A glass of wine and Bachelor in Paradise is my idea of a good night! I like to think all good stories start with a glass of wine, so why should my breast cancer story begin any differently.
I was laying on the couch watching my guilty pleasure TV show and drinking a glass of red wine. I placed the glass on the coffee table and in an effort to reach forward for my glass, my hand grazed my left breast and I felt a lump. As many of you are probably thinking -and so was I, my whole breast is really just a little lump…
I continued to feel and press on the lump, comparing the feeling of the right breast to the left and realizing they felt significantly different. Between sips and commercial breaks I found I was continuing to grope myself increasingly getting nervous each time... ‘There’s no way I can have breast cancer… this is totally fibrous tissue- actually my mom has that and I’m pretty much her anyway.’
Two glasses of wine and 2 hours of this amazing show, later -Rob’s home from soccer. Panting and dripping of sweat ‘I’m getting in the shower’ he says. I thought to myself, well… not until you feel my left boob. I get up off the couch and pitter patter my feet down the hallway to follow him into the bathroom. ‘I have to tell you something, I felt a lump in my breast when you were gone.’ We agreed it was nothing but to call the doctor right away tomorrow morning.
Tuesday August 16th 2016
Looking back now, I’m not sure how but, I slept perfectly fine last night! OK, OK I know how that happened –family trait (we’re good sleepers). While driving to work at my new job and feeling for the lump every so often I thought to myself ‘maybe I’m over reacting. I really don’t feel it anymore…’ But, I called the doctor anyway. They tell me they can get me in the next day (Wednesday) at 11:15 to see the first available doctor. This happened to be the Nurse Practitioner Chris (a women). I have never seen Chris for any passed appointments. But she quickly became a god sent.
Wednesday August 17th 2016
At my appointment my Nurse Practitioner Chris also felt the lump. I’m split between ‘OK good I’m not crazy and oh you do?!?!?’ She recommends an ultrasound and mammogram to make sure it’s what she thinks it is –glandular tissue, I think to myself ‘that’s what my mom has… yes, of course it’s that!’ ‘Don’t be scared,’ Chris says. ‘I’m scared,’ I say with tears in my eyes ‘how soon can I get the mammogram and ultrasound?’ Yes I think I’m the first women to say ‘how SOON can I get that mammogram…’ It would be the next morning at 8 a.m. and I’d have the results right away.
I call my sister since my nerves are increasing now…We still agree it’s going to be nothing but do NOT go to the doctor alone and call mom NOW, my sister demands! As Jen prepares to rearrange her schedule to come with me I remind her Rob is still off of work for summer break and he’s going to come!
Thursday August 18th 2016
We arrive at UIC for ultrasound and mammogram. Ultrasound –long, quite, exposed process. My mind is racing wondering if the tech KNOWS. Up next mammogram (I might just pick a double mastectomy to never have that again!!!) So yeah it sucked! Off to the waiting room I go and I’m told the doctor will come and get me to read the results. Dr. Nancy Brown walks me down the hallway back to the ultra sound room. Her first words are ‘Who are you here with? It’s bad news…’ Barely able to process her words I tell her my husbands in the lobby. ‘I’ll go get him’ she tells me. ‘He should hear this with you’.
So the bad news was…the mammogram and ultra sound revealed two lumps in my left breast, with micro calcification, two affected axillary (arm pit) lymph nodes and one lump in my right breast… I had only felt one lump in the left and all this information was very hard to process.
On the drive home Rob and I cried and comforted one another and were pretty much terrified. Our phones had been buzzing with messages from my mom and sister. ‘We have to call them’ one of us said. Rob calls Jen I call mom… ‘They think its cancer.’ (The biopsy that happened 6 days later confirmed what they suspect).
In the meantime, Jennifer left court and rushed over first, followed by mom and Kari, followed by food from our corner bar, Delux (which is closed now... more bad news)! Followed by love and support from the best husband, family and friends ANYONE is lucky enough to know.
Please join Rob and me as we continue to update this page as we kick cancers ass one step at a time!!! We welcome all of your prayers and swears! Trust me I have pray days and swear days! More to come.