It all started exactly a year ago, December 19, 2008. I went to my doctor for my bi-annual breast check. We were laughing and chatting. Then she felt the lump.
I didn't believe it at first. It just felt, well, lumpy, and not unlike other things I'd felt before. I even went back to have her check a few days later. No, it was really there. She wanted me to have it checked out.
I tried very hard not to be concerned about it for several weeks, until my imaging appointment. Then on January 2, I had a mammogram and an ultrasound at the BIDMC downtown. They were definitely concerned. Funny, the doctor wouldn't say it, but the ultrasound tech did: it looked like cancer. But they wouldn't say for sure until the biopsy. That was the day I really knew.
That was a Friday, and I had the biopsy on the following Tuesday. The results weren't ready until noon the following Friday. Friday January 9, 2009.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
And the rest, as they say, is history. I had 2 surgeries in February to completely remove the lump; I spent part of March dealing with an abscess (unrelated to the cancer) and with oncology decisions; I had radiation treatment in May and June; I started hormonal treatment and a research study after that; I have monthly shots as part of the study, and I've been dealing with side effects of medications ever since. I feel like I've aged 10 years. I'm in menopause. I don't have my stamina back yet. I'm very emotional. My family feels the stress, too.
It hasn't been a great year.
I'm really hoping that 2010 is better.