Happy Thursday. We made it guys. Friday and the weekend are upon us.
I just took a hot shower, poured myself a glass of wine, lit some candles and turned on some chill/relaxing music (this Spotify station if you’re needing inspiration). It’s my nightly unwind and relax routine. It was needed after today, for sure.
In the seven years that I have been blogging, I’ve waffled back and forth between being open, sharing select details about my personal life and even to the extreme of “I only blog about workouts and food.” I quite like where I’ve ultimately ended up…in a space that feels a lot more open, relaxed and true.
So when I said that I hated to vague blog last week about some health stuff, I meant it. I did go back and forth about whether to share this but I always ask myself, “Will what I’m putting out there potentially help someone else in a similar situation?” and if the answer is yes, I’m much more inclined to go for it. And it’s been on my heart all day today to share it with you so here goes some vulnerability.
(Let me just say that everything turned out okay before I start the story.)
Before we moved into our new house (so this was back in March), I noticed a tender spot on the side of my left breast, half way between my nipple and armpit around the tail of my breast. I thought nothing of it, I just figured I’d pulled a muscle or something. Fast forward to our trip to Europe in June and I started to worry that the spot still hadn’t subsided and seemed to be getting worse. On the flight home I thought to myself that if it was a pulled or strained muscle, it should have reduced in intensity given that I hadn’t lifted in over seven days. Instead, I found myself constantly aware of it during the trip.
The best way I can describe the sensation is tender and bruised. It feels like a ridge and not a lump. There is no sharp or throbbing pain but I can feel something there all the time. I find myself touching it constantly to see if it’s changed in shape or size. (I try to keep that to private moments!)
I finally made an appointment with my OBGYN. I honestly felt al little silly going in there and even apologized to the nurse and said, “it’s probably no big deal” but she was so reassuring. She said very directly, “We take anything breast-related very seriously. You did the right thing.”
I switched OBGYNs last year but I love my new doctor. He’s a straight shooter but very thorough and attentive. I honestly 100% expected him to tell me it was nothing, go home and I’ll see you next year so I was shocked when he told me after the exam that he was sending me for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound.
I left the office and called my mom before I even made it to the car. I was so upset and freaked out. I had to wait 48 hours for the referral to go through and then when the scheduler called me, the first available appointment was two weeks away. She was so kind to tell me to call every day to check on cancellations. I was lucky to end up getting in a week before my originally scheduled appointment thanks to that advice.
This morning I went for the diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. It was my first experience having a mammogram or with anything breast related. The radiologist came in to do the ultrasound and told me that my mammogram looked okay but that my breast tissue is dense, which is to be expected for my age and build but makes it hard to read.
And with the ultrasound, he said the best he can tell it seems to be a small cyst or extra breast tissue that might be inflamed. He advised me to continue to self-check and let them know if anything changes.
Of course I am completely relieved to hear no mention of breast cancer but I also wish I had a better answer because it’s truly the weirdest pain and sensation and it’s been with me for 5+ months now. I wish I could say that I’m at peace but I’m still so perplexed by it. (For the record, it doesn’t hurt when I workout so that makes me wonder on a torn/strained muscle or tendon.)
I might sound dramatic to some of you and completely rational to others but this whole experience has been so emotional for me. I thrive on putting things into words but I can’t even put this into words. I think I felt drawn to write about it because it feels so much like the type of thing we go through as women and never talk about because, “we’ve got this.” I can honestly say that talking to my close friends and family about it and having them listen to and validate my fears and concerns is part of what kept me sane through this.
All of my prayers to all of you who have been touched by breast issues or breast cancer. And also a reminder to take your breast health seriously and don’t ever feel guilty about getting something checked out. You deserve it for your peace of mind and your overall health and well-being.
Gosh, I was going to blog about a few other random things but after going down the path of boobs, I don’t think we can turn back now.