November 6, 2016 was the most remarkable day in my life. It brought about two things in me. A great runner and a scaredy cat girl who have nonchalantly felt a bump on her left breast.
My morning went by having the greatest run of my life, I got to run 25km, my longest run by far. This was supposed to be one of those training days for my upcoming marathon for TBR (The Bull Runner) 2017. I was elated by the thought that I was able to finish strong with about 4:12hrs time. It was pretty slow compared to all the "mamaw" runners out there but hey I am super proud of myself nonetheless.
|PAU, ME, AND JOEBETH|
That night, after having dinner, I played with my baby boy on our bed with my husband and my husband's cousin in the room. While doing so, I just happen to touch my left armpit because there were some hair growth and breast ofcourse is near it, so I also checked myself for some bumps-- to my horror, I was able to feel a movable marble-sized bump. It scared the hell out of me. Btw, in previous self-examination I felt nothing... except for one instance that I remember 2 months prior this, where I felt a peppercorn-sized bump, but I was hesitant and didn't think too much about it due to my menstrual cycle and feels like its just a normal cyst.
I asked my husband's cousin, Khay, who is a nurse to check it too for confirmation and she immediately advised me to see a doctor. I was then crying... My husband told me to have a sick leave the next day and see a breast specialist.
I ended the night praying that hopefully it's just a cyst... or a benign tumor... anything as long as it's not life-threatening.
November 7, 2016 I've decided to go to TMC (The Medical City) due to its proximity and commuting convenience from our place. I went straight to my insurance provider and I explained about my bump so the agent asked me to see their in-house GP doctor first. This initial doctor examined my breast and he also felt it and told me that it is about 2cm in size and was I sure that I just felt it last night because its very palpable already. But yeah, I haven't felt it before to be really honest. Firstly, I asked if he thinks its nothing serious... He replied, it's movable and doesn't look like it's attached on the muscles so he thinks its not serious... But he just let me get some breast ultrasound to check and be sure. So, I got scheduled for one... I have to wait for about 2hours for my turn. At that point, I wasn't really keen on the waiting caveat in hospitals... I realized that even in great hospitals, you should really be patient about appointments.
|BREAST CENTER OF MEDICAL CITY|
|ME, WAITING FOR MY TURN TO HAVE THE BREAST ULTRASOUND|
While inside the examination room, the sonographer technician wasn't talking too much, and in fact I can feel her tension... There were also a lot of typing about sizes and f*ck I thought I was only dealing with one bump!??!? My heart was racing... I didn't know what it is then but am sure it's not nice. The technician called the doctor to check all her findings, and to my dismay the doctor told me that you should remove this at once.
The report that I got have ratings in BIRADS. You could google about it to get more info. All i'm telling is, it is a rating of 1 to 6, ofcourse the higher number you get the more that your condition is alarming. I got BIRADS 4!!! This was my first to have this kind of test and boy have I passed the mark to be worried sick!!! :( It wasn't the best news at all... Since I didn't know any breast surgeon in the hospital, I just checked in the reception and checking by their schedule, I think I couldn't make it to have another doctor's appointment. My energy was drained from all this news, so I just didn't bother already. Ofcourse, Google was all I have to access what the hell is that rating telling me... and the articles just got me more worried. I just wanted to go home and cry...
November 8, 2016 I got to my insurance again at TMC and was able to get a schedule with Dr. Maria Kaiserin Lipana at 2pm... I was already there at 11am! And when I got to the clinic to have me listed, I was already #7 on the list... I have to be patient all over again. By this time, I was eating all the salads, knowing instinctively that diet has something to do about this lump. When my time has come to see my doctor. She checked all the images of the ultrasound. She explained to me that a nice looking bump is oval in shape and have defined lines. Mine have an irregular shape. See, cancer cells have claws or hugs onto other cells. She then told me that with my rating, I should get a core needle biopsy to tell us what is the characteristic of that lump. She told me not to worry yet, as it is not all final... So, I asked to be scheduled the next day.
By this time, I felt like being zombie and too wired on my inner emotions. It was too strong that I even cried when I heard the song of "Leaving on a Jetplane" while I was inside the FX! And just opted to have the 15min walk from the entrance of our subdivision to our house because I wasn't sure if I'm ready to face my baby boy with a happy face again.
November 9, 2016 I was scheduled to have my biopsy at 1pm but should be in the hospital at 12pm for the preparation round. Good thing that my insurance was able to cover the expenses... It is expensive at 20k I think. I got into an operating room with three other individuals, my doctor, my nurse, my ultrasound technician (a guy). So, the doctor injected me with a local anesthesia to lessen the pain. Then she will put an ultrasound device on top of the lump while she tries to direct the needle onto the lump and extract samples of it. She told me initially that she'll just get around 9-10 samples but I believe I ended up having 12 samples. I can still remember the sound of the device... It's like the sound of a stapler. I didn't feel a lot of pain but when I got home I felt woozy and fell asleep for about 2hours maybe due to the effect of anesthesia.
Now here comes the tricky part... The worst waiting game ever. I would need to wait for a week to get the results. So what I just did is prayed and prayed and went back to work to ease me from worrying too much about the result.
November 16, 2016 I went back to Dra. Lipana to finally know the result. My husband insisted that he'll have a half-day at work and come with me to the appointment. You know I've observed that whenever bad things are about to come my way, God always sends someone over by my side to comfort me... And on that day my heaven-sent angels are my husband and my Tita Mylene... My husband and I were a bit shocked by the result. 8/12 of the samples are positive from cancer. My mind got blank and just heard some bits of pieces of information. Good thing my husband was there beside me who took note of all the tests that I needed to do. We didn't talk about it right away, we both know that if break the silence between us and talk about cancer, we will just cry and be emotional. We just busied ourselves with the tests that needs to be done (liver ultrasound, blood work, chest xray, histopath of my biopsy, and mammogram! at the age of 27...) and we just did whatever we can crunch on the remaining time that we have at the hospital.