So, I have two questions that everyone is asking me. 1. How did you find it and 2. Does chemo hurt the baby? I plan on tackling #2 in another post… Today, you get the juicy details of how my hubby ( va va voom) found the lump in my breast… Hot and steamy! Lol, I wish it was, but it was not like that. Actually, to be 100% honest with you, I always had Nate do my breast checks for lumps over the years. I figured he was the expert on them and how they feel so he would notice a difference before anyone else would and he did! Fact is most husbands/boyfriends are the ones who discover lumps. So, if there are any men reading this, here is a great excuse to go and check your ladies breast for lumps and do it monthly. You can thank me later.
I would guess last summer is when the lump was discovered. It wasn’t a distinct lump but more of an area that the tissue was way more dense than the rest of the surrounding tissue. I really thought nothing of it. Unfortunately, we had experienced 4 miscarriages over a short period of time, I chalked the lump up to breast changes from being pregnant and not being pregnant so many times so close together. Pregnancy does a number on the ta ta’s. Nate kind of kept on my case about the lump and I finally made an appointment in December for an ultrasound and mammogram. But life got in the way, it was the Christmas season, we went out of town for a wedding AND… I found out I was pregnant again! Cancer was the farthest thing in my mind. So I figure I would deal with this “density issue” later. I had to focus on my baby and making through the first trimester. And we did! In fact, Nate and I were really getting excited that this baby was thriving! We were about 15 weeks along, the longest I had ever made it. The both of us were allowing ourselves to get excited about the baby and relax a little bit about not miscarrying again.
So this brings us up to about 7 weeks ago. One morning, I was putting on my deodorant. I noticed when I raised my right arm my breast was dimpling in right above where the density/lump was. I immediately knew that this was not a good thing. I had that uneasy feeling. So I scheduled an ultrasound for the next week, I had a biopsy taken the next day after the ultrasound and found out two days later the cells were malignant. No one can prepare you for those three words ” You have cancer”. I can remember the phone conversation so clearly. The rush of thoughts and emotions: am I going to die, can I keep my baby, how can I be pregnant and have cancer, is this really happening to me right now?!! I could go on and on about the thoughts that rushed my head. And then I had to tell everyone. No one except Nate knew I was going for the test since again, I NEVER thought it would be cancer, I never mentioned it to anyone. It was actually quite comical, in a way, telling people. When we sat people down they thought that I was going to tell them that I was miscarrying again or that there was something wrong with the baby, whenever I said I have breast cancer and have to have surgery, nobody believed me. I got a few “is this a joke?” responses or “are you really serious?”. I don’t think I even believed it at times. And what an awkward thing to have to tell people. It was a strange conversation to have with friends… “Hey, how are you?” Me, ” I’m ok, I’m having a baby and oh, by the way I have cancer too”. It was mind bending during this time. Going through it and looking back I am beginning to see the serendipity of the situation although it still seems surreal. It was hard to be labeled as being so sick yet, I was feeling good. It was difficult not knowing what kind of outcome I was going to have. A friend told me the beginning is the worst part. I still have a long road ahead of me but if the beginning and getting the diagnosis is the worst part, I am glad its behind me.