So, it is that time again. Time for annual testing. My blood work always tells me I am healthy, my CT always points to the interesting lumps and bumps of life that I would never know about had I not required a CT in the first place and of course… the hands on exams. Every girls least favorite.
This time we felt a lump. I suppose it has been there since the last surgery. So off to get an ultrasound I go. Results state ” 1.4 x 2.7 x 0.4 cm hypoechoic mass within the subcutaneous tissues of the left breast corresponding with the patient’s palpable lump. Differential diagnosis includes benign etiologies such as fibroadenoma, complex cyst or fluid collection, and also oil cyst/fat necrosis.” Now of course this sends me into PTSD mode. The radiologist recommended a mammogram, my plastic surgeon recommends against a mammogram because, well… we don’t want to damage the implants and I am worried about that plus more damage to my shoulders. My pectoral muscles will not bend to the whim of mammogram compression and my rotator cuff on the right is finally mostly better.
So, not gonna lie. I went home and had “some” wine. Fighting back all the rational, yet irrational thoughts in my head. Well, the thoughts were irrational, but it was rational that I was having them. I didn’t talk too much about it when I got home, but I did what I normally do… started researching. Thankfully, I have a very loving and supportive guy who gets me.
In all this I realized and remembered a few important things. I don’t have breasts, and I honestly do have to spend time bringing some providers up to speed on this. My surgeon did a great job. But I literally have silicone over chest wall, under pectoral muscle with very thin skin tissue over that. You can literally feel the silicone implant in some places, see the crinkles of it even. Yet, this mass is palpable – like hard. I had 3 tumors in my breast previously, none of which were palpable. That’s the thing about ILC, it is sneaky. I had 6cm of malignant tissue with no palpable lumps, just a retracted nipple. ILC is slow to grow. Super slow. It also tends to come back in all kinds of other fun places, like bone, bladder, kidney. It would be exceptional for a mass of that size to present so quickly, let alone present as something palpable. The mass is in my pectoral muscle, where I had fat transfers.
I also remembered… I have had 6 surgeries and 3 placements of foreign tissue (AlloDerm) and 3 placements of foreign bodies (expanders, implants and implants again along with two fat transfer procedures in that area).
So… I messaged with my plastic surgeon, her thoughts were that it would most likely be fat necrosis or a fatty cyst, but she offered to refer me to a team that does needle biopsies around implants if I wanted. (The mass is only 3mm from my implant. Yikes) Y’all know me and my conservative approach. So I asked if she would be concerned at all if I tried a castor oil, pack and heat with massage and cupping. Yes, a natural remedy… however, if it is fat necrosis we should be tell a difference relatively quickly.
Which is where the rainbow comes in, it’s not been quite a week and the mass is softer and smaller. I am still going through testing to check all systems (makes me think of NASA). So who knows what else may pop up, however I will remember to breath and advocate for myself.
Oh and sorry mom, no I didn’t call to tell you about the mass. Why? I didn’t want you going through the mental gymnastics I have just gone through. Everything is fine. Thank you for giving me space, lots of love, doing some research with me and advocating for me Griff, I appreciate and love you.
I know, I really need to blog more. But right now, I gotta go place a castor oil pack with some heat on my boob.