It has been a year since I first discovered a lump in my breast. I had one of those “oh must be getting ready to start” thoughts. Within the first few days, I didn’t worry. But when I didn’t start I grew a little more concerned and checked my tracker (I’m in a weird phase where sometimes it is correct… sometimes it is early… but often times it is very late). It said that I was still a week away. It was still a very solid lump and painful so I decided to ask someone at work to see if they thought it was an infection or a cyst.
I suppose this is where I tell you that typically I would go to my primary but because I got screwed out of my insurance starting September, I was unable to do so. I continued to be without insurance until December. That’s a story for another day.
The provider I saw put me on a round of antibiotics just in case. They couldn’t do anything else (which I already knew). I tried to ignore it until I was able to actually go to my doctor.
I eventually got word that I would “officially” be full-time in November. Which meant we would be going on insurance in December. I was able to make my dental appointment prior to being able to get into my primary. Mostly because the dental insurance didn’t have an “insurance card”. My medical benefits needed to be checked with my primary doctor and I hadn’t received my card yet. But the dentist put me on a really strong antibiotic. I was still holding out hope that this would just be some infection in a lymph node… maybe it was draining from my lower gum infection. Even that didn’t help and so then I was off to my primary (as soon as I could).
When I got to the primary, he was very quick to get an order for an ultrasound. He said he was about 95% sure I would end up at a surgeons. He couldn’t tell me much without imaging. But given my try with antibiotics, it probably wasn’t any kind of infection. I would have to wait for the hospital to schedule my ultrasound though. At this point, I thought I had felt it growing but then I thought maybe it was in my head. It hadn’t been imaged yet to know exactly how big is was.
The hospital called quickly and they were able to get my ultrasound scheduled for the same week. Of course, it wasn’t as simple as just getting an ultrasound. That’s because there was a palpable lump, so the ultrasound is actually a second step. They needed to speak with the radiologist and get an order for a mammogram first. It didn’t take very long and everything back on track. I got my first mammogram and then my breast biopsy. The radiologist then came in to tell me about what they saw. He was the first to introduce me to the term “fibroadenoma”. He explained that is what it looked like but there would need to be further testing done.
That same day I was connected with a nurse who helps with certain aspects of care. In my case, she facilitated my referral with the surgical group. She assisted with my appointment. Later I found out that she also helps with biopsy. When I left, I had all the contacts I needed. (My primary called me shortly after to ensure that everything was good.)
I went to meet with my surgeon in December. It all happened so fast. She wanted to do a core needle biopsy. She said the imaging looked like a fibroadenoma. It also moved like one. It also the location that is probably causing the pain I was in. The only way to be sure it was what they though it was, was to complete that biopsy. So, we got that scheduled for January.
January came and I went into the ultrasound guided biopsy. I had searched the internet to know what to expect. However, it didn’t really help much. So I was really happy when the same ultrasound lady was going to be doing the biopsy with me. When they were doing the initial measurements again prior to anyone else coming in she let me know that it had grown in that two weeks. Then in walked the specials nurse (it was a surprise to me… I didn’t know she was going to be there). She was nice enough to explain each step before we got started. Shortly after, the surgeon came in and we got down to it. She explained each step as well throughout what she was doing. I knew when to feel pain and I knew when there was going to be clicks and snaps. It was not comfortable until the numbing shots started working though. The whole thing probably took 15-20 minutes plus another mammogram to check on the marker they put in. I was able to go home shortly after the procedure. I just had to wait for the results.
The recovery wasn’t to bad. Nothing ibuprofen couldn’t handle. I was back at work the next day but I did have a lot of swelling. I kept putting ice on it through the day. Within a few days, I was back to normal.
My results were back shortly after. My surgeon called to let me know it did come back as a fibroadenoma. So a benign tumor. So it’s a benign tumor. She did decide to wait on the removal. She wanted to observe it’s growth. I’m really not sure about why because it had already grown. But we made arrangements. I was to return in about 6 months for more imaging.
We are going to fast forward to September when I was able to get back into the imaging. This time I knew what to expect. They also had the order put in correctly. So I was taken to mammogram right away. Then ultrasound. Then the radiologist showed up. He asked me what the plan was with the doctor. Which I had to be honest and say that I really didn’t know. He more or less wanted me to be sure I knew it needed to come out. It had really grown and by standard it was grounds for getting it removed.
More of less, I already knew it was growing. I could feel it by touch. I could feel it by pain. But I could really notice it in my bra sizes. But only one cup! I just wasn’t sure how much was “normal” growth . At least within an abnormal finding.
The good news, I already had my appointment scheduled with my surgeon. I should find out more soon about what the next step will be. I’ll share that when I know.
Stay tuned for more details!
Thanks for watching,