I found a lump on my boob.
(And yes, I specifically chose to write “my boob” instead of “my breast”...because I can’t bear to say it quite so scientifically or seriously. “Boob” is much less scary than “breast.”)
Anyway, not long ago, I’m taking off my sports bra after another kick ass workout, and just as a normal part of moving around, my hand grazed the size of my boob, and I caught my breath when, without applying any pressure at all, I felt something about the size of a small grape.
My first thought? Holy fuck.
My second thought? Holy fucking shit fuck shit.
Because these are the moments that women panic about. We all have a friend/sister/mom/aunt who has felt that lump and then won or lost against cancer.
I welcomed a sleepless Thursday night.
And a sleepless Friday night.
And a sleepless Saturday.
All the while, I told not a soul. Instead, I got all weepy about being single, because no one wants to get fatally ill while they’re single. How pathetic is that? (And how pathetic is it that THAT is where my mind went?)
And yes, I was being completely and totally overly-dramatic. I was imagining it all in my head...
Thin hospital gown, beeping machines, me, lying lovely and wan, my hair fanned out against a pillow, the attractive male doctor with the wedding ring wanting to comfort me, his most beautiful patient, but knowing his healthy wife, who is pregnant with twins, would be so hurt if he did, but it was just so SAD, that there I lay dying, with no one to visit me or kiss me or want to bone me just one last time.
Um...I am really weird. I'll just admit it.
I finally told a friend on Sunday, and of course, just telling one person made it all so much easier to bear for a minute. It spread out the base of worry from one person to two. Like any sane rational person (which I had stopped being), he recommended that I call my doctor first thing Monday morning to get it checked out.
Oh yeah. Call the doctor. Right. OK. The hot doctor with the wedding ring... I mean, no! My actual doctor!
The next morning, I called my boss to keep her abreast (har, har) of what was going on. She was officially the second person I told. I tried to keep it together over the phone. And I did, mostly, but I had to stop for a minute, get my shit together, and say what I needed to say.
(That moment was when I decided to stop staying, “I have a lump on my breast,” and instead switch to the much more fun “Lump on mah boob.” it’s much easier to say the latter without tearing up, I assure. you.)
And then I called my doctor, and after describing everything and answering a million questions, I was told that it’s possible it was just a little swelling or anomaly because of my menstrual cycle.
Hey! I just said menstrual cycle! Menstrual cycle, menstrual cycle, menstrual cycle, menstrual cycle!
(Wait, why are you still reading?)
Anyway, I was put on a regimen of ibuprofen for the next week, and told to call again if the lump was still there.
That was when I decided to tell my third person, and if we lived closer together, I might lick her face, because hers was the most calming, reassuring voice of reason I had heard yet. She just said, “Yeah, sometimes the girls get cyst-y.”
[A few days later, we had this conversation over Gchat:]
I guess that’s when I figured out that maybe it was okay to share this stuff with someone else. So I finally told my mom, and now I'm telling you. I guess I also wanted to be sure I wasn't overreacting (which, clearly, I have a tendency to do. See the above hot doctor references).
But here's where I think I get mixed up a bit...I guess I feel like if I have some sort of "thing" going on, it's my primary responsibility to bear it alone. Spreading the burden out to others may make for a lighter load personally, but it's still stuff they don't HAVE to carry otherwise, if that makes sense.
Perhaps that's why we're here, though...to make life a little less shitty for each other.
Thank you all for making life a little sweeter today.
(PS--I'm okay, BTW. And also PS? A Dear Red post tomorrow that is very apropos to all of this conversation. Life is funny that way.)