The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Blog Roundup

Last Sunday night, as I was brushing my teeth (please don't ask me why I was doing this next act while I was brushing my teeth), I was feeling my right breast and paused from completing the circular motion my periodontist taught me to explore the no-man's-land between arm pit and areola.

I found a lump.

It felt like the end of a pencil eraser. Like someone had made a tiny replica of a volcano and placed a pebble inside and I was feeling that tiny pebble, with a millimeter of space between the rock and the lip of the volcano.

I tried to show it to Josh, brought his hand around my breast but he didn't know what he was feeling. Isn't it strange--they can cup our breasts every single night for nine years and they still don't know them as well as we do from our monthly self-breast exam. I just know every inch of breast tissue.

I spent the night going to the ends of every possibility--from having it disappear by morning to having it be just a stray Cheerio that somehow made it under my skin (you know, much in the same way that we find things in the sofa even though no one placed it there) to having it turn out to be a cyst to having it be a tumour to having it be a tumour that has spread to every major organ.

Like pregnancy scares (remember those--back when you didn't want to get pregnant and you foolishly thought that having sex and having a late period meant pregnancy?), I think a lot of women have had a breast scare (and I hope you post your story in the comment section to both make me feel better and to show the wide-spread nature of finding something in your breast). You feel something; you don't know whether you should be worried or not. It doesn't feel right, but you can't remember what your breast felt like the cycle before and you don't want to seem like the crazy woman who worries about every knot of breast tissue.

In twenty-plus years of self-breast exams, I had never found anything remotely worrisome. My breasts are strange islands unto themselves. They don't really ever get sore. They didn't get larger the one time a pregnancy continued. They didn't change at all during pregnancy. They didn't produce milk after the twins arrived. They're islands in both the good sense and the bad sense. They don't ever change, but, at the same time, they don't ever change.

I made an appointment with my OB/GYN and he told me as I lay down, a Sharpie-created X slashed across my right breast, an inch or so from the areola, not to tell him where it was. He wanted to see if he could find it himself. He didn't find it himself, not even when his fingers crossed over my art work, even though I had felt it before he came in the office. I had been feeling it for two straight days. I even found myself driving on Monday, my hands down the neck of my shirt to cop a feel as I drove through suburbia.

He moved my hand to other areas of my breast, insisting that my area of concern was similar in density and feel. And all the areas he brought me to felt like normal knotty tissue, but it didn't feel like the tiny pencil eraser I felt when I was sitting up or standing (though not lying down). But it doesn't really matter if he found it or not because he is taking my concern seriously and ordered a diagnostic mammogram. I was scheduled to go in for my baseline mammogram regardless this summer. This is now just a mammogram plus--a baseline mammogram with a purpose.

I will not be able to Twitter the mammogram--something about the lack of propriety in pecking at a hand-held device while a technician tries to talk to you as well as the fact that my breasts are going to be smooshed and even sensationless boobs that never get sore will most likely not enjoy getting smooshed--but I will blog about it afterwards in case there is anyone else reading this who is wondering what a diagnostic mammogram is like.

I am not really worried about this because I know it is most likely a cyst or something benign in nature. It may even be gone by the time we go looking for it a few weeks from now, though I can still feel it today, five days after the initial find. I'm just proud of myself for doing my monthly self-breast exam. And I'm writing this as a reminder for you in case you have become lax with checking your breasts.

I know it happens when you're ensconced in treatments or the emotions of infertility. You are so focused on your uterus that you forget things like your pap smear or your monthly breast exams. I know I did, at least.

So this is your reminder. If it's currently not near your period, go check your breasts. If you've never done it before, start now. It's important. Really. And if you are about to have your period or currently have your period, go put up a reminder somewhere to check your breasts a week from now. And if you're over 35, go get a baseline mammogram. You'll have another at 40 and one every year or every other year after that.

Truly, I'm not worried (I sound so uncharacteristically calm about this that a friend kept calling me and emailing to ask how I'm really doing. But I really am calm) because my doctor didn't find it so it's not as honking large as it feels to me. And it can be one of so many things--it's sort of like worrying about infertility when you didn't get pregnant on the first try. I'm just glad that my doctor took it seriously and trusted that I know my body and that I'm getting it checked out.

