Sunday, February 27, 2011

The beginning....

2nd post Here is how it all began. The fall of 2008 I stood up and stretched, and just happened to run my hand over my chest. Thats when I felt it. I teeny, tiny little lump. I froze. No! It couldnt be!! So the next day, I called the dr and they said to come right on over. I had just been there for my yearly a couple weeks before. I saw the nurse practitioner, whom I always saw. She did a quick exam, reassured me that it was nothing, just a little cyst. Since I was 39 she suggested that maybe it was time to get a mammogram.  Sounded fine to me. At that time I didnt know that there are routine mammograms and there are diagnostic mammograms. I was sent for a routine mammogram. (even tho I had a lump!) At this time you couldnt see the lump, just feel it. So the tech that took the mammogram didnt know it was there. I anxiously waited for the results, and breathed a huge sigh of relief when it came in the mail!!! A perfectly normal mammogram!!! Yay!!! So, time goes on and this little lump becomes bigger. And bigger! At this point there is no pain, but its becoming very visible. This worrisome little cyst! By the time another year rolls around and its time for another yearly, I'm really wanting it checked out again. It had gotten quite large, even to the point that when I had certain shirts on it was peeking out the top of my collar!!! So I was really wanting to see what the dr had to say about getting this cyst removed. The nurse practitioner that I had seen for many years had retired the year before and I was to see a dr that I had only seen one other time. So she does my exam, and I tell her my concerns about this cyst that is just getting bigger. She feels around, and really does a pretty good job at examining it. Which later makes me realize she must not have seen many cancerous lumps. Again, she calls it a cyst, says I can have it out if I want but it will leave a dent in my breast and did I really want that? Hmmmmmm.....lets see, a dent in my breast or a huge lump sticking OUT of my breast, which do I want?!! She said she could set me up with a surgeon, but since she didnt really think it a big deal I decided to see if I could do some natural things to make the cyst go down instead of surgery. She once again wrote out a script for a ROUTINE mammogram. This was all in the fall of 2009. I wasnt in a big hurry to get the mammogram done, I was busy and since I had just had a clear one a year ago, and the fact that I was only 40, I just put it off. Starting about January of 2010, I started having pain in the area of the lump. I couldn't stretch my arm out straight away from my side either! And the lump was huge by this time. So I decide maybe I better get that mammogram. I made the appt and nervously showed up. When I opened my gown to let the tech place those cute little stickers on me, (if you havnt had a mammogram, look it up!) the tech's jaw dropped. She asked me "What are you doing here? You need to be at Memorial, thats where they do the diagnostic mammograms!" I reassured her that no, my doctor sent me here, this is nothing but fybrosystic breast disease. I could tell she was in a quandry! She finally took the x-rays, then said to me " You really need to get an ultrasound on that! I cant go behind your dr so dont tell them I said this but that lump needs checked out!" I brushed her off, once again placing all faith in my dr. I mean really, the Dr is the Dr! This girl just took the x-rays, for goodness sakes. My Dr should know if this is anything more than a cyst, for crying out loud!! So the results came back, once again all was clear!! Awesome!! Time goes on, cyst is starting to feel hot to the touch, and really painful. Then one Sat. morning I rolled over in bed and "ouch!" A horrible pain in my right side!!! I quickly rolled onto my back. "whew"! the pain went away. I gingery tried to roll to my left side again...."gasp"!!! Very painful! "What in the world did I do to my back!" I thought. As the day went on, my side was a little tender and achy. I made an appt to see my chiropracter, thinking I must have gotten something out. When I went to her, she really didnt see anything that could cause that kind of pain.  A few weeks went by and the pain came and went, but was never as bad as that first day. I once again went to the chiropractor and this time she examined my liver, gallblader area. She recommended that I go to my primary dr because there was nothing wrong with my back that would be causing this kind of pain. I was like. "Really?!! I dont even HAVE  a primary dr! I have never needed one!!" I was annoyed to have to go find a dr and make an appt. I got in to a dr right away in Petersburg. I immediately liked this Dr. She was great! Very professional and nice. She checked me out, and noticed my liver was a little distended, and that she wanted me to have an ultrasound just to see if anything was going on there. So, by this time I thought maybe I should have her look at this cyst just to see if she thinks it should come out. Once again, when I opened my shirt, the poor dr just about had a stroke right there! I could see that she was trying not to look and act too shocked! She told me she was going to send me for an ultrasound of it!!! Now after 1 1/2 years of having this cyst, Im FINALLY getting a dr to send me for an ultrasound. I hadnt even known to ask for one or I would have that very first visit. This was all on a friday. The breast ultrasound was set up for the following Tues and the liver ultrasound for Wed. I give that Dr so much credit for being on the ball! Unfortunately about a month after I started treatment, we got a letter stating she was leaving that practice and going into E.R. care!!! BUMMER!!!!!  So, thats how it came to be that I was already stage 4 when diagnosed. Why didn't I do more? Why did I just take the first two health care professionals word for it? Why didn't I know about ultrasounds? Why, Why, Why!!!! But really, I did everything right, had mammograms and kept having it checked out!!! THe tumor was so high up on my chest that it didnt show up on the mammograms. So I don't beat myself up over it. I cant hang on to those negative thoughts, because it certainly doesn't change the outcome of anything. I dont hold any grudges against the nurse practitioner and the Dr for misdiagnosing me. What good would it do? To be nursing bitterness and hard feelings would only bring me down. I refused to let that happen. I forgive them both, because I know in my heart they didnt mean to. They were careless, yes, but it was not an intentional thing that they did. They are only human. The Dr is aware of all this so Im just hoping that she learned from this and in the furture will treat ANY little lump with a little more concern!
 There is such freedom in forgiveness. To hang on to bitterness, to want to retaliate only brings hardness of heart, and that only brings a heart that cannot be dealt with by God. I am so fortunate that I made it through treatments and didn't even have to have any surgeries or radiation. I have a little scar tissue where the tumor was, and now have a scar where my port was. But a couple physical scars is a small thing, compared to the emotional scarring of a hard heart. I honestly don't think I would have healed so well, if I had clung to bitterness, regrets and grudges. Letting it all go brought peace, and peace brought contentment and joy.