Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lumpy Lefty

I probably won't post this. Is is too personal? Sometimes it is easier to say things to you lot than to people I have to see every day. There is an understanding or maybe a commonality that gives a sense of sisterhood without the strings. To the few of you I have known for years, this is easier than repeating a phone call. To the new friends, bear with me.

Anyway I have to have a mammogram tomorrow. It's not the normal one I should have had at the end of the month. It is an urgent one to be followed by an ultrasound. There is something 'irregular' in my left breast. "Something nasty in the woodshed". Hopefully not too nasty.

I found it last week end preparing for the 3 year old's party. I had a shower and for some reason did a fleeting and half hearted breast exam. They have always been haphazard because I have got bigguns. D-cup delights. Harder to find things in. So then I went to the G.P. for a check. I asked about Shorty's tonsils and immunisation, then asked, almost casually, if she could check something odd in my left breast. She did. She chatted to Shorty as she felt around in a most meticulous manner. Then she rang the hospital to ask for an ultrasound and Mammogram. She refused the first appointment they offered and said it was urgent. I pretended I didn't hear that.

Apparently these breast lumps can be lots of things like cysts, hormonal changes, blah blah deposits but we all know what they CAN be. Remember the ABC office cluster, the cricket team wearing pink, other peoples' families.

I have five children. I have three on the cusp of puberty, one in the middle of primary and one just beginning her life. This can't be happening to me! But it is. It may be nothing but it may be something.

My first reaction was to just have them off- quickly! How simple. Being small breasted could be okay in fact. Just don't let it get between me and my children. Then I foolishly googled images of mastectomies. You should never google medical information. It is very disturbing.

My breasts have been many things: embarrassments, bikini fillers, wenches' accessories, pillows, sunburnt, scrubbed, baby feeders and snugglers. That was by far the best and most marvellous reason to have them. I loved breast feeding. I was lucky to find it easy. They've been good to me these breasts. What did I do to upset them? Have I let them down? Maybe I like them after all. They are like old friends- with me through thick and thin waists, I'm fond of them even with their foibles.

Meanwhile I've been starting Shorty at kindy, picking up kids, negotiating with the swimming coach, ringing after school care, tidying the boys' room, listening to a young peoples' literature evening at school, making stew, moving things around, cleaning the bathroom, moving things around again. Keep moving, be busy, don't stop.

It's probably nothing but, either way, I want to record what I felt so I would remember to be more loving, less cranky and let my babies know how splendid and funny and sweet they are. After all, things can change in more sudden ways than this. You just never think about it.

She tells me on Friday if I need a fine needle aspiration or not. I'll keep you posted, post.

P.S. Thursday: Having had the mammogram breast squisher do its thing, Breast and I are off for a core biopsy tomorrow. I am quite nervous. Have any of you been there, done this? Just the good stories, please!


  1. Oh. I hope it is nothing. I really hope it is just nothing. Wishing you only the best of news. And you get a free hug too. xx

  2. I am going to be all very Ana here Annie and attempt to surround you in white light as I think of my very important friend who I am too far away from to hug. So I hug you in white. Go for a walk on wet sand with bare feet, someone told me to do that in one of our more worrying times, it is supposed to ground you and bring on a sense of calm. Of course walking on the beach doesn't often make one feel angry, I think the positive ions coming off the water also help and the big open space. But at this moment of sweaty palms and watery eyes it is all I can think of. Much love to you and you will be okay. oooo. p.s. I thought this was going to be a post about one of the kids asking why Barbies boobs are so perky or why she doesn't have nipples? I wish it was.

  3. Dear Annie,
    I've read this through twice, worried that my school English eyes would misunderstand or miss something. I have smiled, nodded and felt slightly paralyzed. I still don't know what to write. You describe so well what we all fear, I know I do. How to comfort through a few words, it's not really possible, and it makes me feel stupid.
    I have had the biopsy twice (if lumbar puncture is the same). It's ok, you will have anesthesia, and it's nothing to worry about.
    I am sure you know more about lumps than I do, but your children and the breastfeeding is your best guarantee that a lump is just a lump.
    I will be thinking of you, Annie.
    ((( Big hug )))
    Love Lilli

  4. Hmmm, whatever happens, let this be your outlet. To rage or rejoice. I believe you'll be fine ... just because I do. xo

  5. Hey, glad you wrote about this! I got a call back a month or so ago, so had those days of wondering, planning 'just in case' and hoping for the best. Didn't go so far as a core biopsy though. Wish I could be there to hold your hand and distract you (as if). Will be waiting by my phone to hear your news. Call me.