Consider that your public service announcement for the year and if you have had a breast scare, I, for one, think it's important for women to talk about it so I would like to hear your story.

This post is getting too long so you'll have to wait a day or two until I can write up my thoughts on Advocacy Day (which was amazing) and my buffet of blogger visits (which concluded last night with Julie attempting to steal of dinner plates!) this week. I promise, it will be well worth the wait. With pictures! And I do need to write it before Julie does so I can tell you the real story of the plates instead of her version as well as the bonus person I met at Advocacy Day and the beautiful gift that Cassandra brought. I am just running on empty in terms of time this week.

The Weekly What If: What if you could go on holiday with any blogger? Who would you take along to make the most interesting travel partner and where would you go? You can choose to visit a person in their local area or you can choose another person and meet up in an entirely different area of the world from where either of you live.

And now, the blogs...

I Want to be a Mommy morphed into Tales of a Batty Nurse this week and I loved the post she put up about the change. She writes of the expansion of her blog: "I've spent a large part of my life waiting for when all my dreams would come true. When I'd be a wife and a mom. Time even felt feeling as if I wasn't quite complete until those things happened." I love her change into diarist, with all the tales coming from the same batty nurse you know and love--it is the same blog, just from a different angle, and in continuing a discussion from a few weeks ago, I thought it was an important post that highlights how to make that change. Oh, and I love the new header. Love it love it love it.

Life from Here has a post coming three weeks after the birth of her daughter and six months after they first met her daughter's birthmother. I love this post for its truthfulness. She writes: "Do I feel like a mother yet? Hard to say, even though I tell her “mama’s here” when she cries. I do feel like this little girl’s mama, but I don’t identify as a mother. Wonder if I ever will. Maybe the most important thing is this: I could not love this little girl any more if she came out of my own body. That is the honest truth." I think that honesty is so important--both for herself to say and for others to read--I just found this post moving and beautiful.

Uppercase Woman has a thought-provoking post on the habit of complaint. She starts with a very important piece of wisdom: "Her point was the complaining created more complaining, and that complaining manufactured its own level of unhappiness." All in all, it is a very honest look at how complaining is shaping the way she is thinking and feeling. It had crossed over from being a steam valve for Cecily to becoming a lens and I love this frank look at her words and her path to change.

Lastly, perhaps the theme this week is stark honesty, because I was also moved by this post on depression by Our Surrogacy Adventure. She is struggling to stop smoking and struggling with the depression that comes from the medication she needs to stop smoking. But this is why I loved this post and why I think it is important for everyone to read (and I'm sure Jaymee didn't even realize as she put this thought out there, what a chord she will most likely strike for many readers): "The other component, the nastiest, most appalling component, yes worse than the smoking. I am scared of being a mother, in fact I am terrified of that overwhelming responsibility. To think that someone would work so hard to attain something and then be terrified of actually getting there, I feel horrible for even thinking that this is true." As I said on her post, I think the fact that she can look at her feelings with such honesty, not shying from them, is a tool that will get her through every fear--more important than other surface tools.

The roundup to the Roundup: Check your breasts. Please. Stories from the blogger buffet coming soon. The Weekly What If. And lots of wonderful posts to read.


Eve said...

Well, crud, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this stress. Good for you for not jumping to scary conclusions (which we women tend to do).

Here's my experience: I found a lump when I was 26 in my right breast. It hurt and felt exactly like a peanut M&M had been inserted there overnight. At the time I had to have an ultrasound do to my dense breast tissue (that makes me laugh now, post baby/breastfeeding!). I was originally told I needed to have it removed because it looked like a 'complicated cyst', but when I went to the surgeon (a general one) he refused to remove saying it appeared normal. I was freaked could they know without at least a biopsy? I got smart and asked to see a breast cancer specialist, who diagnosed the lump (after much monitoring) as a benign milk duct that became enlarged. She suggested I use Evening Primrose Oil and cut out caffiene. She followed me for another year to make sure all was well. It was!

Hoping that reading this story makes you feel more calm while you wait!!!!

Nic said...

I am sorry, really hope it is nothing. Strangely my DH does my breast exam! Firstly he enjoys it (lol!) and secondly he knows my breasts better than me! If I do my own check I manage to find atleast 5 lumps each time, DH then re-assures me they are normal and have alwasy been there

loribeth said...

