Monday, September 21, 2009

Lumping Along

I've gone back and forth about whether or not to share the latest drama in my life here. Since it's occupying much of my thinking, I feel obligated to based on the thought-focused nature (well, hopefully :)) of this blog. Also, it's going to end up being nothing, so I guess my philosophical mindset is on the anxiety so easily brought out by the medical profession.
So I have a lump.

It's funny, I finally start doing breast self-exams after going to a new primary care doctor, and I notice a change--a LUMP--after three months. I kind of ignored it for a month (my good friend the internet said that often these things are hormonal and related to the menstrual cycle) but, when it didn't change at all yet remained a presence, I decided to call the doctor.

Honestly, I was expecting to go in and have the doctor say, "What lump? You have a very vivid imagination, lady. You're freaking paranoid." Instead, she very nicely requested that I not tell her where I felt it so she could feel for herself and find it--or not find it--of her own volition.

She found it. Like, right away. She did say that it was more than likely just a cyst and not anything to be super-concerned about (the c word was conspicuously absent in our conversation). That said, however, she ordered an ultrasound "just to be on the safe side".

Funny story there, actually. I called the breast experts (Mammologists? Boobographers?) To set up the ultrasound, and they said I needed to have a mammogram as well. I tried to explain that the doctor said just an ultrasound, but what I got in response was, "When women over thirty are referred with a lump, we do a mammogram too." So I guess fifty cent coffee from Dunkin' Donuts isn't too far in the future ;-)

Anyway, the ultrasound (and mammogram, because I'm evidently freaking old) is scheduled for next week. I'm doing okay, actually--kind of a nervous wreck, but nowhere near as bad as I thought I'd be. Of course, the week is still young ;)

I guess what I'm mostly thinking about are the what-ifs. What if it is something awful? What would happen to my girls? What would life be like without boobs (I'm kind of attached to them, haha)? I am, of course, extremely lucky because everyone keeps stressing that this is all precautionary (my pancreas and I have heard that before, though, so I guess maybe that's part of what concerns me).

There are people that have to go through this when the future looks immediately bleak. That's not me right now, and is it okay that I am so selfishly, buoyantly grateful for that?