At an annual check-up in May 2007, my OBGYN found a lump in my right breast. “That’s a cyst,” he said very seriously, and handed me a referral to have a mammogram and ultrasound done. That afternoon, while shopping with a friend for an upcoming beach trip, I couldn’t bear to try anything on. I didn’t want to take off my shirt. I didn’t want to think about it at all.
A week later, I had an ultrasound done, and the technician determined that it was a false alarm. There was nothing there. Relieved, I moved on and forgot about it…
…After the mammogram, I was sent back to the waiting room. My ultrasound was up next. When my name was called, I stood up, crossed my fingers behind my back, and walked into the exam room.
“There is something there but I can’t say anything for sure,” the technician said. She left the room with my results, and came back what seemed like a half hour later. In reality, it was only 10 minutes. But 10 minutes is a long time to wait when you’re expecting the worst. She came back and told me there was an abnormality in my breast, and that nine times out of 10, it’s benign (non-cancerous) tumor.
With that news, an appointment with a breast surgeon, and no appetite whatsoever, I left the hospital with Jeff and went to a cafe for brunch. The week between that appointment and my appointment with the breast surgeon dragged. Scared beyond belief, I walked into that appointment fully expecting the worst. “I have breast cancer,” I thought, even though the ultra-sound technician told me it probably wasn’t the case.
The breast surgeon walked in with a nurse and they both stood over me examining my breast. It took him ten minutes before he admitted that he couldn’t find the lump. “We’re pretty sure its a fibroadenoma,” he said. “It has all the characteristics of one.”
A fibroadenoma is a benign, noncancerous tumor, that is firm, movable, rubbery, and painless, he explained. I left the doctor that day relieved, but not without doubt. Although fibroadenomas are noncancerous, having one slightly increases the risk that I may develop breast cancer.
I’ve only told a handful of people my story and only briefly referenced it on my blog. I never wanted people to feel bad for me or think I was not a healthy person. I am the last person any of my friends or family would have expected this to happen to. But, then I realized that something like this could happen to anyone, and there’s no reason to feel ashamed.
What Operation Beautiful and the Blogging Community has taught me more than anything else is that I can be comfortable in my own skin.
- All that matters is how YOU feel about YOU.
- No matter how many times people compliment you, if you don’t believe that you’re amazing on the inside, you’re not going to feel it on the outside.
- People that are full of insults and negative comments probably have their own insecurities and need Operation Beautiful notes, too.
- If you truly believe in yourself, that attitude will shine through every aspect of your life.
I am strong. I am beautiful. Things will be OK. I know it. I never used to be able to post pics of myself. I think that one is the most honest to date. No posing for the camera, no angling the camera so I look better. Just me.