Unfamiliar Terrain: Discovering the Lump Vol. 1

In the midst of life’s unexpected twists and turns, I found myself facing a formidable adversary: a breast cancer diagnosis. You see, 2012 marked a pivotal moment in my life, one that I will never forget. Upon returning from a brief trip, I experienced an unusual sensation during a routine shower. Feeling a peculiar lump I’d never noticed, I mentally flagged it but tried not to dwell. However, the very next day, the pain started to set in, drawing my attention back to the newfound anomaly.

Anyone acquainted with me knows I tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac. With my mother away visiting my brother, I tried my best to keep my composure and not let anxiety overshadow reason. But the moment she returned, it was a struggle to keep it to myself. Later that evening, amidst the background noise of a TV show, I suddenly blurted out, "I felt a tiny lump on my nipple a couple of days ago." Her gaze met mine, a mixture of surprise and concern, especially given my frequent doctor visits for the smallest of ailments. Repeating my statement, I saw her maternal instincts kick in as she swiftly reassured me, urging me not to panic.

Fast forward a week and a half, and we found ourselves in a doctor's office, my persistent pain making the visit unavoidable. Despite the discomfort, their initial dismissal of it as "nothing" was oddly comforting. But as days turned into weeks, the pain intensified, prompting yet another consultation. Their continued insistence on its harmlessness began to wear thin, especially as my pain threshold was breached. At long last, they recommended a mammogram.

Mammogram day dawned, and I braced myself for another round of dismissals. But sadly, this time, the narrative shifted. From "it's nothing" to an unexpected recommendation for an ultrasound And then, the real bombshell—a biopsy of both breasts. The shift was jarring—how did we move from trivializing the issue to such a serious step?

The days that followed felt surreal. Diagnosed somewhere between the 22nd and 28th of October, I found myself on a whirlwind medical journey. By the 6th of November, in a mere blink of time, I was preparing for surgery.

The path was challenging and filled with emotional highs and lows, but I held onto hope, strength, and the unwavering support of my loved ones. My journey was just beginning.

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1 comment

Thank you for doing this. For sharing your journey.

Marsha Milan

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