Last week, while in the shower, I found a lump in my right reconstructed breast. The side that previously had the cancer. I tried telling myself that it is just scar tissue. I know that my body produces excessive amounts of scar tissue. However, feeling this lump, that to me, feels absolutely huge, made me instantly sick to my stomach. I hurried up with my shower and found Nick and had him feel it. He also said that it was probably scar tissue, but urged me to call my oncologist.
I called the oncologist’s office first thing Monday morning and was told later that day that he wanted me to have a biopsy of the lump. He also told me that it may turn out to be benign (non cancerous) but that he doesn’t want to take the chance. I am scheduled for a biopsy on Wednesday, May 13th at 12:30. I am trying to stay positive, but it is hard. This is more scary than the first time because I now know how hard the treatments are. I guess I know so much now that the very thought of going through it again is terrifying. I am learning that after the diagnosis of cancer, routine blood tests, scans, and possibly additional biopsies become a new part of your life.
To add to the biopsy, I also have 3 appointments for the month of May to go in for another series of intrercostal nerve injections for the nerve damage/pain from the mastectomy. The first series last summer helped me tremendously. After the surgery in December to remove all of the scar tissue, the pain started to return. I have appointments for the injections on May 12th, 19th, and 26th. May looks to be a busy month!
It is hard to not get discouraged by all of this. Like I said in my last blog, Cancer is the gift that just keeps giving.
On a positive note, the new cancer survivors support group at the local cancer care center is taking off well. I don’t remember if I mentioned this in my blog before, but I have been selected to be a patient representative for the cancer care center. There are two of us, myself and another gentleman who had gastric cancer. The two of us leading the support group which is for survivors of all types of cancers. We are also including the family/caregivers of the cancer survivor with the hopes of eventually having a group for the children and one for the spouses or other adult family members. There are already such groups in the bigger cities, but driving to Louisville is difficult for most people in our area. For this reason, we feel it is important to get this new group going so the local cancer care center can reach those in the rural areas.
My goal for the month of May is to not allow fear to rule my life. I have to remind myself daily that my courage is stronger than my fear.