Michelle Hanners | CaringBridge

Michelle Hanners

First post: Jun 16, 2018 Latest post: Sep 6, 2018
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On May 27, we found a painful lump in my left breast. Since it was Memorial Day weekend, I had to wait until Tuesday to call the doctor.  It was also the week of post planning, so I forgot to call Tuesday.  I called on Wednesday, and they were able to get me in on Thursday.  I explained that I knew it had not been a year from my last visit, so I was not sure how that would work with insurance and all, but that I thought the lump trumped the year wait.  Indeed it did!  Three ultrasounds and a mammogram later, Dr. Pettiford said, "I really think we need to look closer at that.  I want to call it a complex cyst.  We need to aspirate it and possibly biopsy it".  Her schedule was full for that day, but we returned Friday morning at 8 for what ended up being a straight biopsy - there was no aspirating anything!  So, our week of waiting and researching began.  What is a complex cyst.?  I was planning for it to be just that - it goes away with aspiration I could no longer feel the lump; that must be what it was!  Out of sight; out of mind.  Fast forward 7 days.  I was at a meeting for school; Bo had worked.  We met up at the doctor's office at 345 for the biopsy results.  I had a dog to pick up at the vet in Griffin; we are just here for a quick reading and then I will follow up in 6 months for an ultrasound to be sure there are no changes - I have been doing this routine for several years now for the other fibrous cysts we've been watching.  Dr. Pettiford came into the room and said, "We got the results back and it is cancer".  The world stopped for a brief instant, and life changed as I know it.  I guess the shock on both of our faces concerned her because then she said, "let's go down to my office and talk about it".  It probably did not help that Jimbo was in uniform; I guess that could be intimidating!  She pulled out the biopsy report and read it with me, and I completely understood everything she said.  Bo was sitting slightly behind me, and he was having a small meltdown.  Dr. Pettiford kept asking if everything was alright and if we understood each thing she was saying.  Absolutely clear.  I turned around and saw tears streaming down Bo's face, and I am not sure what happened in my mind, but I had to have a tearful moment then as well.  I guess that is what doc was waiting on because then she got up and pulled a book she "wanted me to have" - understanding Breast Cancer - and when I saw those words there in pink and white, I had a big moment.  Then I dried it up and finished our conversation.  I texted my principal and several of my coworkers that knew I had the results coming to let them know that it was indeed cancer.  Dr. Pettiford gave me the next steps - a visit to the medical oncologist, a breast MRI, and then back to see her in a week.  What a busy week and summer I was beginning to have!
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