Blog #2: How my "Practically Perfect" life was changed forever!

This is Easter week!   I have so much to be thankful for!   Yes the past year and a half was challenging but Easter always gives a hope for life and happiness.   In my mind Easter is one of the purest holidays.   It is a chance for renewal and hope.   This week will also mark my 9 month appointment, since chemo, with my oncologist as well as my 6 week appointment, since my last reconstruction surgery,  with my plastic surgeon.   I thought I would post about how I discovered my cancer and the beginning of my journey.

Let me start this by saying that I hardly ever go to the doctor.  I keep up with my yearly mammograms, gynecologist and eye appointments but beyond that I was never really sick.   In October of 2021 I was having some breast pain.   I work at a school that certifies CNAs and pharmacy techs.   Most of the staff is comprised of nurses.   I described my pain and everyone agreed it was hormones.   I was 53 and in really good shape. I also had a sometime period.  I was still on birth control pills because we really didn't think I had completely gone through menopause.  In November the pain only got worse.   I went to my gynecologist.   He said, "you had a clear mammogram in April so that can't be it", "I don't feel anything" and "cancer doesn't hurt".   He told me to take Advil/Aleve.   He also stated that I probably pulled a muscle or strained something from working out.   Trusting him I followed his instructions.   Sleeping became difficult, I was becoming more and more tired and the pain did not go away.

 Christmas was coming so I pushed everything to the back of my mind.   I remember the pain was starting to come in shooting waves.   I would just take a minute and breathe and eventually it would go away.   In the back of my mind I kept thinking that no one talked about hormones being this painful.   Fast forward to Christmas Day, my absolute favorite, holiday.   I had all of my family, my husband's family, and my middle son's girlfriend and her parents at my house to spend the day and celebrate.   I wanted everything to be perfect and it was.   I do remember ironing my shirt and getting a shooting pain in my right breast.   I felt and definitely thought I felt something.   It was not round, as I has been told, it was oblong and weirdly shaped.   I had my husband feel it and he said maybe I feel something but it is not round.   I also noticed dimpling in my right breast.  This had not been there before.   Again, I put this in the back of my mind.   

The following week I called my gynecologist again and set up an appointment for January 3, 2022.   I really felt something was off but I would not let my mind go there.   That morning was the first day teachers reported back, because I work at a teaching facility with nurses I let them feel what I felt.  They all said they felt something but couldn't tell what it was.   I left work, went to the appointment, only to have the doctor say, " You again?", "You never come in between appointments".  I again described the pain I was feeling.   The words that came next, I will never forget, "Will it appease you if I order an ultrasound?".   This was my doctor of 15 years.   He knew I was not a complainer.   I was shook and upset that he was dismissing my pain.  I told him "YES!  order the ultrasound ".  I was also informed because it was not an emergency it may take awhile to get in.   

I am a "get it done, now" very "impatient" person.   The next morning I received a call that said there was an opening on January 28th for an ultrasound.   I agreed and hung up.  I immediately called back and asked if they could put me on a cancellation list to get in sooner.   I was now taking 12 or more Aleve pills a day or some extra strength ibuprofen to get through the pain.   

The next day I woke up and went to soon as I arrived the ultrasound place called and said they had a cancellation, but I would have to be there in 15 minutes!!  My boss said GO!   I went and that appointment changed my "Practically Perfect" life forever.