Oh Mel, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. The vast majority of these things turn out to be nothing serious, but it's still scary while you're going through it.

I have to admit I'm kind of lax on the self-exams. But both my family dr & my ob-gyn examine my breasts at my annual checkups with them, & I've had annual mammograms since I turned 41. It's not my favourite way to spend an afternoon -- it does hurt -- but it doesn't hurt THAT much, & it's over with very quickly. A couple of Advil beforehand might help.

Last year, I had it done in mid-December. When I told my mom I'd had it done, she said, "Why did you do THAT just before Christmas??" I hadn't been worried before, but she planted the seed & I thought, "Oh sure, now I'm going to get a bad result & have to deal with it over the holidays." And a few mornings later, I walked into my office, & the message light was on my phone, & the number in the display screen was my dr's office. The results normally take at least a week or two & this was like two days later -- I thought for sure they'd found an abnormality, to be calling me so soon. I honestly thought I was going to faint, & my hands were shaking as I dialled in to hear the message.

It was just the receptionist saying my mammogram was clear & they'd see me next year. I guess maybe they were putting a rush on results so people wouldn't have to wonder over the holidays. I was thankful for that, but I found it hard to focus on work for the rest of the morning.

Tash said...

Oh Mel.

My self-exams disappeared with all the rest of my self-care (teeth brushing, face washing, flossing) when Maddy died, and it's been the most difficult to pick back up for some reason. I did have a mam this past winter, and I actually expected bad news -- not because I felt anything, but because I hadn't been looking. And I'm the person who has teeny breasts that change with the weather, so I was expecting trouble. There was none. And I took that baseline as literally being a starting point -- FOR ME. For me to start caring again. And even so, I'm still not as diligent about it as I should be.

Every once and a while I get a start from someone -- you, blogger LAS, my friend in Chicago who had a mastectomy last winter -- and I start again, and one of these days I need to just go it without the friendly reminder. But at least I have that.

Waiting with you, Mel.

Shelli said...

I just had my yearly mammogram last week (yes, yearly... starting this year). I have many family members who have had breast cancer, so there is a certain amount of stress involved each time I go.

I'm sure what you feel is nothing (most times more than not it is nothing) but sending you so stress-free vibes just the same.

Ellen K. said...

I really hope the mammogram is all clear, Mel. If you can't consistently feel it, I think that is considered a good thing.

Here's my recent experience: In April -- this would be about 5.5 months postpartum with the twins -- D. felt what he thought was a lump in my breast. I could never really feel it -- it seemed more like a tendon or a ligament -- but I was terribly upset for a day and cried at the possibility that I had gone through infertility and would have to leave my babies. (And I did think, "Oh, shit, is this because of the IVF meds?") But the next day D. couldn't feel it, and when I saw my obgyn the next month, she said it wasn't a lump, but probably a structural change postpartum. I had to go for an ultrasound (under 35/very dense breast tissue), and it was all clear. In fact the doctor sort of looked at me like, "You're wasting my time," which brought back fond memories of my obgyn's attitude in the early stages of infertility. Basically, my breasts have shrunk since giving birth and not breastfeeding. But after talking with several friends and the doctors at the breast imaging center here, I learned that it's normal for women to feel that their breasts have changed in tone and texture after giving birth, and in fact the female breast isn't considered fully mature until after pregnancy. Hmmph. One doctor also said, "I certainly don't condone this, but a lot of women seek breast augmentation after giving birth." Hmmph again.

Io said...

I instinctively grabbed my boob when I read this and, when I realized what I was doing, became extremely grateful nobody else is in the office today to see me grabbing my tits.
I hope your mammogram is fun and exciting, but since that is unlikely, I hope it is quick, easy and comes back clean.

For vacation, I need to go visit Annacyclopedia. She lives near the town of Moose Jaw and sent me all their tourism materials. Someday I will get there and it will be awesome indeed.

Chelle said...

It is so scary when you find those little inconsistencies. I found one a few years back, called my doctor bawling and asking them to get me in that day, and went in straight away. My doctor couldn't find it either. That is when I was informed you shouldn't do the examse just before your monthly visitor, but to wait until she has left the building.

