beginning and share the experience of how I found my lump, in hope that this post inspires a few women along the way to be proactive, perform regular breast exams at home and stay on your doctors if you ask for a mammogram and you don’t get an appointment quickly!