I’m 34-Years-Old & I Found a Lump in My Breast
Obviously, I did the only thing that I could naturally do. I started freaking out. But then I had to take a step back and tell myself that I cannot freak out until I actually see the doctor.
However, that is always easier said than done, obviously.
I found the lump when I was looking at my my breasts one morning while checking out my stretch marks. I have recently lost some weight, and as women, we all know that the first place the weight comes off is from our breasts. (Can we ever win?)
I didn’t even notice it until I saw the curve in the mirror. I had to feel for it, and then there is was, clear as day. How have I not noticed this before. It was a pretty large lump in there.
I called my OBGYN immediately. I couldn’t get in to see my regular doctor, but as soon as I said the words, “I found a lump in my breast,” they scheduled my appointment for the next day with a nurse practitioner.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to tell anyone other than my husband. I knew if I told my mother or my best friend, that I could possibly worry them without knowing all the facts. Of course, that is what I was telling myself. But when you find a lump that shouldn’t be there, that was all the thoughts racing through my mind. I decided to tell my Mom, and she took it better than I thought she would, even though I could hear the uncertainty in her voice. We talked about the possibilities and I think she said “make sure you get a biopsy,” 15 times in our conversation.
I decided to call my bestfriend because I knew that she had to get an ultrasound a few months ago for another breast cancer scare. I knew that she could relate with the thoughts racing through my mind. I also knew that she could talk me down from the ledge.
The next afternoon, I had my appointment with my nurse practitioner and she agreed that she also felt a lump there and the lump felt about the size of a nickel. The NP stated that it could easily just be tissue and come from hormones. “But, just to be on the safe side” she gave me a referral for my first mammogram and ultrasound. I called to make the appointment but they couldn’t fit me in until the next week. I knew it would be a rough time waiting.
My appointment finally came, and I was more than ready to get it over with. I was nervous and anxious, but I was trying my best to stay calm and not let my emotions take over. That can be difficult when they get your last name wrong and I was sitting in my gown in my room for what seemed like hours.
Finally, they got their shit together and I was called back for my mammogram. As nice as the nurse is, it is cancelled out by that mammogram machine. That is not a nice machine, and if you have had a mammogram, you know what I am talking about. I never knew my breasts could be mashed, twisted and finagled in so many different ways. I don’t want to talk anyone out of scheduling their first appointment once they turn 40, but just be prepared for that rude machine.
I was then moved into the ultrasound room and had my scan with the technician. She finished the scan and said that the radiologist would be in to talk about my results. A few minutes later the ultrasound technician came back in and said that the doctor told her to tell me there was nothing found on my tests. Of course I had many questions, especially when I’m looking at the ultrasound and I can see a small circle. I was more than relieved to hear that there was nothing, but looking back, I should have told her that I will wait to talk to the doctor because I had questions and she should not be handling this type of conversation. I know that it is the doctor’s job to give the news and the tech to take the scan.
I told her I thought about a biopsy and she said there is nothing there to biopsy, and I asked her about the circle on the ultrasound and she said it might be a cyst. THESE ARE ANSWERS THE DOCTOR SHOULD BE GIVING ME!
I got dressed and left because she didn’t seem very interested or helpful and by that time I just wanted to get the hell out of there. It wasn’t until I got home and started to think about it that I should have requested the doctor. I think this is a lesson for all of us that we have rights and should not leave without feeling comfortable and having all of our questions answered. Especially with something that could be cancer or even a cyst. Who really knows.
I was advised by my Mom, best friend and hubs that I should call and ask to speak to the doctor, but I really was so pissed, the last thing I want to do is deal with them again. So, I called and had my tests sent over to my OBGYN. I will go over the results with a real doctor and I know she will answer all my questions and we can see if there are any other steps to be made. I have heard way too many stories where women with breast cancer were brushed off time after time that they were fine, and ended up having cancer.
I won’t be ignored and neither should any of you! This is our health and if we don’t take it into our own hands, no one will. We have to be advocates for ourselves.
If you find something it may be nothing, or means that you found it so early, that the survival rate is as high as 100%. Our health is just as important no matter what our age.
As a reminder, we should be doing a MONTHLY breast exam and you should try to do it at different times in your cycle, since your hormones can affect the lumpiness.
Be sure to check out this post – How To Do a Self Breast Exam
Print it out if you have to and put it on your bathroom mirror for a reminder. Being in your 30s does not mean you are too young to get breast cancer! Be safe and take care of your health!
I also had a breast lump and went through a similar ordeal when I was 29. I know it’s alarming to find at first, but seriously try not to worry. It’s probably nothing horrible and may even go away on its own after a while. Definitely bring your pics to a breast specialist, if nothing else for your own peace of mind, and get another ultrasound in 6 months or so to ensure that nothing has changed. (That’s what I was told to do at least…) In the end, my lump was completely normal and natural and your probably is too. Good luck!
Malika Bourne says
Thanks for sharing with all of your emotions. It IS an emotional ordeal, for goodness sake even if staff does this every day.
I am much older, but years past I had to have a biopsy which turned out benign. I have a clip in there to remind us of a close call.
And friend of mine did have breast cancer and she survived.
I just had my first (and hopefully only) breast cancer scare as well. It’s good times isn’t it? lol
Anyway, I posted today about my experience as well:
The Grass Skirt Blog says
This post is such a great reminder to everyone to do self-exams. I’m so sorry that you had such a bad experience though. I also recently had a bad experience with an OBGYN (for a different type of visit), and it is always such a let down when you feel as though your doctor has failed you. I hope that you get the answers you deserve!
The Grass Skirt
Courtney Grauvogl says
Thank you for reminding everyone about their exams and more importantly, YOU are your OWN advocate! Make sure that all of you questions are answered, OR FIND someone who WILL answer your questions. Those people do not pay your bill, do not live with you, do not watch your children, etc. So who cares if you make a pain of yourself. If you don’t, and something happens, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. I’ve had MANY doctors that I have walked out on and never come back simply because they would NOT answer all of my questions. I then turned around and found someone who would!
I’m so glad to hear that it was just a scare (and scary it is)…God Bless!