I wrote a blog post last week about my upcoming appointments and my worries concerning those appointments, due to a Fibroadenoma that I am very sure had to do with taking hormonal birth control. Just writing to update, after my ultrasound appointment on Friday.
That in and of itself was a bit of a roller coaster ride. I was sent to the hospital’s advanced imaging center, right next to the oncology ward. A reminder of how serious this type of stuff is. The things we put in our bodies, the cancer and illness and concern it causes…
When I found the advanced imaging center, I was greeted by an all-female staff. All warm and friendly. I waited 5 minutes to be checked in and afterwards was led to their secondary waiting area, where I was told about what I needed to do to prepare for the ultrasound. A nurse’s assistant led me to a changing room with a set of locking lockers. I was instructed to disrobe from the waist up (shirt, bra, jewelry), and if I’d put on deodorant handed a wet wipe and instructed to wipe it away.
The gown I put on had one button at the top, and a tie that came together from the side and the front , which would make it discreet and easy access for the procedure. When I was finished changing (and putting a photo on Facebook) I re-entered the secondary waiting area and filled out my family history report for cancer, hospitalizations, heart failure, number of live births, miscarriages, birth control usage, etc.
After I was finished, a nice ultrasound tech came to the waiting room and called me back, into the ultrasound room. Noticing my belly, she helped me ease onto the table and lay back. That was nice. I’d only really had help laying back or getting back up from a care provider twice. Every other provider just watched me struggle to get up. Anyway. She enters in my information for the scan (height, weight, DOB, expecting, etc). Asks if I’m ready for the ultrasound and helps me undo my gown. Puts the warm ultrasound goo on my areola, where the lump is.
The ultrasound starts and I can’t help but get an ominous feeling in my stomach and thoughts swirling in my mind “This is where women get bad news.” “This is where they have follow-ups from previous bad news, and are hoping for good news.” The tech is talking about what she’s seeing on the ultrasound and while I was thinking these things, I could hardly hear her.
After the initial ultrasound, a doctor came in after examining a few ultrasound pictures and examined the fibroid himself under ultrasound. He said the fibroadenoma was the biggest he’s seen. It actually took up two ultrasound frames on the screen to fit it all in. He really wasn’t very nice. I could hear the condescension in his voice when I told him how long I’d had the lump and also mocked for getting pregnant again. But he still yielded good information so I kept an open mind.
His recommendation was to wait for surgery after I have the baby. Because considering where the mass is at, it’s sitting right at an area with a lot of vessels and my milk ducts. They don’t know if they would need to take my milk ducts or not in the procedure. This was news I did not want to hear. The surgeons in this valley won’t perform on a pregnant woman because of the anesthesia. This is understandable. But at the time, I was half-crushed. I was so dead-set on not having to deal with mastitis and infection and clogged ducts this time that it didn’t dawn on me that: if I waited for this procedure, I might develop a clogged duct and mastitis when introducing the breast to my daughter, but I can still get through breastfeeding her with it, even if only for a few months. This would mean I would have a higher chance of breastfeeding her normally, without having to worry about low supply if I had the fibroadenoma taken out before having her.
I was so stuck on this one thought of PREVENTING getting sick that it bogged me down for almost a whole month. It didn’t occur to me to just wait and at least try to stick it out until she’s on solids. My worry wasn’t a total waste. It gave way to relief, when I found there was another way I could go about it all. And how can we know how good happiness or relief feels if we don’t experience sadness or grief, right?