Updated: Oct 19, 2020
The Wednesday morning after I found a lump in my right breast, I called my OBGYN office as soon as they opened. I told them I had a red, painful lump and needed to be seen immediately. My doctor was on leave, but a partner doctor could see me the following day. I made the appointment and anxiously waited out the day.
My husband wasn't available to go with me to my appointment, so my childhood friend offered to go instead. We drove to my OBGYN appointment and when after we arrived and checked in, I was taken into an exam room, friend in hand. I was asked to de-robe from the waist up. Within minutes of examining the redness on my breast, the doctor said I needed an ultrasound because my growing lump had become hot to the touch. She suggested I go to the Emergency Room as soon as possible.
With my friend in tow and husband on his way to meet us, my doctor called the ER ahead of time and discussed my urgent situation. When we arrived, I was taken into a triage room where multiple ER doctors came in to examine my now painful breast. They took blood, vitals, urine samples, medical history and more. It was suggested I may have mastitis, except I hand not breastfed in over a year! Ultrasound confirmed pockets of fluid in the breast tissue, but too small to aspirate. I was sent home with pain medications and given an appointment to return the next day, Friday at 9:00am. I was scheduled to see Dr. N. When I asked who Dr. N was and their specialty, the ER doctors glanced back and forth at each other nervously. Dr. N was the Chief Surgical Oncology.
My initial appointment began at 3:00pm. We left the hospital 6 hours later and parted ways as my husband would pick up our boys from my parents and I would take my friend home. She has been my friend for 20 years; she knows my silence and can read my eyes. She asked what I thought, how I felt and what I needed. My anxiousness had turned into fear. My nonchalant response after changing my clothes and going on with our evening, had become an immediate need to know. To know what this was. To know how why I had been referred to the Chief of Surgical Oncology. To know how he was going to make this better. To know if this was Cancer.