Monday, March 21, 2011

Problem situation question explanation

It was Feb 3, 2006 and my first child had been born. His name was Andrew. I was determined to breast feed. My breasts were hard and lumpy they seemed to have enough milk. He wasn’t a big eater. The lumps didn’t seem concerning. I figured that was what it was suppose to be like. Either that or they had just been there my whole life and I had never noticed it. I never told anyone, but it haunted me in the back of my mind. One March 6, 2009 I had my second child Adrianna. The lump was still there. It seemed to have grown a little. I kept my eye on it. There wasn’t much change over the time that I breast fed Anna. I wasn’t really worried about it, well until I thought about it. I stopped breast feeding in November of 2010. I made doctor’s appointment to have my annual checkup and to be put back onto birth control. I kept telling myself I was going to mention it to them. Then I would convince myself that it wasn’t necessary. The first appointment had to be cancelled due to sickness. I finally got into see them the first week of December and by that time I had found another lump in the same breast. This lump felt entirely different. Now I was scared. This had become a problem. Two different lumps couldn’t have a good outcome.
This situation was beginning to terrify me. With the family history of breast cancer I was convinced of a bad outcome. My Aunt Shelia died of breast cancer in 1980. I was three years old. She was thirty three. She was the exact age that I am now and facing this situation. My Grandmother has fought breast cancer twice. The second time she ended up having a mastectomy. If I found myself in that situation I would have mine removed as well, I thought to myself. I am not ready to get sick I am too busy. I hadn’t told anyone about the lumps. Not my husband, my best friend and definitely not my mother. I am a firm believer in thinking that it is unethical to withhold medical issues from your loved ones and I kept justifying my decision with the fact that we didn’t know if there was an issue or not.
When I woke up the morning of my appointment I was scared. I didn’t want to ask about it but knew that I had to. Sometimes just not knowing can be better that finding something out. I told my husband that I was going to have my breast checked because I had found a lump. “I am sure that it is nothing” he said. Which was great, however sometimes when you have a feeling that it is something, it’s at that time that you just want a hug and “I will be thinking of you”. My appointment was at 1pm. It was an hour drive from my house. I arrived and got right in. We talked for a moment then I burst into tears. The doctor performed a breast examination and then told me that I needed to go over to the hospital to have an ultra sound done. I waited, waited, and waited for nearly an hour for them to find out if I could be seen over there that day. They could so I went directly over. My whole body was shaking. I called my mother to tell her why I was running late as she had the kids. Now she was freaking out which made it worse for me.
The ultra sound revealed a definite issue. Surgery was required as soon as possible. I was scheduled to see the surgeon who would perform a biopsy and talk to me about the operation. I couldn’t get in to see him until the beginning of December. Grated it was only a week and a half away but for someone who was convinced that they had cancer wanted answers yesterday. During those days of waiting to go see the surgeon I realized that they had only done the ultra sound on one of the lump. My anxiety level seemed to have reached it limit and I told him about it the second I entered the exam room the day of my appointment. So another ultrasound was scheduled for three days later. He scheduled surgery for December 30. So much for my new years eve plans! The second ultra sound showed only normal dense breast tissue. This was the lump that I had originally found so that was a relief. They decided against a biopsy as they were going to remove it no matter what it was.
Christmas passed and I put on a happy face for my family. It was hard but I didn’t want them to see how scared I really was. My husband stood strong on his words. He was convinced that I was going to be fine. I arrived at the hospital at 6 am. I told them when the scheduled me to make it the first one in the morning. No way was I going to wait around and think about it for a few hours. Before I knew it the surgery was over and they were wheeling me back to recovery. Now came the even harder part. I had to wait for the results. Of course being a holiday weekend it would take longer than normal. So the question remained, do I have breast cancer?
I was patient up until 8 am Monday morning. I called the doctor’s office the second they opened and I wanted answers. The nurse informed me that they would call as soon as they heard anything and that she couldn’t give me the answers if it were sitting right in front of her. The doctor was in surgery and wouldn’t be in the office until tomorrow. The phone never rang until late Tuesday afternoon and there the answer was. The doctor had called to give me the explanation, I did not have cancer. They had removed what ended up being an absest and milk duct from my breast. This can be common in woman who breast feed. I was so happy that everything was ok, and my husband made sure to tell me “I told you so”

1 comment:

  1. This fulfills the week handsomely--you really grind away at the reader's nerves, just as yours were being ground away at. The narrative and the suspense are handled in a very muscular prose--no flab, no wasted words, no distractions. Very good stuff.

    The ending, though, was a disappointment! Not the happy ending--the audience is very glad to hear that. But the way you handle it drops us off a cliff.

    Your last sentence really needs to be part of a longer paragraph--it's hard to believe that simple happiness was all you felt. Complicated happiness, yes, simple, no. And your husband! You've got to deal with him a little too because at the end your audience feels like laying a 2 x 4 against his head, but apparently you didn' maybe that needs to be touched on.

    But I'm not asking for another graf, certainly not. This is a fine piece, and I'm happy to have read it just as it is.