Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bumps in the night

Last night as TGF and I were arranging ourselves in bed, she smooshed against my breast and I gasped in discomfort. Out of surprise as well as a surprising level pain I felt my breast and felt what I thought was a lump. I moved my arm and felt again on the tender spot, yes pretty sure that is a distinct lump. In a rather uncharacteristic move I actually told TGF why I was probably had a startled expression on my face and was contorting my body as I felt myself up. Her eyes got rather big as she reached under my shirt and I had her replace my finger with hers. There was a very long two- second silence.

Quickly I pointed out that in all likelihood I was premenstrual, hence just one of those things. It is true that I have never had a hard lump though I have very occasionally had breast tenderness before "that time of the month". (Apologies to Rashenbo for the subject matter, though I not marking the arrival of said event, though I cannot make promises that that won't happen on this blog for the first time, due to the subject of this post.) Despite my attempts for forestall the impending sense of worry, she looked at me very seriously and said "You have one week to get this checked out. There are free mammograms." I replied that I really didn't want to get my breast squashed.

In truth this probably wouldn't cause great concern, though the pain is pretty severe when touched, when I bend over without a bra, and I swear I can see the lump in the mirror, if it were not just over a year since my mother's mastectomy. As the month of October has just passed I have received reminders from a myriad of sources about breast cancer and how that now my mother had had breast cancer my risk has increased 2-3 times than it was 13 months ago. Just like that my reality shifted forever. I wrote a fair amount in the early months of this blog about how my thoughts had shifted about my mother and our relationship. But I may have glossed over in this blog and in my head about the shifts internally in how I view my body and it's potential for failure, illness, maiming that will keep my alive. Exhausted, it was after 1 a.m. when this occurred I fell asleep alternatively telling myself how when the hormones shifted my breast would be comfortable, no hard spots would be marring the soft surface, the squishy malleability of my breast as I knew it; the other thoughts were scattered around hopes that it would only be lumpectomy because OMG how would I deal with losing a breast? I am not sure how I slept so soundly except I was so tired.

In the morning the tenderness and the lump were still there. If only I had been really tracking my cycle but of course I haven't been, because now I have absolutely how many days I have of this nonsense and according to TGF the clock is ticking. Even if this does disappear and all returns to it's normal state of wonder bread like pliability, I know the loving request of TGF to get my tatas plated and x-rayed will not easily disappear. Rather it's amazing she hasn't forced this issue sooner. I guess there is a level of denial that I have to face but I really don't want to do that any more than I wanted to look at what it would mean to lose my mother. There are realities, or more like potential futures that we don't want to look at but yet often we are compelled. Look at my before bed wanderings to bald headness, breastlessness, versus totally fine in a week or less when I get to laugh at myself for my ramblings. But what will be left is the reality that one day, just maybe it will be something real if not me than someone I love, again. I just hope I can handle it with grace.


Anonymous said...

here's hoping it's just a cranky collection of water - that used to happen to my mom all the time- that'll resolve shortly! meantime, good luck scheduling your mammogram (nudge nudge)!

wen said...

if you don't want to get squashed, ask for an ultrasound. they smear your breast with some kind of jelly (mmm! jelly!) and pass a wand thingee over it. you can see your breast-innards on a screen. nice. it's painless and only takes a minute or two.

i have had breast lumps (cysts, and they sound a lot like what you describe--hard, painful to touch, sometimes large) so i've had to deal with the exam...i even had a mammogram (and yes it was uncomfortable). i really dislike doctors and am crappy about follow up, but i am glad i made it in to check things out. i know you will be, too. :)

big hugs!! it's scary, but you've gotta go.

Rabbitch said...

Go, sweetie. I shall keep my fingers crossed that you just have a little tiny hamster (and not a great big badger like some drama queens I know).

Breena Ronan said...

It sounds like a cyst, related to PMS because its large and suddenly painful. But if it gets you alerted and results in more consistent doctors visits then that's good. Just talk to the doctor, you don't want to have extra mammograms if you don't need them.

Supee said...

Oh honey. :( How scary. Please go. Please? (I'll call and find out where if you'd like.)

Anonymous said...

When it's something so important, all rules are OFF... I definitely think you should get it checked. If you are close to the big P you may have some inflammation due to hormone shift... but you don't want to ignore anything that could be serious.

Let us know how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

I concur with everyone else about the mammogram. I just got mine done a month or so ago. I know it's not our favorite thing to do or the most pleasant, but it's so important.

I'm thinking good thoughts for you.