I hope all goes well with the mammo and that you're right about it being a bengign cyst. Of course you are! Its nothing.

Lori Lavender Luz said...

Wow. Your ability to not go to all the bad places with this is great. I, too, am sure your baseline will find nothing of concern.

I can't wait to read both yours and Julie's versions about the plates. I'm sure it's similar to the way YOU distracted ME with Twitter last year.

Oh, and anyone who has survived an HSG will find a mammo to be like being served an umbrella drink by a handsome cabana boy.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I had a lump biopsied when I was 24 and it ended up being just a cyst. My doctor felt it. When the ultrasound technician found it, she told me that my doctor couldn't have felt it because it was too small. (Me: then why am I here?) But it was nothing and I now have a metal marker in it (so that when it shows up on future mammograms, we know it has already been biopsied) so I am a bionic woman.

If it does turn out to be a cheerio, you'll get written up in medical journals and be famous!

Mad Hatter said...

I'm sorry to hear you found a lump, but I'm hopeful for you that it is nothing to worry about. My sister-in-law just had such scare and it was, indeed, nothing.

Thank you very much for the reminder - I find I'm so busy worrying about what my ovaries are doing, I've been completely neglecting my mammaries. ;-)

Meghan said...

Sorry you have to deal with this. It's so scary. I found a small lump when I was 28. Like Josh, DH couldn't feel it or find it but I was obsessed with it. Feeling myself up constantly. My gyno found it and then scared the crap out of me by making me a mammogram appt for 2 days later based on my family history.

When I was at the radiology center, like Ellen said, I got the feeling I was wasting their time. One of the techs told me I was too young for breast cancer (this a few months after I had been told 28 was too young for infertility) Turns out they couldn't find anything on the mammogram, even though the tech could feel it too. The dr then did an ultrasound and found what he thought to be a cyst. I had to go back in 6 mo for another ultrasound and then determined it was a cyst. It comes and goes now, usually related to my cycle. It still scares the crap out of me each time I find it, even though it's now been with me for 4 years.

Good luck with your mammogram and the wait after it. I second the recommendation to pop some advil beforehand. I think I took 3 and it was still pretty uncomfortable. For comparison, I also took 3 advil for my HSG and I'd say the mammo was worse. I don't mean to scare you, I just always like to know what I'm getting into beforehand.

Sorry this got so long, but I'm thinking of you and PROUD you haven't let your mind wander to those scary places..I'm horrible at that

areyoukiddingme said...

I hope your lump is just a lump and nothing else. Or, better yet, I hope it just goes away.

I like to rely on the fact that no one with whom I share blood has ever had any kind of cancer (except for skin, but not the deadly kind). We prefer heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes - notice a trend? We don't like to grow new stuff, we like to kill off the stuff that once worked.

I think I'd just like to go on a world tour for my what if...after the Show & Tell this week, I'd have to go to Denver to have Lavender Luz show me that horse in person. And as long as I was CO, I'd want to hang out with Nancy for a while. Then I'd like to go to California and meet Martha, because she's so sweet. Then a stop in Hawaii, and anyone could join me there. Follow that with a trip to Australia, where I would have to meet several people, especially Geohde and the Indian Takeaways, and Eden (who would hopefully be wearing some skulls!). I wouldn't mind a stop in Thailand, maybe Dubai (if life were quiet in the Middle East), and then a Grand Tour of Europe. For that part, I think I would need you to join me, as you seem to find lots of hidden gems to visit. Next I'd head over to England for a meal with the Hairy Farmer Family and hope she'd invite May and Shannon. Then I'd head to Canada to meet Kathy the Angry RN and Aurelia. Then down to the southeast to visit Antropologa in her mom's beach house. Finally, I would head over to Texas, so I could see if Jenny the Bloggess is as crazy in person as she is on her blog. Then I would have to go home and take a year off to recover!

Or maybe I should just go to Blogher - because I love my hometown and there would be plenty of people to meet!

Pie said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry you are going through this. I don't have any stories to share and comfort you, but I do the self-exam at least every few months. It is so important.

Hang in there, we'll all be waiting with you.

