A little over a month ago, Shawn found a lump in my boob. That's right, Shawn found it. Even though I do a self exam every month (or roughly every month). The crazy thing was that said lump (ah...Lumpy) was about the size of a dime and felt very much like that gel stuff that they put in wrist supports for computer geeks. So in other words, it had probably been there for a while and I kept missing it. Some of the reason why I kept missing it was because it easily moved about (within a certain distance--it's not like I could push it from one side of my boob to the other...though that would be kinda cool). In any case, Shawn started freaking out since his mom had breast cancer about 10 years ago whereas I felt it and said, "eh, I don't think it's cancerous. My parents' vet at one point said that cancer doesn't move easily and this moves easily." Shawn said, "I think there's a big difference between you and an old dog."
(chances* of me having cancer, 50/50)
We came back home (oh yes, we were at a friend's wedding when this was all going down), I didn't immediately make a doctor's appointment since I had to go to the doctor anyway in a week and a half.
I went to the doctor. She said "I think it's an adenoma. But just to be sure I want you to go have an ultrasound."
(chances of cancer, 25%)
I set up an appointment for the ultrasound and then spent about 4 hours trying to figure out what I should tell my boss since I'm sure he doesn't want to know I'm going to go be felt up by a stick (the ultrasound wand), but at the same time I can't just say "My doctor says I need to have an ultrasound, so Imma do that on my lunch break" because then the rumors would fly fast and furious that I was pregnant (NOTE: I AM NOT PREGNANT). I finally opted for "my doctor felt something she didn't like, now I have to go see a specialist", and went on my lunch break the following work day.
The ultrasound doctor said "I agree with your doctor, I think it's an adenoma, but we recommend having a biopsy done just to be sure. And we can't do the biopsy today - you'll need to talk to your doctor and she'll refer you to a surgeon who will do it; but she may send you back here to have it done. One just never knows."
(chances of cancer, 12%. Level of annoyance at not being able to have a biopsy done right away, 50%)
Two days later my doctor called (thank god I didn't have to go into her office), and said that I should go see a surgeon and have a biopsy. She gave me a number.
I called and set up an appointment for that for the following Monday. Based on how horrible the DJ on the radio made it sound, I made Shawn take the afternoon off so he could drive me hither and yon in case I was in too much pain.
The surgeon said "I think it's an adenoma. Your choices are to either come back in 6 months and have us look at it again; or you can have the biopsy done now, though we'd still want to see you again in 6 months to see if anything has changed." I opted for the biopsy. 20 minutes later I was on my way home.
(chances of cancer, 5%)
Contrary to the radio DJ, I didn't have to ice my boob, nor did I even take any pain killers. In fact the only thing that seemed to hurt the incision was driving, and even then, it was only if I was turning the wheel while shifting, so as long as I didn't drive like a maniac, everything was good.
3 days later the doctor called and said everything looked fine, no cancer for me.
(chances of cancer, 0)
Oddly, I didn't get a bruise until the day the doctor called with the biopsy results. And even though my incision has healed and you can't even tell I had one (unless you know where to look), my boob is still all black and blue and tinged yellow (so we're going on what, 2 weeks now of it being bruised, sigh...at least I wouldn't make a good abused child - I bruise too easily).
Of course when something like this happens, you start thinking back to see if there was anything that could have tipped you off. And I remembered about 9 months ago, a spot on my boob just started itching, and itching and itching, but it wasn't a surface itch, it felt like it was under my skin. About 3 months after that I thought I had felt something (and it would have been in the right spot), but since we had just gone to the Boston Museum of Science which had a breast cancer section where you could feel what cancer felt like and what cancer didn't feel like, Shawn even said he thought it didn't feel like cancer, but I should keep track of it. After that, I obviously didn't find that same spot again, and so I didn't think anything of it. But now... Ah hindsight: always 20/20.
Also: Feel your boobies.
* = These are not real chances, these are just an indication of how my level of confidence increased as time went on.