Sunday, February 24, 2013

About the lump.

So I haven't blogged regularly in a while and I know some people might find this blog and not have any idea what is going on. But I also know that most of you find my blog from my links on Facebook, and that means you're a friend, or at least a friendly acquaintance.

It is probably taboo to point this out, but guys, I know how many people view my posts. And I'm a little disturbed by the number of people who viewed my last post, in which I revealed I need to be tested for breast cancer, without commenting. I received no comments here, no comments on the Facebook post where I linked the blog post, and no private messages.

I know I posted a donation link. I don't care about that. I don't care if you can't donate. But like, talk to me. I'm going through some scary shit right now, and I need to know who is going to be there for me and who isn't. I realize talking to people about their breasts, especially talking to trans people about their breasts, is uncomfortable, but please say something to me. If I hear only silence, it feels pretty lonely.

With that out of the way, let me give you more info on what is going on.

I found this lump about three weeks ago, and was hoping I could wait until my MassHealth got straightened out before I saw anyone about it. 80% of lumps are benign, and lumps often come and go throughout the hormone cycle, so I figured it was something I could wait out. But after a few weeks, it hadn't changed. I could feel changes in the texture of the breast tissue around it - my breasts are lumpier now than they were a few weeks ago - but the lump itself persisted. I was finally pushed to go to the doctor when I had some unrelated but extremely uncomfortable medication side effects. At first they weren't going to let me see the doctor without paying $170 up front, which I didn't have. I started crying in the middle of the waiting room and said "I really need to see a doctor." The receptionist made some calls to the financial department, and they finally let me in. I am unclear on whether I will eventually receive a bill for the $170.

The doctor performed a breast exam and noted that my breasts are lumpy overall, but that this lump definitely felt different. She recommended I schedule an ultrasound right away - which I haven't done yet, because I'm still trying to figure out how to handle that financially. I plan to call MassHealth and tell them I need to be screened for cancer and see if that might speed the approval process or at least get me some temporary assistance. I also plan to contact the Women's Health Network and see if I can be evaluated for free.

The lump is hard, smooth, and oblong. It's a couple centimeters wide, and doesn't move. Based on the way it feels, I think it is either a benign fibroadenoma, which are common in my age group, or cancer. Obviously I'm hoping for the fibroadenoma. I don't have any other outward signs of cancer such as bleeding or skin changes.

What the ultrasound will determine is whether the lump is solid or fluid-filled. To me, it feels solid, which means there's a good chance I will need a biopsy to determine if it is cancer.

I was pretty calm about all this at first, but as time goes on and it doesn't go away or get any smaller, I'm getting pretty scared. I could use lots of emotional support right now.

I'll post updates here when I know more.


Anonymous said...

I really really hope you are ok. You are so tough and brave even if it doesn't feel that way. I don't know you very well but I know you are a really great person and will kick the butt of whatever terrible stuff life throws at you.

Anonymous said...

Seriously very important that you get this investigated.

There is very much the possibility that it is benign. There is also the serious possibility that there is malignancy.

You're doing all the right things: being proactive about being treated, seeking conventional medical routes of diagnosis and treatment (patients who use CAM either as the mainstay or even complement to traditional oncology have poorer outcomes than patients who don't), and acknowledging your fear.

It is scary and it is unfortunate that so much of the breast cancer discourse is marked by the obnoxious pink ribbon platitudinous crap. You are perfectly entitled to be anxious, angry, tired, reserved and frustrated.

bec hewitt

Anonymous said...

oh hearts! hugs and rants. may you be held gently by the way and the docs and the all of it.