Thank God, it's a benign cyst.
I went to the radiology appointment this morning to take a closer look at the "spots" in the right breast and the "mass" in the left breast that showed up on my mammogram a few weeks ago. I have been very nervous about this, because it is not just calcifications like the last 'bad' mammogram I had a few years back.
I went into the changing room and put on that flimsy half-gown that opens in the front. The lady who took me back was *very* nice. She was *so* kind and compassionate and comforting. First, she said, they wanted to do some additional mammogram views. So she took about five films (with the breast-squishing machine, ouch) and then took me back to wait.
I waited, looked at a magazine, thought to myself, "it's nothing, the radiologist will come in like he did the last time this happened and tell me I am free to go." But instead, the nice lady came back. She said the radiologist was unsure about what he was seeing and needed *more* views. She took me to another room and did four more images that she called "rolled" compressions. It's just what it sounds like; they roll your breast, twisting it around so that the tissue is more spread out before compressing. This hurt enough that I actually winced and muttered, but it was done rather quickly and then back I went again to wait.
Next, the ultrasound tech came to get me. She was nice enough, but a lot more detached and less interactive than the first lady. She did tell me that the right breast 'spots' were no longer concerning to the radiologist upon seeing the new views, but he did want to look some more at that mass in the left breast. The tech brought me to another room and had me lie down on a table. She got out her wand and ultrasound gel and got to work getting images and taking measurements of the round blotch on the screen. I'd watched her type "breast mass" in the information field. I laid there while she checked and measured, thinking about what a breast mass could mean. She she was done, she popped up, wiped me off, and said "I think the radiologist will want to talk to you. He will probably want to do some scans." And she left.
Scans? What? To me, it sounded ominous. It did not sound like she thought it was nothing of concern. Lying there on my back on the table with the flimsy gown on, I started to wonder... to think. A lot can go through your head when you're waiting in a dim, quiet room alone for 15 minutes. A lot of scary thoughts.
Finally the radiologist burst in with a smile, shook my hand as I lay on the table, and started chatting. He said a lot of stuff but what stood out like a neon sign was
That's what he said. "Nothing to worry about. It's just fluid, these things happen, it's benign. We'll see you back in a year." And then he was gone, I was getting dressed and feeling lightheaded and wondering if I might pass out right there on the floor with one arm through my bra strap.
I got out to the car and the relief washed over me and the stress all came out and I just sat there and cried. And I prayed in thankfulness, and promised myself to take better care of my health.
When I opened the glove box looking for a Kleenex to wipe my tears, guess what I saw? A half-eaten bag of Ruffles potato chips from my relapse of May 4. I immediately took that bag in my fist and crushed the life out of any remaining chips... crushed them to dust like the poison that they are to me. And then I came home and ate some fresh blueberries.
I am not perfect, you know that. I screw up sometimes. I have intentions that I don't always follow through on. But I am taking every strong moment I have to make myself stronger. I am taking any and every motivation... be it fear, gratitude, a sense of empowerment or relief that I may have dodged a bullet... to make myself a healthier, happier, more stable person.
Thank you for your good thoughts and prayers.
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