I haven't written a journal entry on here in a long time. Life has been crazy. For ten years, I haven't felt well and I think that might be Fibromyalgia, but am not certain. After all this cancer stuff is taken care of, I want to look into that, but I digress...
A couple of days after Christmas, I was checking my breasts for lumps, like I have been regularly for years now and this time was different then all the other times. I found a lump. I just remember my heart sinking. Breast cancer has been one of my greatest fears for a long time and, in that moment, I realized that there was a very real possibility of one of my greatest fears being realized. At first, I was going to wait until my doctor responded to my email to her asking about what I should do and I'm glad I didn't follow her advice because she told me to wait until a few days after my period and if it was still there to come in. Something inside of me told me to go in as soon as possible.
I had decided from the beginning that I didn't want to tell anyone until I got the results from the test. I didn't want anyone to needlessly worry about me as it could have been nothing. My sister wound up talking me into telling everyone the day before I got the results and the reason why I caved in is because I knew if they were worried that it would only be a day before we all knew exactly what was going on. Everyone told me that they thought it was just a cyst. They kept reassuring me of it. In my research, I found that breast cancer doesn't generally hurt and my lump did, but I still wanted to make sure.
The day after I found the lump, I went in to see a medical professional of some kind who I had never seen. She seemed annoyed with me, but sent me to radiology to get an ultra sound. They told me they didn't see enough to understand fully what was going on. As I waited to get a mammogram, I was by far the youngest woman in the room waiting. All the older women were telling me that they kept getting cysts and I knew from my own research, as well as what they said that more often than not, the lump is just a cyst, but I still had this crippling fear deep inside of me as I waited.
I got a mammogram and it really hurt when it pressed down on the lump. The lady who gave me a mammogram then sent me over to get a biopsy done and I just burst into tears while they did it, not just because it hurt (they shoved a giant needle into my boob six times), but because I had this nagging feeling that it was cancer. Luckily, the radiologist as well as their assistant were very kind people with a great bedside manner and they were comforting to me the whole time.
A part of me held onto hope that it was nothing to worry about, but five days later, I got a call from the radiologist and I immediately knew from his apologetic tone what he was about to tell me. He told me I have cancer. The reason why the lump hurts is because it's pressed right up against my pectoral muscle.
Since that day, my life hasn't been the same and I know it never will be again. That was January 3rd. The stress I have experienced as a result of this has been staggering and I know the worst is yet to come. I am at least at stage 2 right now and will find out up to a week after my surgery if it's spread or not. I will be getting a bilateral mastectomy on Wednesday and may have to get a second surgery to get all my lymph nodes on that side taken out. I will be getting a second or third surgery for reconstruction, as well as at least five months of chemotherapy. There are tons of potential complications, all of which are horrifying. There are tons of potential side effects from chemo. If I'm lucky, I'll just be nauseous and fatigued. If I am unlucky, I could get life threatening side effects from it.
My family and my boyfriend have been amazing. I came to the realization that even though this is the hardest year of my life, it isn't the worst year of my life and it's because of these amazing people who have been there for me.
It really sucks that I got cancer so young. I wish I could have gotten it at an older age, after I had lived out my life and had more experiences, especially since up to almost four years ago, my life sucked for a very long time. I feel like I just got a taste of a good life and then fell into this mess. On the bright side, these are in some ways the best circumstances I could have asked for. I have health care, a stable roof over my head (I've lived in the same place for several years. I use to move every three to six months), a wonderful, caring partner who treats me with respect and has been my rock through this process, the best relationship with my family that I've had in years, some savings to fall back on and some medical financial assistance (though I will probably wind up having to do a go fund me anyways later on this year), and my best friend and I have gotten back in touch in the last five months after years of not talking. The one potential benefit of my age is that my body might be more capable of fighting off the cancer, but since I have been sickly for so long, it might not be the case.
I am terrified. Terrified of dying. Terrified of getting cancer again. Terrified of how I will look when this is over, how I will feel. I know my year will be full of pain and nausea and generally feeling like crap, but I want to try to be ok, try to be happy anyways. With that being said, please don't tell me to be strong or to be positive. Something I have learned is that those things are something you have no choice but to be under these circumstances. The only other choice is to die basically. I am realistic and speak my mind because I don't want to hold in my feelings to satisfy other people. I want to be open about how I feel through this process so that I can truly heal from this. I love my life, I love being comfortable, and I love my breasts and nipples, and I'm about to lose all of that, some of it forever. Maybe even all of that. I have been in pain for a month already and I know the surgery is going to be incredibly painful, so I'm terrified. I've never even had surgery before, aside from wisdom tooth removal, and I'm about to have a major surgery.
Anyways, with that being said, please be nice in the comments. I am in one of the worst situations I can be and need support, love, and respect right now. If you've made it this far, thank you for reading. I am going to try to post videos on my youtube throughout this process, but will probably be in too much pain the first few weeks after my surgery. Here's the link: