It was January when I first found a lump in my breast. I didn't think much of it since I'd found 2 three years earlier that were "just cysts" and nothing to worry about. I'd used hot compresses to dissipate them then so I figured this one would go away like the others.
Only it didn't.
About this time, a dear friend had shared her own breast cancer diagnosis. It was a wake up call. I had insurance. I had no excuse not to go in, other than a busy schedule with my son's appointments and my flourishing business, so I called my doctor's office. She had a full schedule so I agreed to have another check it. I was originally scheduled to come in early March, but my whole family got sick and was down with fevers for a week. A rescheduled appointment was made for April 14th.
After a quick exam, the doctor agreed there was something there. She sent me for an ultrasound and a mammogram. At that point, I still expected it to come back "just a cyst".
Ultrasound and mammograms a week later on April 22nd. I could see then there was something on my images. A mass was confirmed but there was also a suspicious cluster of calcification resulted in a referral for biopsies.
My ultrasound led biopsy of the mass I was feeling was on April 28th was relatively uneventful with only minor pain following the procedure.
My stereotactic biopsy, on April 29th, to collect samples of the calcification was...awful. Painful during and after, but necessary. If that one had been first, I would have had a difficult time returning the next day.
Waiting for results was torturous. I thought they said 2-3 days. Turns out it was 3-5 business days.
One week after my biopsies, I got a call from the doctor's assistant. "Dr Hennan would like to go over your results." They wouldn't say more over the phone. That's never good.
We waited in the exam room. The doctor came in, apologized for chewing gum like a child (her words not mine) and then continued to smack it with her mouth open. Weird...but that's what I remember.
The calcification was nothing. The lump, cancer. Invasive carcinoma with mixed ductal and lobular features.
"I'm sorry you have to go through this S#@*..."
WHAT? Doctors don't talk like that! Yet she continued to say things like that 6 more times. So unprofessional...so strange..was this a joke? Why is she being like that? Did she really say I had cancer?! What's going on??
I'm so glad my husband, Charlie, was there with me. The rest was a blur. The doctor assured me I could call with any questions, but she didn't really have any answers then (and later wouldn't return my phone calls). I won't be back if I can help it. No amount of gum was going to clean her trash mouth and she wasn't my regular doctor anyway!