what everyone wants to know….
April 29, 2016 some gals and I went out (and saw Black Violin–who were amazing btw, do NOT miss them if you have the chance!) I skipped my nightly nursing of Hollis that night as G was on kid duty, and thought nothing of it. The next morning I woke up with a clogged milk duct, a small mass I could feel. I had 100’s of these along my 21 months of nursing Hollis. I spent the next few weeks trying to get it to move through/go away. All my old regular tricks that I had used for years weren’t entirely working, but still……I thought nothing of it. I was only down to nursing twice a day at that point, so I just thought I wasn’t producing enough milk to push the clog through. I spoke with midwives, doulas, lactation consultants, lymph drainage specialist, my chiropractor, educated people at People’s Pharmacy and The Herb Bar and the consensus was….hmm, that’s strange but certainly no need to worry.
I saw my Midwife for my annual well women’s exam in June and we talked about the clog extensively. We both agreed it was nursing related and we would check back in, in 6 months. She urged me to let her know if anything ever changed. Many people have asked if I felt relieved by this information. My answer: I don’t quite know. I wasn’t worried, so there wasn’t anything necessarily to be “relieved” by. I put it out of my mind and forgot about it.
Fast forward 5 months. Having been much more worried about what was going into my kids lunch boxes than what was going on inside my boob, time marched on. I began to notice (because I’m a belly sleeper) that it was not comfortable to lay on that side anymore. Also, I noticed the lump was considerably larger, harder and lumpier. I called my OBGYN office and they called me in a referral to go get an ultrasound.
The morning of the ultrasound was just a normal day. I dropped all my kiddos off at school and went to the imaging center alone. Garrett was out of town, we never thought it was serious or something he should be here for. My Mom even suggested coming up to go with me, and I was all why? no, it’s cool.
When I got checked in back to the ultrasound room I spoke with the tech about the story of the lump and my nursing history. She began her exam. Those of you that have had babies know what happens when something goes wrong on an ultrasound…..they don’t say anything, silence. All you hear is clicking and button pressing, which you know is them stopping to take pictures. She took tons of pictures all around my breast. Tons. I noticed she spent a lot of time up in my arm pit, taking lots of pictures then went over to my neck/clavicle area. More pictures. More silence. My brain was spinning and this is about the time my body went numb. She finished her exam and told me she was going to chat with the doctor and she would be back.
When we were initially chatting during intake she told me that when she left to chat with the doctor it would be very brief and quick. She was gone what seemed like an hour, but I believe was closer to 15-20 minutes. Certainly what I would not call brief or quick. The doctor came back in with her, which is never a good sign. The moment he opened the door, I knew. The look on his face said it all. He could barely even look at me. And here I was, his worst nightmare…..a 34 year old, young, healthy, mother of three small babies. He proceeded to give me another long, SILENT ultrasound. When he finally started talking this is when I officially left my body. All I remember is words like mastectomy, not a candidate for lumpectomy, already spread to numerous lymph nodes, surgeon, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Then, any questions?
Ummmm, ya. Yes, I have questions. Only problem is I wasn’t there anymore and all my mind could do was spin.
They sent me one room over to have a mammogram of both my breasts. I have to say, I was extremely underwhelmed by the mammogram. Everyone complains they squish and squash and are extremely painful…..that was not my experience at all. I mean, I wouldn’t sign up for one of these daily but complaining over needing one of these once a year, come on ladies!
They informed me my other breast was clear but we needed to biopsy the tumors in my breast and lymph nodes. Sure, bring it on. My dear friend Taylor had made it up to be with me by that point and she was right by my side, holding my hand, trying to keep a straight face when the doctor was shoving 14 inch long needles and other tools in my body. I have to say, didn’t really feel a thing though.
They told me it would be about 5 days before we got the results back and that was that.
You know the rest of the story……
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