When I wrote about my surgery, I thought that would be the end of my TMI posts for a while.
I was mistaken.
Things were going well health wise and in terms of “women’s issues,” I was doing well. It was like night and day once my body adjusted to the IUD. My debilitating periods were gone - not alleviated like my doctor and I had hoped but completely gone. Right around Thanksgiving, I started to notice that I wasn’t feeling as well as I had been. In fact, I was feeling cramping and bloating when I was working out that was the same as what I experienced after the IUD placement. What I thought was a freak thing started happening daily. I thought that maybe it was the mid-cycle cramping that I’d gotten prior to the IUD placement. Then it started happening when I wasn’t even working out. The cramping would come out of nowhere and grab me. Then one day it started and didn’t stop. The pain was impervious to heating pads, Aleve, and chocolate.
That was when I made an appointment with my doctor for immediately after finals. I figured it was better to be cautious. I’d rather pay a $30 copay and hear that everything was fine than be in a situation in a few months that could have been prevented if I’d gotten seen sooner (see: perforated uterus).
Right around the time that I scheduled my appointment, the mystery hives I tweeted about appeared. I chalked it up to the stress of the end of the semester since breaking out in hives due to nerves/stress is normal for me. What I didn’t divulge was that they were across my chest. They weren’t itchy and they weren’t anywhere else. I thought, at most, they were sports bra burn. But they stayed. Some days they looked darker than others, but they were clearly there. In fact, they still are.
Soon after the hives appeared, during my self-exam, I felt a lump on my left breast. At first, I thought it was just poor timing on my part since it’s hard to do the exam in relation to your cycle when you don’t really have one. It was small and I wasn’t too concerned. Like the hives, it didn’t go away and I made a note to have my doctor check it when I saw her.
I saw her on Monday morning. I had managed to not get too nervous about all of this beforehand but when I saw her face when she saw the hives and when she felt the lump I got sick to my stomach. She said she’d like me to go for an ultrasound to check on it ASAP. At this point, the cramping became secondary although she ordered an ultrasound to check on that, too.
I had my ultrasounds this morning. The ultrasound of the lump confirmed that there is most definitely something there. It’s as big as it feels (just about a centimeter) and there wasn't anything else underneath it so that's good news. I also feel pretty good otherwise which is also good news. But we still don’t know what it is. The radiologist’s report will determine if I need more invasive scanning and if a biopsy needs to be done. With the holidays coming up, I won’t know anything until the end of next week at the earliest.
All I can do is wait. I know of all the things it *could* be. I’ve heard this story many times and it’s gone evenly in both directions - nothing serious, or something extremely serious. Every so often, the fear of what could be happening sneaks up and grabs me and I feel panicked. When I was finishing finals I didn’t have time to even consider the possibilities. Now that the semester’s over it seems like all I can do is think about it and drive myself batshit. It sounds so extreme to say when nothing is certain, but sitting here with potential issues with everything that physiologically makes me a woman just makes me feel defective in a way that I’ve never experienced before.
So here’s where the good vibes portion comes in. Whatever you believe in - prayers, good vibes, happy thoughts, etc - I could sure use it now.