I had biopsy round two done last Friday. I wasn't planning on it. I had my three month follow up for original lump and he said it had either not changed or was, perhaps, slightly smaller. He was still on the fibroid train and I was given the same deal as last time: biopsy, completing the triple negative for this lump or go another three months. If, after that, there was no change, I would be given the deal again, this time, extending out to six months, putting us at a year past discovery.
I REALLY didn't know what to do. All of my sureness over the last three months had gone. All of my "I'm doing the right thing / on the right course"-ness had evaporated and what I was left with was a puddle of nerves. I didn't count on what toll the daily doubt would take on me and subsequently, on Isaac. I didn't count on not fully 100% not knowing draining me of confidence and joy. My earlier assurance, completely gone. I sat there, completely confused. I was so exhausted from the daily doubt and wonder. I asked him what he'd tell his daughter to do. He said he'd tell her it was unlikely to be anything, but to get the biopsy so she could move on with confidence. I let Isaac decide. I couldn't do it; paralyzed in fear of making the wrong choice. So we scheduled the biopsy, results due back yesterday. I needed my life back, one way or the other, even though I was terrified of the results.
I had two layers going on: the sheer terror of missing something, of dying (I had so many 'signs'! You really can find anything you look for: Sammy too cuddly? Clearly he senses I'm dying. My hair growing out? Prompting to do so because I won't have it much longer...Mrs. Hughes cancer scare on Downton Abbey? Totally there as a sign for me...See? Anything, people.) Of simply being wrong. Logistically, what were we going to do when the bad news came? And the second layer, way down underneath, was one of calm. Of knowing I was going to be ok. That this, whatever it is, wasn't breast cancer but something else. And I needed to keep asking and pushing to find out what. But the first step is ruling this out. These two layers were in direct opposition and not living well within me. Something had to give.
This biopsy was different than the first in nearly every way. It hurt less (numbing me actually helps that, so I understand...). I wasn't nearly as sore the next day. And the kicker? I wasn't worried. At all. That layer of calm came out in SPADES, pushing everything else away and overtook my whole being. The procedure was over quickly, my doctor was very reassuring and we headed down to Trader Joe's and dinner after it was over. And over the weekend? I actually had minutes I forgot about the whole thing. (of course, when that happened, I immediately went into overdrive, worrying a little more, trying to correct the balance of worry lest I bring on the bad with my nonchalance, but even that was short lived, as the calm always came back.)
My doctor finally called about 2 pm on Tuesday. He's a funny guy, my doctor. I didn't like him at first, but now...now I kinda do. He's very blunt. Very matter of fact. But also like a big, funny bear. He told me it was benign - not even any pre-cancer. There was NOTHING. It wasn't even particularly fibrous, just a little bit. Mostly...normal tissue. Which is not at all surprising. But tremendously relieving. I will have a six month check before he releases me completely, but I'm done. I'm done. Thank heavens, it seems done. (Even now, I'm trying not to feel saying that is somehow jinxing me...some habits are tough to let go.)
Now comes the tricky part. I get to start figuring out what IS going on with me. According to my regular doctor, my massage therapist, my chiropractor and Isaac and I's guts, I fully believe that it's part of my shoulder issues. I have tremendous inflammation in my entire shoulder girdle, that we are trying to work through. Knots upon knots in nearly every shoulder muscle on that side of my body. I would not be surprised if it is part of that issue. Or, I guess, it could just be nothing. But I have the feeling that as I work to get stronger and more healthy, it will resolve.
For now? I have a six inch bruise of the most brilliant colors striking the top of my right breast. But I'm not sore at all, thankfully. It's as if my body is as ready to let go of this trial as my mind is. Breathe in. Let go.
(i live with it every day, bnl)