Why Are My Breasts Trying to Kill Me?

I beat breast cancer once three years ago. The tumor was found in my left breast and it was pretty small, at the time. The surgeon couldn’t even feel it. But it was found during my yearly mammogram. The diagnosis was made one week before my marriage to my second husband. The man of my dreams. I was not even really thinking about cancer during the needle biopsy and it didn’t really ever hit me that I had breast cancer.

But every year now during my diagnostic mammograms, I know my blood pressure is elevated and there is a slight anxiety until the radiologist comes into the room and says everything is clear. Until Friday. I had a breast reduction done on my right breast. After the radiation on my left breast, it had shrunk in size quite a bit. There was an obvious difference in the two breasts. The surgeon who did the reduction did a beautiful job. The technician commented that the reduction had been done perfectly and she was impressed. She took her pictures, left the room to talk to the radiologist and came back to apologize. The radiologist could see the scarring in the right breast but she wanted additional pictures. My poor breast was squeezed even further and this time it hurt.

She left the room and came back and said the radiologist wanted to do an ultrasound. She just wasn’t happy with how it was looking. Walked into the room and lay down. I tried to keep my mind blank. The radiologist came in and explained that she could see the scarring tissue but there was additional tissue beside the scarring and separate from it that she was concerned about. She started her exam. And when she pressed on my right breast, it was painful. How many of you have heard a technician or doctor go, um, well or uh-oh and know that isn’t a good sign. The radiologist said she wanted to schedule me for a needle biopsy so they could determine what the tissue was. The technician came in to describe the procedure to me and the radiologist said I was, unfortunately, a veteran of the procedure. I said I remembered the procedure and that it hadn’t been painful or difficult.

I made my appointment and managed to leave the building without bursting into tears. I managed to get into my truck and took some deep breaths. I wanted to call someone but I thought, no, I would just break down and I wanted to get home to do that. So I went grocery shopping to try and keep my mind off of the possibilities.

However, this time around, it is definitely scary. It is definitely something I really have to keep my mind off the possibilities. All I could think was I had been so careful this past year with COVID. My husband had caught it. Three of my sisters-in-law had caught it. Good friends of mine had caught it. I managed to be COVID free. So instead, this happens? You don’t know what it is like in the waiting, not knowing. My mind can really do horrible things to me.

Well, at least if it is what it is, I know the caretakers. I know all the doctors and nurses. They are excellent at Levine and I know I will be in not only good, but great and caring hands. So there is that. Until the needle biopsy and the diagnosis, I will try to keep myself busy and keep doing all the things I have been doing. I have a wonderful support system. I just need to stay focused.

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