Jaymee said...

frightening! this seems to be the theme of my week. you are the fourth person in my life to have found a lump. glad, that your doctor is being proactive and taking you seriously. mammograms are icky, but necessary evil. you are in my thoughts.

my story: my best friends mother was diagnosed with cancer a week after my friend was born. we spent the first thirteen years of our life aware that she was not going to always be around. my friend had a bi-lateral mastectomy when she was 16, it was one of the worst days of both our lives. i could never imagine losing her and it just really hit home that this horrid disease could hit her just as it had her mother. ten years later it did, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. we are fighting the battle, an for the time being we are winning. come to find out that her mother's cancer started in her ovaries, it was just that it being in her breasts was what really bothered her. we do not see our ovaries, but the breasts are just always there.

battynurse said...

Funny to mention breasts as I have an appointment this afternoon for my baseline mammogram. I had a doc recommend it 2 years ago but since I wasn't 40 yet was worried my insurance wouldn't cover it. Plus I was caught up in the middle of the IUI, and lead up to the 1st IVF. This year doc recommended it again and I figured why not. I've never found a lump myself but my mom had found one in her 30's. It was benign and she was told to lay off the caffeine. I know over the years she would occasionally get another one. Also my mom took care of an elderly lady who had a lump in her breast and she had a mammogram and the follow up with a surgeon to remove it. Well the surgeon couldn't find it. Come to find out the mammogram had popped the fluid filled cyst. I hope yours is nothing.
Thanks for the mention with the round up Mel. And I think if I could meet up with any blogger it would be you. Not sure where but I'd love to see you again.

Sami said...

Sending up prayers for quick results and good news from the mammogram.

Jendeis said...

Waiting with you. I feel a hard lump every so often and my GYN says that it's hormonal. Cartoon in GYN's office instructs that to prepare for a mammogram you should freeze two volumes of an encyclopedia and then smash em on your breasts. The advanced method is to have your husband drive over your breasts.

Ideal bloggy vacation - I can't pick just one person, so I would take everyone to Trunk Bay on St. John. Beautiful weather, beautiful beach, and most importantly for us transparent people (aka Friends of Powder) beautiful and plentiful shade.

FET Accompli said...

Thought I just posted this, but it didn't seem to show up - apologies if this is a repeat:

I am sorry that you are dealing with this icky stress. At the same time, it sounds like things are fine, and that your doctor is just being extra careful and also perhaps trying to alleviate your concerns. A lot of doctors will just wave young people out the door, dismissing our concerns because we aren't in the typical age range (as a survivor, I've become very attuned to this issue). So good on your doctor. It does seem though that everything will be fine and this is just a precaution - in the meantime, sending you stress free vibes.

Kristin said...

My sister found a rather large lump and it turned out to be a fibrous cyst. Women in my family tend to have fibrocystic breasts.

luna said...

very scary stuff, and good for you for getting it checked so quickly. I hope it's nothing.
I wrote about a minor scare not long ago:
love the PSA!

thanks also for the shout out. honored and humbled to be included. xo.

still life angie said...

I have found so many lumps. I love that cheerio comment. Exactly how I feel. Stupid boobs. They have been nothing but trouble since I got them. They have been biopsied, mammogrammed, ultrasounded, mri-ed, and touched by may doctors, nurses, students and researchers. I was told my breasts were fibrocystic, and get lumps. Some boobs just do. Not just some boobs, I was told about 80% of women can be diagnosed as have fibrocystic breasts and get cysts normally coinciding with hormones, cycles, caffeine...But so far, no cancer. Just lots of stress from having to endure testing. Sending you many good and calming vibes. Your boobs will do great.

kate said...

I have lumpy, cyst-y boobs. I always have. But yet every time I discover a new lump, I bring it up with my doctor. The first time, I went in for a baseline mammogram, and they found nothing. Since then, my doc just refers to that mammogram and says, "Yep. That one's a cyst too. Look right here." and then points to a lump already on the x-ray-thingy.

It's a good and a bad thing- it means that the lumps I find have (so far) been just cysts, but it also means that I'm beginning to feel like one of the slow kids every time my doc sighs and tells me that the "new" lump I've found has already been noted as nothing. Which means I feel more reluctant to tell her about lumps, which inevitably may be bad if I actually did find a lump that was not already known to be a cyst.

