In the beginning it was fall 2015. One of my favourite times of year with cozy clothes, changing leaves and Halloween. At some point during the fun fall thing there was also a lump.
I WebMD’d the hell out of that lump. To the point where WebMD told me that I probably had MS, Lupus and dysentary but since I wasn’t on Oregon Trail I knew it couldn’t be true. I headed to the doctor after procrastinating for a while hoping it would go away on its own. Because I had no family history of breast cancer he told me to keep an eye on it and see if it changed in the next month or so.
Then sometime around Christmas the lump had grown and I reluctantly went back to the doctor. He was surprised that it was the size it was and sent me for some tests.
(Insert a bit of annoying back and forths with the GP and the breast health clinic before appointments were able to be made)
On March 10, 2016 I visited Jim Pattison Outpatient Clinic and had an ultrasound, mammogram and biopsy all in one day. I left feeling pretty well, felt like whatever was going on was manageable and was confident that it would be chalked up to a cyst or benign lump that would have to be dealt with at some point, but nothing crazy.
The following Friday, March 18th, the earth shifted under me. The results were not what I expected and I had to make tough decisions (4-6cm lump in left breast, cancer, possible lymphnodes issues). I’ve wondered from time to time (usually while watching Grey’s Anatomy) how a non-TV doctor tells a patient that they have cancer and, well, they just do. They just say it. I don’t know how else you would say it but it feels so unceremonious to just say – “the lump is the bad kind, it’s cancer, we have to get it out and it you have to decide before you leave here today how you want to go about it”. I am so grateful to amazing friends and family members and my incredible fiancé for helping me come to a place where I was comfortable saying that I was choosing to remove both of my breasts.
The beginning has been a whirlwind of firsts: first mammogram, first ultra sound, first biopsy, first CT scan, first time not lying about my weight when asked (let’s get that anesthesia right eh?), first surgery And I know I have a whole bunch more firsts coming.
The next chapter of this crazy undetermined journey starts next Friday, April 1 (fingers crossed that this is all just a very elaborate April fools joke!).