I wrote the following yesterday, but didn’t want to post it until I knew something one way or another:
“It’s probably nothing.”
I think that’s maybe one of the most fear-inducing phrases in the English language. It’s a phrase of denial, of false reassurance, with an implied “but” hidden right after the period. Sometimes the “but” is said aloud, and followed by “I’d like you to have an ultrasound to get this checked out.”
I believe he has practiced this nonchalance, because when I asked if they’d do it then or some other day, he said “another time,” and went on to tell me to check back in with him in a couple of months about the pills, and so in my head I thought well, I’ll just take care of the ultrasound-thingie in a couple of months then, and moved right back to the part where I’m naked on a table under a big picnic napkin and how this freaks me out a bit.
But then when my nurse came in with my prescription she had a referral sheet in her hand and asked me if I could make it to an 8:15 appointment on Thursday and I said “wow, that’s really soon,” and she said “It’s probably nothing but he wants to you get it checked right away” and then I actually processed that when he stopped during the exam and concentrated on one particular place and asked if it hurt when he pressed on it, he had found a lump.
Logically, I know some things. I know that no woman on either side of my family has ever had breast cancer. Ever. I know that my mother has fibroids which makes it even more likely that I will have them. I know that the majority of breast lumps are benign.
But it’s hard not to worry, especially when I locked myself into my room late last night and got in bed and felt for it, and when my fingers felt the difference, my stomach lurched. It’s hard not to worry when I’m only 24 and I shouldn’t have to worry about whether a mammogram hurts as much as everyone says until I’m at least 40. It’s hard not to worry when I send an email to my secretary and my boss telling them why I’m going to miss most of the day tomorrow and immediately I get those hushed “oh my god, I’m so sorry, you have enough to worry about as it is without this but it’s probably nothing” phone calls.
Besides, I’m a natural worrier. I’m the five-time defending champion of the Worry Your Face Off Award. So yes, I’m worried. But I’m not freaking out too much yet. I need to save up in case I have to have a Big Freak-Out on Thursday.
Oh, and obviously I’m hoping the ultrasound turns out normal, because it’s going to be weird enough having jelly smeared all over my boob. I really don’t want to have it squonched into a big machine as well. Let’s save that for when I’m 40.
So I went and had the sonogram done today (twice, actually), and my boobs are totally fine and not even all that lumpy. In fact, the technicians were kind of like “Why did they send you here, again?” but they were incredibly friendly and helpful and caring and that made me a lot less nervous. I don’t imagine they see a great deal of young women having to do this stuff.
In summary: my boobs rock. Still. They said to come back when I’m 40 and get a mammogram.
You guys, my boobs? They’re awesome. Whew.