  6. You do realize why you now have random strangers groping your boob tomorrow don't you? It's that last wretched post you did where you where recklessly floundering around with no idea what to do with yourself sans children. So the universe provided a little time filling entertainment courtesy of a radiology service. Get thee to a creative spot and whip something up and send those naughty breast meddling pixies back from whence they have come.( and you will be fine tomorrow, you have had 5 children for goodness sakes, you can deal with anything) melx

  7. Oh goodness, but ... you will be okay, don't ask me how I know that, I just do. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or next week, or even next month, but you will be okay.

    I know folk who got as far as core biopsy and still came away smiling. I know someone who was told she had six months to live when her first baby hadn't long had his first birthday. That would have been me, and the little guy from back then will be 30 this summer*.

    Hugs from across oceans, the hugest, huggiest kind!

    *This must be my first footnote to a comment but sadly vanity forces me to remind you here that I started my large family while still quite young. And all these kids we have, you and I, like Olivia said, that stacks the odds in our favour. xxx

  8. I've been called back a couple of times but no biopsy. Hopefully, they're just being over cautious. I'm praying for you, that all will be well. HUGS!!!!!!!

  9. What a band of beauties you all are! Thank you for all the good words. Lairy G, just popped in from next door at midnight to deliver her comment in person! I will take all these pearls of wisdom with me and walk on wet sand this week-end for my big boys' 13th birthday.

  10. Can't really think of what to say at the moment Annie, Only that I also am thinking of boobs and the changes mine will be making in the week ahead!!! We women have to put up with it all don't we, the beauties and the beasts! Your a good girl getting on to it so quickly. Your in my thoughts! I'm sure all will be fine. XO

    1. You're in my thoughts too. What a lovely diversion! Thanks. x

  11. This post has come out of the blue, of course.
    Take it a day at a time. Live in the present moment, no looking back and no guessing what comes next because I've found that it doesn't happen.
    We're here for you Annie whether you like it or not.
    If you hurt so do we.
    Let it all out here. We'll hold you in tender hands.

    1. As always, DMC, wise words.
      What a lovely image, to be held in the tender hands of friends.
      Living in the present is all I ever have time for anyway!

  12. Dear Annie..
    I couldn't find a reply e-mail address for you so I thought I would post a comment here...
    Thanks for your sweet comment...I did think of you straight away as a pattern tester for my new doll...It is very simular to the Rosie pattern and I am sure you would have no problems managing it...Please pop me a line and I will send you a copy if you are interested...It might take me a few more days to have it written out thou...

  13. Hi randomly found your blog by clicking on someone's blog roll(maybe Knitsofacto?) and this was your latest post. Though I don't know you even virtually and feel almost like I've muscled in on someone's conversation I want you to know I've been thinking of you from going to bed last night and first thing this morning( and even when I had to go to the loo in the night when I knew it would be daytime in Oz and you might be in the middle of appointments) I'm sending you positive thoughts and lots and lots of love .Hope the birthday goes well and that you get a few moments escape from all the worry and turmoil. With love Penny L in Dorset U.Kxx

  14. I was over at Annie's at Knitsofacto and clicked through on your name hoping to find some new and interesting blogs. Love your blog, but was saddened to read what you had to say.

    I have been there and done this, including the core biopsy - really hoping that it all works out ok.

    Do get in touch if you want to rant at someone who has done this journey in recent years - it helped me enourmously being able to talk to people who had been where I was going.

    God Bless x

  15. Hello Penny and Zoe! Thanks for your generous words. It's usually not so serious around here. I'm sure it will all be fine in a week or so. Hope to see you again then. Any friend of Knitso Annie is a friend of ours!

  16. Oh no, I only just now read your last two posts. What stress involved! Sending you high hopes (like the Basilica)!

  17. Oh Annie! You're in my thoughts. xxx

  18. Oh! I came to your blog via Jane at My Pear Tree House - and have just been reading through all that you have been, and are going through! Funnily my name is also Annie, and funnily (or not) I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at the 'advanced' age of 37! Now while I don't have five children (two are more than enough for me :), I completely freaked out and went into quite the orbital spin. Endless biopsies, a radical mastectomy (not sure why it's called radical but there you go), six months of chemo, six weeks of radiotherapy, endless blood tests and examinations, and I'm still here...and that was four years ago. In all honesty it sucks, and while loosing all your hair means not having to shave, not having eyelashes is rather odd. There is light at the end of the tunnel (excuse the cliche), and you sound like the kind of gal who can roll with the punches - there'll be good times and bad, but hang in there. All the same I'm sending you a huge hug and lots of healing love. Annie x
    ps: you have the most gorgeous children - are your oldest boys twins? I have 12 year old twin just wondering.


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