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Monday, May 31, 2010

3/12/10 - The Postpartum Chronicles: Week 7.6 - The Cancer Scare

So at 7.1 weeks postpartum, I did my checkup. I think everything was fine. Thinking back on it, he said my uterus was the right size and my urethra was fine (i complained of pressure there - like it was bruised or something). We talked about birth control and I still hadn't decided on that so he gave me some pamphlets. I was pro-depo going in, but he said that sometimes it can take as long as 18 months to get pregnant after just having one shot. That concerned me. Because we need to have another baby. Anywho, I remember that part pretty well because it was right before the breast exam.

At first, he had me lift up the "shawl." It's this thing that gave me to cover the top, but it's fabric, unlike the paper blanket you get for the bottom. Anywho, he said he needed to see them both at the same time and i lifted the shaw and he said "that's enough" really fast which made me a little uncomfortable. I know what i'm in there for, it's not like it will seem suspicious if he's looking at my boobs. But anywho, then he did the exam. Right first, fine. Then left for longer, then back to right and back to left. He said not to worry, but asked the nurse to refer me for a mammogram. Don't worry? psh.

So i don't really remember the rest of the appointment. I had the front desk lady call and schedule me for a mammogram. All i remember is that he said it needed to be as soon as possible. "Tuesday the 12th okay?" Yep.

I totally held it together until I got on 64. I called babe 3x. I cried. I texted him while driving and told him they found a lump (which the nurse said was a "questionable cyst"). I freaked out. I got home and didn't even talk before i started crying terrible and steve had to hug me. Mom came in the room too and i told them and they assured me everything was fine. Of course, if someone else was told they had a lump, i'd tell them that i was sure it was nothing too. What else do you say? Yeah, you probably have cancer?

Mom asked me about the rest of the appointment and at that point she decided that i cant go to appointments by myself anymore. I don't ask questions. I don't remember things. Of course, this time I was totally thrown off by the lump thing.

During the course of a weekend, i thought out my plan. Worst case scenario, I have a biopsy and it's cancer and i have to get them removed and have chemo. Babe said if we had to get them taken out, I could get new ones the same day. :) I decided that when they schedule me for chemo, I'll go get my head shaved. I'm going to be bald on my own terms.

Everybody's going to die. Honestly, we're all lucky we've made it to this point. Mom suggested that I not blog it straight away because who really wants advice at that moment? Not me. Plus, there's no reason for everyone to feel sorry for me. Of course, not working came in to my head - total plus. Plus, I've always wanted to shave my head and now no one can make fun of me without feeling like a total ass after I tell them about the cancer. I pretty much went from depression to acceptance in about 4 hours. :)

So on Tuesday, I got all pinked out. Everything i wore had pink in it except for my jeans so i wiped some pink lipstick under the hem. I wore a pink sweater and headband too, for good measure. I filled out the paperwork they'd given me and read "No lotions, deodorants, etc" and had to take my top off and wash my boobs and armpits in the sink. Classy. Why didn't I read that sooner? lol

We (mom and mo and I) got to the appointment early and checked in. This is it. "Loren?" I get up and she says, "This says the 12th. Today's Tuesday the 11th?" Didn't catch that when I wrote it did you? Me either. The appointment lady said "Tuesday the 12th" and actually Wednesday is the 12th. She said they were backed up and it would be better if i just came at my scheduled time. Rats. Wasted all that pink.

So I took the baby to work and had lunch with babe, came home and didn't nap. I may or may not have figured out all the things I'd say to everyone when they tell me I've got cancer. I sleep like crap. There's a lot of thinking when you think you're dying from an actual cause.

Skip to today: WEDNESDAY the 12th. I wear a pink shirt and my pink converse. No makeup this time. No lotion or deodorant. They check me in. The lady comes out and says they're gonna do a diagnostic ultrasound instead of a mammogram because of my age (breast tissue is more dense in younger women - which is why they moved the mammogram recommendation age up). There's a line though and it'll be about 30 minutes longer, she says.

30 minutes later:

"Mrs. Cole?" I stood up and went back there. She showed me my "shawl" and said she'd be back in a minute. The ultrasound is exactly like you'd think it'd be but instead of on your belly, it's your boob. She took some pictures and asked me if i could feel what the doctor felt. I said no. It's true. I looked for it. I made babe look for it. We couldn't find the lump. I knew that meant cancer. She said to stay where i was and that she was gonna go talk to the radiologist and then he might want to have a look too. I waited. I tried to take a mini nap because morrison hated me last night, but it didn't work. Too nervous.

She came back in and said, we think that since you're postpartum that your breasts are just working their way back to being dry. We don't see anything concerning. Once a month, she says, feel it and see if it gets smaller. She showed me what the doctor had originally felt. (If you make a peace sign with your fingers and then spread them apart further, that's how BIG the lump was that he felt. But they think it's nothing.

Phew! Cancer free since '83!

1 comment:

  1. dude I never read this one! I love "I may or may not have" figured out all the things you would say if you had cancer. haha but I'm glad you are cancer free since 83 :)