I Found My Cancer

I shared this post right before my second reconstruction surgery. It's interesting. I feel like this is a post I should have shared early on in my journey, but I couldn't. I couldn't get these words down. Emotionally, I'd been too raw and it took a little distance before I could face it. 

But I got there...so here you go. 

July 8th, 2015

Well my loves, it is time for my second surgery tomorrow. There is something I need to make clear, but haven't had the words--which is funny because I never shut up.
I. Found. My. Cancer.
Not a mammogram, or the ultra sound, not a doctor, but me.
I have an advantage having lost my mom, as CRAZY as that sounds. But because of her, I became VERY familiar with my body. I KNOW (knew, LOL) my breasts.
I saw an indentation over the Christmas holiday. As soon as the kiddos went back to school, I made an appointment. It took me a morning of phone calls because quite a few offices didn't take Tricare,and on the second to my last call, I broke down because I was scared. I knew something wasn't right, and I needed someone to see me.
When I went in to see the Ob/gyn, she couldn't see or feel what I was talking about. I told her it was easier to feel when I was lying down, so we did that. 
She could 'kind of' feel a lump. So 'lets get a mammo, just in case'.
Yes. Lets.
They took over 25 films. Every one came back negative. Really they came back as white, webby films because I had very dense and fibrous breasts. The mammo showed nothing even though the tumor was just below the skin. I could have been sent home with a clean bill of health.
But, I KNEW something was there.
So, 'let's send you for an ultra sound just in case'.
Yes. Lets.
And there it was. An ugly black cloud. The kind a five year old might draw to represent bad weather. 
My reason for telling you isn't to be negative about what is available to us for diagnosis, but to tell you to be SMART. KNOW your body. PLEASE. It isn't embarrassing. It isn't weird or naughty or any other silly excuse I've heard. Your body is a beautiful, hard working, vessel of possibilities, and you need to KNOW it so you can help out when something goes wrong.
KNOWING your body along with today's diagnostic tools is what will paint a clearer picture. So please. 
Feel yourself up. Look at yourself from every angle. Really become close, intimate friends with YOUR body, and just to be on the safe side, let someone else, too. Not only is it fun, but second opinions give you peace of mind. heart emoticon
If you have a question, or a feeling, or a hunch, anything...make your doctor's look. Don't be put off. You KNOW your body, remember?

Loves, hugs, and peanut butter.

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