A few years ago, when I was in the middle of college, I found a lump in my left breast. Being a 20-year-old who had so many dreams/goals ahead of her, I was extremely freaked at the thought of potentially having breast cancer. So, after finding the lumped, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment, once I was actually in the office getting examined, I was surprisingly calm. I knew that no matter the results, I had an amazing doctor that would do everything she could for me.
A lot of people often are scared of hospitals and doctor’s offices in general, but the reality is that they are all there in support of you and to help you. Being a young woman, I knew that statistically the odds were in my favor. But still going through this process, always raises the question to if you are the one that the statistics are against.
So, on I went from the doctor’s office to receive an ultrasound. I made sure to have my mom with me to ease my nerves and keep me distracted from the clock ticking as I waited for the ultrasound technician to come and get me. This is where my nerves started to rise. Being led into a dark room, with a ton of different looking machines all around you really starts bringing out all of the negative thoughts in your head, and one thing that doesn’t help either is that the technicians are like statues when it comes to their facial expressions. I was constantly waiting for her eyes to get big or to look at me with sorrow in her eyes, but that never came. Since it is not the technicians job to give you the results they have to make sure not to give anything away.
All I remember when viewing the monitor is seeing a large black hole on the screen, obviously I knew that couldn’t be good. So, after even more waiting, in came the radiologist to tell me the results. She confirmed, it was definitely a tumor, but was unsure of whether it was cancerous or not. So, next comes the biopsy.
Now I was really starting to get into my own head, I was unprepared for that answer as many of my friends had told me it was probably a cyst because they had one just like it. So many feelings went through my head the next day as I was back at the breast center for my biopsy, positive, negative, and uncertainty all at once. Back into the dark room I went with the same ultrasound technician. This time she had what seemed like a large ear-piercing gun, they quickly numbed my breast and launched the needle into my tissue. Luckily, it was pretty painless, just uncomfortable. After going through the whole process, the results came back as benign (non-cancerous). When I got those words, I was relieved and carefree again, but it woke me up inside. It woke me up to be more pro-active with my health and knowing that not everyone walks away feeling that really struck me to my core.
I’m so lucky to work in a place that encourages and empowers men and women that go through this and have different outcomes than I did. My goal is to encourage and inspire these women to be pro-active with their health, and to inspire them when they are having those negative feelings. Being educated does really save lives, and can even prepare you for what is to come while going through the process. We are with all of you and support all of you, whether it’s in the doctor’s office, hospital bed, or at-home recovering.