Oh, and I have very tender boobs around the monthly cycle time, but I had no pain or discomfort whatsoever with my mammogram. I guess I hit the right time in my cycle and/or had a gentle technician. I mean, there was a little squishing, but it certainly didn't hurt.

kate said...

Oh, and shit. I meant to add that I really hope that your cheerio turns out to be a cheerio. That would be AWESOME.

IF Optimist, then... said...

I hope everything works out and this is just a stray cheerio. Thanks for the post, I have been remiss and now is an excellent time for a self-exam.

FattyPants said...

Lumps are scary shit. I'm praying its just a cyst or wayward cheerio.

Morgan Owens said...

I'm thinking about you...anything like that is scary and you can never be too careful. I'm glad you are in tune with your body, and I'm glad your doctor took you seriously and ordered you a mamo! Are you sure you didn't go just to have your boobs gropped? LOL totally kidding! Please let us know ASAP what happens, I'm sure everything will be okay so try not too worry girl!

Morgan Owens said...

Oh, and I literally laughed out loud at the cheerio comment..haha! I'm glad I found you're're a funny lady! :)

Finn's Mom said...

Melissa, you sound like you're in a good place about this, but definitely don't worry. The vast, vast majority of boobie bumps and lumps turn out to be nothing. I'm 38 but have been having mammos and u/s about every 6 months to a year for 5 years. What my friends have envied as perky boobs for years, as many of the pp have said, is actually very dense breast tissue, making it hard to scan, hard to diagnose etc. Every 6 months or so, I find some sort of new bump or lump, and it's led to more than my share of mammos and u/s, all clear.

Your boobs sound like mine. They don't change much, I don't feel much (much to DH's chagrin). Breast tissue is just weird and prone to lots of reaction to hormones or backed up mammary glands, etc.

I hope your mammo goes swimmingly, they're so much easier now with the digital machines -- faster, more detailed, etc. If you're still concerned after the mammo, you might want to ask about an u/s. A mammo isn't necessarily better than an u/s, just more global. If you really want to look at a specific area in detail, an u/s might be helpful too.

Good luck, I'll be watching for an update!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and hoping the mammogram is all clear.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Bleh... lumps are never a good way to end your day. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way... for (continued) peace and good results.

And as for where I would travel, and with who? (should that be whom?) I think I would head to any Disney park with Alana (from Alana-isms) or just go hang out on the coast with Lindsay (aka The Steadfast Warrior).

barrenisthenewblack said...

I found a lump 2 years ago. I called my gyn, and the office assistant told me to directly call the breast care center.
I became indignant. Didn't they want to check it and tell me it was nothing? Apparently, they would have referred me anyway, so going directly to the breast center (I can give you a name, if you want) is the thing to do.

I met with the doctor. He found the lump. It was low on my breast crease of my L breast, near my rib, but definitely a lump, and it was mobile. This is important because it wasn't in a position to be imaged by a mammogram, it was very hard and definitely not a cyst, and he told me that it wasn't really a good candidate for a needle biopsy. If it moved out of the way of the needle, he'd accidentally biopsy my rib. Ouch! So, the next day, I had it removed in his office with a little lidocane and 3-3 stitches (if he had just taken part of it for the biopsy it would have been the same size incision and stitches, so why not take the whole deal). I still have the scar. This is not the common way this goes. My situation was different because of the placement of the lump at my breast crease near my rib. It turned out benign.

So, as a follow up I had to get a baseline diagnostic mammogram a few months later. At that time they found two things-what turned out to be a cyst in my R breast (they sent me for a sono-who knew they didn't need you to take your pants off for EVERY type of sonogram-oops:), and I also had some calcifications on my L breast. That earned me a needle biopsy. Also benign.

I had a follow up 6 months later; it was all clear, and now I'm good until 35
I think it is important to share that I have had a breast reduction. I'm not saying that having a breast reduction will result in more problems, but my doctor told me they sometimes see this with past reductions. I can't use that as an excuse to ignore any future issues, though. He said that too.

data point-I'm 31, was 29 when I had the issues, and fibrocystic breasts are rampant in my family (plus the reduction)

barrenisthenewblack said...

ummm, I'm a bad friend. I should have started by saying that I'm really sorry that you are dealing with this right now. If there is anything I can do, I'm happy to help. Take care of yourself, and the stats are greatly on your side that it is a cyst or other benign breast thing.

