I almost rescheduled my appointment. I had a dentist appointment earlier in the week and didn’t want to ask someone to watch Jackson twice in one week. When my doctor said she couldn’t see me for my annual exam until June, I decided I better find a sitter and not put off my appointment.
I never like going to the doctor. I have been a wimp about doctors and needles since I was a tiny girl. I sat in that gorgeous paper gown and socks waiting for my doctor and wondered: Why is it that my feet are always freezing during these appointments, even with socks on?
She came in and we got down to business. As she did my breast exam she got a puzzled look on her face.
“I feel a lump and I would like you to have an ultrasound,” she said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious, but we want to make sure.”
Her words struck fear in my heart, but I held back the tears and made small talk in order to keep my composure.
My mom is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in October 2011. I held it together long enough to get out of the doctors office before I fell apart. I couldn’t breath. A lump? I’m 30 years old. My mom’s doctor swore to us that her cancer was hormone-induced and not hereditary. She assured us there was no reason why my sister and I needed to get mammograms earlier than 40-years-old.
I walked to my car and called my best friend Amber. Thankfully I have a very level-headed friend who calmed me down and assured me that it was probably nothing but a cyst.
I did the only thing I knew to do. I text messaged a few of my closest friends and prayer warriors and asked them to pray for me. I was not going to mention a thing to my mom until I knew what was going on. I did not want her worrying herself sick.
I felt an extreme amount of peace the days leading up to my ultrasound. No matter how much I smashed my boob, I could not feel the so-called lump that my doctor said she felt. There was one time I thought I might have felt it, but I wasn’t 100% sure.
I text messaged my friend and told her I couldn’t find the lump. Her response made me laugh. “Quit doing that,” she wrote. “You’re just going to end up with a sore boob.”
I was a nervous wreck as I waited for my appointment at the Breast Cancer center. More nervous about the results of my ultrasound than having my gallbladder removed the following day.
The nurse showed me back and explained that they wanted to do a mammogram, as well as, the ultrasound because they would be able to tell more and compare the two tests. I told her to do whatever they needed to do.
My heart pounded in my chest as I got undressed and put on the cape the nurse had given me. I had heard mammograms were uncomfortable, but it was a piece of cake. The nurse was so sweet and understanding of my nerves – considering my mom’s recent diagnosis.
After both tests were complete, and the radiologist has reviewed them, the nurse came in to tell me the news.
“Both tests show that everything is perfectly normal,” she said.
Relief flooded over me. There wasn’t a lump.
I walked through the rain to my car, climbed inside, and bawled my eyes out in complete relief. All I could do was whisper, “Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus.”
*****I’m sharing all this because it’s SO important for women (and men) to do self-breast exams. Girls, make sure you see your doctor each year. If you find a lump, call your doctor. Early detection is key! For more information visit the American Cancer Society’s website here.