I found a lump and called the doctor — and now I'm getting it checked out. Read Part 1 of my story here.
At the ultrasound, I put my robe on so that it opens in the front. No guess-work there.
Once I’m ushered in, the technician moulds me into the optimal position to get my pictures.
She is lovely, cheerful, and thorough — and I feel safe.
She goops the jelly on my chest and gently touches my arm. “You’re not breathing. It’s ok. Just breathe.”
I am choked up. The last time I was at an ultrasound I was pregnant. It was at the 12-week mark. It’s when I found out that my baby’s heart had stopped beating. That's swirling around in my head now, along with some awesomely positive 'YOU PROBABLY HAVE CANCER' self-chat.
My nerves rattle and my tongue feels thick in my mouth, still, I start chattering incessantly to the technician about anything and everything — how pleasantly surprised I am that the gel has been warmed up. How interesting our insides look on the screen, and also what conditioner is she using because her hair looks amazing!
“If I get the doctor to come in and take a look at your results, don’t be worried, ok?”
Sure. No biggie. Not a problem at all. That’s cool. I’m fine with that. Anxiety has my teeny bladder in its massive icy grip and I have the worst cotton-mouth ever, but that’s cool. I’m all good.
The doctor comes in and reviews the screen. For a brief second my surreal sense of humour chimes in. Wouldn't it be hilarious if the ultrasound station was really a Pac-Man console?
The doctor purses her lips. I'm holding my breath.
“Looking good, Miss! You do have ropey, or dense breasts. Fibrocystic. That means that you have to pay attention to them because they’re bumpier in the first place. It’s good that you know your breasts well enough to see if there are changes because whenever there IS a change, you should call us like you did. And at 40 you’re going to want to make sure that you have regular annual mammograms…I don’t even see the cyst, so it looks like it cleared out on its own…that’s probably what caused you the pain in the first place…”
I stopped listening after that. My brain was a blur of relief and ‘I told you so’ hindsight clarity, and a none too small epiphany.
For 2 months I pretended to have it all together while I carried fear with me everywhere I went. I inadvertently saw life through the most negative filter of ‘what if’ there is. I spent my energy holding everything in, instead of letting out. I spent my waking moments feeling betrayed by my body instead of learning from it and adapting to its changes. I experienced sadness around events that hadn’t happened yet and mourned the future instead of anticipating its adventure.
I know some of that is completely natural.
And I now know that it’s the tiniest lumps and bumps that we find which cause the biggest changes in our lives.
Know your body, be proactive, share your concerns….and Stay Positive.