ME! said...

Lumps are so scary!! I will be sending you lots of good thoughts.

I have a 31 year old friend that has had a double mastectomy from BC...AFTER she found the lump, and it was biopsied as benign...they went in two months laster to remove it b/c it was getting so big and found out it was really malignant.

I feel my boobies all the time. My Maternal Grandmother/Grand Aunt/Grand Cousin all die from BC. My Grandmother died at 40yo.

I have been on BCPs for endometriosis since 19yo so I am so scared of all the hormones. I started having breast discharge from my left breast about 4 years ago. I have been worked up 4 ways to sunday, and they figured it was from fibrocystic dz. My mammo was negative last May. I feel all sorts of bumps and lumps- it is quite confusing.

Who and where...humm....that is so hard to choose! I would love to spend time with Murgdan b/c she is so freaking funny!!! I would love to round all my bloggy friends up, pick up a few new bloggy hitch hikers and just take a road trip to whereever to road took us. :)

Leah said...

Holy shit, woman. Don't scare me like that. I'm happy that your OB/GYN isn't terribly concerned, but I will be holding my breath until you share the results of the mammogram. xo

ColourYourWorld said...

I like your attitude, stressing about it is not going to achieve anything. I wish it want something you had to be dealing with though.
All the best.

MrsSpock said...

I had a scare earlier this year. I started losing pigmentation on my ni.pple, the tissue became dense and inflamed, and there were a couple lumps. It was thrush mastitis- even though I had stopped nursing 9 months before. Nice! Of course, I had convinced myself it was inflammatory breast cancer and spent a day wondering if my son would be motherless. Not so nice!

Billy said...

I had a breast scare quiet recentally. What you said about feeling something and then not being sure and maybe it's the hormones or the timing [actually didn't know that you should check them a week after the cycle. Thanks for that unformation, and the link showing how) or maybe just my imagination.. Happy to say it ended up being nothing to worry about.

Regarding the what if: I think I wouldn't choose a certain blogger to travel with, but rather I would go traveling across the U.S.A & Canada to meet all these wonderful bloggers I know only from the online world.

sassy said...

I never check my breasts. I know. It's bad. I need to get in the habit - thank you for reminding me.

I hope your little eraser really is nothing...

VintageMommy said...

I too had a scare which turned out to be nothing - hope you have the same outcome. I'll be thinking of you . . .

Queenie. . . said...

Totally cracked me up that you were feeling yourself up while brushing your teeth. Way to multitask.

I found a lump a few years ago. I was like 33-34. My PCP felt it, too, and sent me to a breast cancer specialist. They did mammograms (I am flat chested, and it felt much like they were trying to tear the breast tissue away from my ribs), and also an u/s. The u/s didn't show anything. The mammograms were a little tough, because my breast tissue was so dense, and so close to my ribs that it was hard for them to get a good view. But, it sufficed. The specialist said that he was firmly convinced it was benign (it also changed size at different parts of my cycle, and it was sore at times--he said breast cancer typically doesn't hurt), but said that he'd biopsy it if it was keeping me up at night, because the worry wasn't worth it, and he'd rather biopsy than have me worry.

I decided not to biopsy. I keep an eye on it, but it hasn't changed at all.

Good luck, and try not to stress.

Meim said...

I'm so glad that you're not freaking out about the breast thing. I found a rather large lump when I was 23 (on the underside of my breast; although I could only feel half of it. When all was said and done, the report said it was about the size of a golf ball.) My doctor did some tests that all came back fine, but because of the size of the mass, recommended a lumpectomy just to be safe. It was outpatient, and didn't really seem to have a recovery time. Although I was told be "take it easy", I had absolutely no postoperative pain, and never even needed ibuprofen. It was a really simple thing.

Turns out I have fibrocystic breast disease (not really a disease at all) and will probably have more masses like this in the future, but it does not increase my chances of breast cancer. My doc says that some women just have
lumpy breasts... who knew? Good luck!

Anonymous said...

No boob stories for you. So sorry for the stress, and even if you're not on pins and needles, I kind of am...

