Thank God for your health everyday Royals!
You never realize how much you take good health for granted until it’s threatened…It was about 3 months ago that I found a small lump in my right breast during a random breast self-examination. Now granted, you’re supposed to do a routine breast exam the week after every menstrual cycle. Despite that fact that I don’t do them as religiously as I should, I immediately knew something was off. My breast are pretty petite, so I didn’t really have to second guess myself. It was definitely a lump.
Now my first reaction was to panic. My heart leaped a little in my chest and the “C Word” threatened to make its way into my thoughts. However, I knew that this moment was crucial and it would set my attitude for the rest of this journey. So right then and there I decided. I’m healthy. I’m whole. It’s benign and I’m healed! And throughout this entire process, I have refused to give into fear and doubt.
I also made another really important decision during this time. And that was to keep this to myself. I didn’t tell ANYONE. Not my mother. Not my boyfriend. Not my best friends. I did eventually tell my mom and my boyfriend, but that was almost two months later. Sometimes when things are at their worst and you’re standing on faith, you realize that the only one on the battle field (in reality) is you and God. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says about the situation. It matters what YOU say about the situation (Proverbs 18:21).
Now I have to admit- I’m very fortunate to have extremely positive and faith-filled friends/family in my life. However, I know many people aren’t as blessed. Sometimes you’ll have to keep things to yourself in order to stay focused and not get distracted by someone else’s negativity. My reasons for keeping quiet for so long was simple. I wanted to strengthen my relationship in God. I wanted to make sure that when all is said and done, I can encourage myself…That I can stand in faith for myself!
The first step was finding a doctor. But since my move, I had been too busy to find a new physician. How was I going to find one? Through a little bit of research, I ran across ZocDoc.com which is an AMAZING website that helps you find great doctors. After filtering your search by: insurance, location, type of doctor, etc…- It produces a list of doctors that come complete with reviews, pictures and their background information. Through ZocDoc, I found Dr. Clement Hsiao who I absolutely love! He’s the first doctor to actually listen to my concerns AND believes in natural remedies along with conventional medicine! The doctors and nurses at Northside Hospital in Alpharetta were also excellent. I couldn’t have asked for a friendlier staff.
The first thing Dr. Hsiao did after confirming that there was indeed a lump, was to schedule me an ultra-sound. The ultra-sound further confirmed that there was a suspicious small nodule and the Radiologist suggested a biopsy to determine whether or not it was cancerous. This was the part where I wanted to say, “Thanks but no thanks!” I was told my options were: To have them inject a needle in my breast and draw tissue/cell samples from the nodule OR have surgery and have them remove it and determine it’s origins later. Ummmmm…..
So of course I went with the less invasive procedure. But even that was no fun. The shot of local anesthetic they gave me stung like crazy, but did its job. I didn’t really feel the small incision or the biopsy needle she had to insert FIVE TIMES. *faints* All to collect something that looked like this: **sorry if this grosses you out**
After the procedure, you’re instructed to ice the area every hour (for the next four) for 15 minutes each time. The ice packs they gave me were like a gift from heaven. They really helped with the pain and discomfort. I was also instructed not to lift over 10 pounds, shower for 24hrs and or take any pain killers that could thin my blood (like Aleve and Advil). You are allowed to take Tylenol, but that stuff only works for infants, so I just decided to deal with the pain.
I had my procedure on Friday and the results were in by Monday. I could tell the nurse already knew what I was thinking, because the first words out of her mouth were, “I have good news for you!” But no matter what she was going to tell me, I had already made up in my mind to remain steadfast.
The lump was benign (Praise God!) and is what you call a Fibroadenomas. Fibroadenomas are the most common benign tumors found in the female breast. They are solid, round, rubbery lumps that move freely in the breast when pushed upon and are usually painless. Fibroadenomas are the result of excess formation of lobules (milk-producing glands) and surrounding breast tissue. They occur most often between the ages of 20 and 30 and are more common in African-American women.
They told me I have the option to surgically remove it, but I’m sill believing for my healing. Over the next two years, they’ll monitor it to make sure it hasn’t grown any bigger. And I fully expect for them to just not find it one day. All that said: It’s so important to stay on top of your health by eating right, exercising and listening to your body. Don’t ignore symptoms and signs, but on the other hand, don’t panic if you do find something. This life is all about balance. To learn how to do a Breast Self-Exam (BSE), Click HERE.