I had just visited my oncologist for my three-monthly check-up when I found a small lump in my right breast. It was in the exact same spot I had found my original lump that led to the initial diagnosis of breast cancer.
I happened in the morning I was lying in bed and had just taken off the corset I was still wearing when I noticed it. I woke up my husband to have him feel it to make sure I was not making this up. He felt it too.
I emailed my oncologist right away. She wrote the prescription for an ultrasound of my right breast. Unfortunately, due to work and availability I had to wait more than a week to get an appointment. All kinds of scenarios would go through my mind. I had just met someone who had had the exact same procedures and types of cancer a few years ago and hers had come back in the same place.
When it was finally time for my appointment, I was so ready to get the results. I have gotten to know the imaging technician over the last two years because of numerous visits and she was pretty straight forward. It looked like fat necrosis but given my history she suggested I get a biopsy. Here we go again.
Once again, my doctor was quick in submitting the prescription for the biopsy and I went to the clinic within a few days. It felt like déjà-vu all over again. Same clinic, same exam room and the same doctor. The doctor who performed the biopsy is someone I met a few years ago playing tennis and she performed the biopsies the first time around. When she same my name on the schedule she made sure I was her patient that day.
During the biopsy they aspirated some tissue from the area. The doctor immediately said, “oh this doesn’t look like cancer tissue, it’s all soft fat tissue”. Of course, they still have to send it to the lab and two days later, I finally got the news, it was just fat tissue that accumulated underneath the scars from the multiple surgeries.
After the biopsy the bump I had felt had disappeared. The aspiration and the insertion of the needle had broken it down.
I had never considered that self-examination would be just as important as it was before, even though my breasts are made of the tissue from my belly. The cancer can still return.
Those two weeks were an emotional rollercoaster. It was very easy to be hijacked by negative thoughts and “what-if” scenarios. Whenever I would find myself in that mindset it would change what I was doing. Go for a walk, listen to some music and choosing to think about something different. It was such a relief to hear it was nothing.