Have you noticed an abundance of breast postings here lately? What with this and the this going to be the new theme? I can dig it...

I just want to have a big slumber party for my vacation...maybe like a weeklong thing in a resort somewhere. Nothing quite as productive as BlogHer (though I'd like to do that, too). I'd just like to hang out with everyone. But, especially FatChick. I think she and I could get into some serious shenanigans.

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

I don't have a breast scare story for you, but I've always been lax about self-exams because I can't ever figure out what's what -- as a young woman I tried to be dutiful and do self-exams, and went in to the NP with concerns, and was told that I just have "lumpy breasts" and it will always be hard to know. Which gives me an excuse not to check, and ultimately is not a good thing.

As for the travel question, I don't think I could tear you away from your twins at this point, so I'll go with Lavender Luz. I know that I could tear her away from her kids long enough for an adventure or two.

Best When Used By said...

Thinking of you and hoping for good news after your test. Thank you for reminding everyone of the importance of self exam.

Deathstar said...

Yep, had a mammo (which with small breasts didn't hurt as much as you hear, it was merely uncomfortable for a few seconds) and then I got a letter in the mail saying I had to come in for a follow up ultrasound. Can you say panic time? Hubby came with me, I had worried stamped all over my face. He was in denial of course, but, having friends with breast cancer made me realize that it was something that you could take lightly. Right after the ultrasound, the doctor came in and told me right away that it was nothing to be concerned about and I was crying tears of happiness. Hubby, as usual, thought I was overreacting, but I knew, I just knew enough to be grateful.

Denver Laura said...

My lump story.

I was 21. My doctor found it. I didn't. I have to admit I never did monthly exams at the time. I was 21, it was hard to tell the difference from a regular gland and a lump at the time.

I had two aunts with breast cancer. One died, the other lost both her breasts. Having "just a lump" freaked me out.

I was told, "come back after your next cycle." Sometimes hormones make it go away. It didn't.

I went in for an ultrasound. They thought with the density of my 'A cups' that it would show something better than a mammogram. It came out negative.

It ended up being nothing but a scare. I regularly check (not monthly, but more frequently than once a year).

I was also told to cut out the caffiene. Inbetween the lump and the insomnia pills, (I was drinking, oh about a pot or two of coffee a day) I had my ob/gyn AND the regular doctor tell me to cut the caffiene. Hummm... two doctors say cut it out. I went cold turkey and had some issues. I can get addicted again quite easilly so I try to limit myself to one cup a day.

I hope it's nothing but a short wait for "nothing" type of news.

Joy said...

My GYN found a lump at my well-woman exam in December '07. A week before the IUI that got me pregnant with Robbie.
I was only 30 so they sent me for an ultrasound instead of a mammogram. It showed nothing.
then I had a mammogram, too (same day.) I'm large chested, and it kinda sucked, but really, nothing compared to the many things I've endured in my quest for a baby, so it wasn't so bad.
Anyway, the mammogram showed nothing as well.
Then I got pregnant.
The doctor hoped it would go away on its own but it just never did. 4 months later, I changed OBs (for other reasons) and my new OB sent me straigh to the breast surgeon for a check.
She immediately said it needed to come out and quickly.
By then I was 16w pregnant and she wanted it out before milky things started happening.
In the end it was a lipoma- just a fatty cyst.
I opted to have it removed under local anesthesia. They wanted to do twilight since I was pregnant, but I was too paranoid for that and figured I could take it. It was fine. Hurt at one point, but I asked for more shots, got them and it was fine.
All that's left is a small vertical scar and the memory of just how fucked up my body's sense of humor is.

Miss Tori said...

I had an obvious lump on my right breast that was accompanied by a bruise that started off yellow then turned blue/black. Most bruises begin blue/black and turn yellow as it heals. This followed a diagnosis of my older sister with breast cancer so I had a mammogram and ultrasound to diagnose the problem.

It turned out to be a contusion (a knot caused by trauma to the breast) that was caused by a very physical game of spoons (you know, the card game?). I now have to have annual mammograms due to the family history of breast cancer.

However, I am a very large breasted woman (think size I) and I cannot for the life of me give myself a breast exam. There is just too much tissue there to examine. I can't hold them up properly and feel for lumps.

I hope everything turns out well for you.