Apparently, I’m doomed to live in interesting times.
First, I’m fine. No Evidence of Disease.
Second, until 12:30 today, that was looking doubtful. I had discovered a mass in my left breast, above and to the left of the site of the original tumor. The risk of recurrence is highest during the first two years following diagnosis. Recurrence within the first two years also has a pretty poor overall prognosis. My breast hurt, a feeling of aching heaviness, along with occasional sharper pains – pretty much identical to the feeling I had with the original tumor. Much as I tried to convince myself that this was likely to be a cyst, or perhaps part and parcel of the lymphedema, or maybe a strange reaction to the course of progesterone (I’m still feeling the effects from that, though thankfully they have lessened) – well, I wasn’t really convinced. Even with an 80% survival rate, someone’s got to be part of the other 20% and I know it could be me.
I found the mass Saturday, when it reached a point where it was clearly palpable – and I kept checking it. It kept being there. To say I was Not Best Pleased is putting it mildly. I really really don’t want my life to be about breast cancer, and I wanted to go to Armenia, and, goddammit, I had already gone through everything and I’d be damned if I was going to do it again, and I’d be damned if I was going to stop estrogen and return to the sniveling wretch sitting on the floor weeping. So, ok, surgery, but no chemo, no radiation, and I continue my estrogen replacement until the bitter end, and how am I going to tell everyone? And the house appraisal Wednesday morning, and the trip to Armenia, and all and all….
I kept busy all weekend, trying not to think, waiting for Monday when I could call. Reset the brick border in the back garden; rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned every rug in my house, moving all the furniture; straightened the box room; cleaned the downstairs mudroom (with the help of Debbie, who has returned from the hinterlands – hooray for Debbie!); moved another 80 pounds of sand; working not thinking – and broke down in tears now and again.
Monday morning, called the hospital first thing, got an appointment for 12:30 Tuesday. Stayed busy as much as possible, not thinking. Everybody dies; at least I don’t have children.
Can I just say that I love Dr. Harlow? Apparently the mass is an area of fat necrosis from radiation – yah, it sounds horrible, but it also sounds a hell of a lot better than ‘recurrence’ or ‘suspicious mass’. The ultrasound showed no areas of concern, no recurrence.
I left with a clean bill of health.
And there was much rejoicing.
And I’m still going to Armenia, so there!