Old "They Found a Lump" Blues
Found A Lump..."
We are running, walking, biking and even skydiving to raise awareness
and fund research for breast cancer. We are all familiar with the topic,
but are any of us prepared for the words, “We found a lump…” from our
doctor? I know I wasn't. I have since found out that a lump
does not have to be a cause of major panic. I wish I had know that then.
I went for a routine mammogram.
When the results came back, there were some irregular areas and I needed
an ultrasound exam. The doctor assured me that it was probably nothing,
but she wanted to be sure. The sonogram results came back two weeks
later. There were two lumps about two centimeters each and I would need
to see a surgeon. My best friend had just finished radiation and chemo
for breast cancer. I called her and cried.
I have no family history of breast cancer, but 75% of women diagnosed
have no known genetic
link to the disease. 80% of the lumps that are found in routine exams
are benign. That meant 20% of the lumps were cancerous. The search
for the surgeon did not make me feel any better. The first two receptionists
I talked to told me it would be six to eight weeks before I could make
an appointment. I wanted to scream! I had been told that I needed to see
a surgeon about a lump in my breast and they were too busy to fit me into
their schedules? On the third try I reached a lifeline. This receptionist
was calm and sympathetic. She assured me that most of the patients in
my situation were found to have noncancerous growths and she gave me an
appointment for the following week. I don't remember anything else from
May Not Be Good News
At the office, the doctor reviewed the films with me and examined my prize
lumps. We talked about my options and decided that a core needle biopsy
would be the best course of action. It took three weeks to get the biopsy.
I was a wreck. The worst part of the ordeal was that I was convinced that
I had nothing to worry about. Everyone, including me, was confident that
the results would show fibroadenomas. That meant no cancer. So why was
I having trouble sleeping and finding it impossible to concentrate on
anything? The more I stressed out, the more I berated myself for not being
able to cope with a routine procedure.
The biopsy was easy compared to the weeks of worry and waiting. The results
showed no cancerous cells. The lumps are still there and I will need to
have a checkup every six months to make sure that everything is ok. My
daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on the day that my biopsy
was scheduled. I will be able to watch her grow and enjoy being a grandmother.
I am one of the lucky ones. Even if the lumps had turned out to be cancer,
they were small enough to give me a good chance for surviving. I am back
in control of my life and my emotions. I know that if I had been diagnosed
with cancer, I would have been able to get through it. My life is full
of people who love and support me. I am grateful for the chance to appreciate
how fortunate I am.
Why This Site Exists!
In the time that I waited for my biopsy, I tore through the Internet,
the library and bookstores searching for information about what was happening
to me. There was plenty of information, but it was scattered and hard
to follow. This site is a result of that experience. I did find out that
the most important steps that we can take to protect ourselves from breast
cancer are breast self examination
and getting mammograms on a
regular basis. If breast cancer is diagnosed early the cure rate is
over 90%. If a lump is found - it's normal to be afraid. If a cancerous
lump is found, work with your doctor to make yourself a survivor!
updated April 21, 2017