It stops you in your tracks. a moment you never expected, a weight that was suddenly put on your shoulders and forced to the forefront of your mind. It paralyzes you and a pit forms in your stomach.
Its literally the size of a grain of rice. it FEELS like a grain of rice. Its just kind of floating there. hard and tiny, am I just delusional about it...let me check again. its there...but it is tiny. It is probably nothing...let me google it. *pause* You know that by googling, you will scare the hell out of yourself and you will discover that you have all of 76.2 more mins to live before aliens come and abduct you. (Yes all health related google searches have that dramatic of results.) So, clearly, you google it.
"I found a grain of rice in my right breast"
Yes, that is what I typed so innocently into the search bar...where is the 'I'm feeling lucky' button? The results pop up, immediately triggering breast cancer forums everywhere. I Probably should have said boob instead of breast. Of course the first link to pop up, a woman discovered a grain of rice in her boob too, and yep she has cancer and is fighting the hard battle. I only read that one result before closing the window. One of twelve I have open at any given time. I call my OB, and schedule an appointment for my over due two years visit. I somehow manage to exclude the fact that i discovered anything out of the conversation. 2 weeks to wait. My Docs are pretty popular apparently.
I sat and typed out an email to my husband, it was more like 2 sentences, and then deleted it, it's not something you say over the computer. I thought it would send him into panic mode and make him worry, he didn't need this stress. The day goes on, and I distract myself with the usual laundry and screaming kids and play time and tiredness of it all. Oh great, chick-fil-a-night at my son's school, which they can't let you forget because they kindly place stickers on your child. So, dinner where I hate to go and pretty much refuse to eat at, it is. The children play and Hubs goes over and gets us dinner across the way (I don't recommend iHop steak for dinner for the record.) I sit alone for a few uninterrupted minutes and the thoughts come. I fight them away-can i be anymore dramatic?! ugh. Upset at myself for once again being ridiculous, I focus on my daughter trying to take her socks off in the nasty play area. ew. Scrambling i get over there tell her no and she runs to play. By the time i sat down and looked again she had removed them anyway and was in the tube system. Some battles just aren't worth the fight. This was one of them. Hubs is back with dinner for us, and while we eat our cow in the no cow zone, I find myself amused by the guilt of bringing the outside food in. Such rebels we are.
Our regular night goes on and the kids go to bed. Hubs to his office to play his world of warcraft and me to mine to....oh wait, i have that thing to tell him. I take a breath and walk over. I tell him its important and i just need a few minutes. He takes off his headset (yes I married a gamer nerd-I too used to be,) and he looks at me. Full attention. yikes.
Babe, I found something in my right breast. Tears welling up in my eyes-because well, I am dramatic and worried, and I have only spoken to 2 friends about it at this point. He hugs me and tells me everything is going to be fine of course. Your typical response-how is one supposed to respond to that right? I can tell he isn't sure what to think. We chat for a few mins, and he looks me dead in the eyes and says, you are fine. I respond with I know and proceed to my office. I google some stats and although the fact is, I am 30. The rice is in a part of the boob that isn't commonly effected by cancer to begin with, and I am simply a low risk potential. Mentally, I know the likeliness of all this is slim thank goodness, but the weight of it isn't. The overwhelming feeling that came with finding something-the not having family near to gather courage from came crashing down and for a short while I felt alone. by the time Friday came, i called my doctor office up again and moved my appt to Monday. I was also sick by this point, full blown non flu 'flu'. I tested negative for the flu, but since my symptoms were so similar the regular doc said we'll call it the flu anyway. (I won't even get started on that diagnosis, skip over the awfulness of the illness and proceed to monday for you.)
Monday. Hubs worked from home and came with me to the ob. I held my breath as I undressed and put on the always comfortable piece of paper they call coverage. Very helpful indeed as my ass hangs out as people enter the room. The joys of being a woman. The doctor makes some small talk of course, I tell him how I feel like death and haven't eaten in 5 days etc and he immediately suggest anti nausea meds-yes it took my OB's brain to think of that, and not my regular doctor (long drawn out sigh goes here,) then we get to my breasts. I lay back and he walks his fingers around them, discovering nothing of "fun" in the left side, and proceeds on over to the right, paying special attention to my grain of rice. He covers me back up and tells me that it isn't anything to worry about and he's not even going to send me for a sonogram. Just check on it once a month and that everything else is fine as well. He leaves and i get dressed and hug my husband. I knew in my heart in my head that it wasn't likely to be anything, but once that thought is there, its not something that you just push aside and play off as nothing. Not when women you know, friends have fought that fight, women whose stories are yet to be told are fighting and just discovering that their own grain of rice or their pea sized bump is actually something. That grain of rice was nothing for me in the short term nothing to take my eye off yet, but nothing to even raise the bar to further measurements, but it put things into perspective so fast it made my head spin and scared the shit out of me.
Boobs are lumpy things to begin with, especially after having children and breastfeeding, don't go stressing out right away, when you find something, it is completely different than you'd expect, and you'll just know you have to get it checked out. The big advice my doctor gave me-check only once a month-and if you do find something, do not continuously poke and prod it, don't check every day because you will irritate it and make it into something more than it may be. Instead, if you do indeed find something, go to your doctor, take a support figure with you, and try not to freak out right away. *harder done than said I know* If you find something, i hope and wish for you, that it is nothing, that your scary moment in time is as short lived as mine. If you are just starting a battle, in the middle or ending one, please keep your head as high as you can, keep on fighting because I know you can win, and while we all have moments of weakness, You are a strong woman, and you are better than some stupid grain or rice, or lump or whatever you call your monster. <3 Much love to you all, and many thanks for listening to my tiny grain of rice story.