Relief

The breast scare turned out to be nothing serious.  Such a relief.  Praise the Lord!

Yesterday’s visit with the doctor at the Breast Health Clinic already gave me good news.  The night before the appointment, I couldn’t even find the lump that was on my right breast.  I touched and searched and it was just not there.  The bigger and more solid one on the left was still there.  God answered my prayers by keeping me at peace with this whole thing.  I went into the appointment feeling calm.  And I really appreciated the doctor’s bedside manner.  She really put me at ease.  I will call her Dr. Calm.  After I told her about my fertility treatment, she shared with me her own infertility journey.  We chatted the whole way through the clinical exam and the ultrasound.

Dr. Calm told me that she went through many rounds of IVF before she finally got pregnant with her twins.  She spotted my pendant that says “Hope” and told me a story.  While they were still in the thick of it, her husband told her that if they have a girl in the future, he’d name her Hope.  And Dr. Calm finally got pregnant with boy/girl twins.  And her daughter’s middle name IS Hope.  We also chatted about her husband being the only child in a traditional Chinese family so the pressure was on from her father-in-law for her to make some boys.  She was very touched when her mother-in-law told her that she’d be equally happen if Dr. Calm was carrying twin girls.

While we were chatting about all this, she carefully palpated my breasts.  And she also couldn’t locate the small lump on the right breast.  She was quite sure that it was a cyst if it came and went so quickly.  She could really feel the bigger, more solid lump on the left breast.  She commented that it felt very mobile and oval.  So those were also good signs.  The ultrasound image showed a dark oval which looked to her like a cyst as well.  However, she said it looked like a cluster of cysts rather than just one cyst.  Just to be sure, she wanted to send me to get a diagnostic ultrasound because her simple bedside ultrasound couldn’t show the depth of the mass.  She said that there was nothing to worry about, but clinically she wanted to make sure that there was nothing hiding below the cyst/cluster of cysts.  She also ordered for a mammogram since the last one was done two years ago.

Dr. Calm then told me an encouraging story about egg donation and surrogacy.  A college friend of hers couldn’t get pregnant and was advised not to carry on her own.  She did both DE and surrogacy and had twins around the same time my doctor did.  The two sets of twins grew up together and are best friends.  She said that her friend is blonde with blue eyes so the donor was as well.  Mixed with her husband of Egyptian descent, my doctor said that the twins looked just like her friend.  Dr. Calm said that she was very hopeful for me for bringing home a baby.

Today I had a busy day running to the radiology department two separate times from work.  The mammogram itself was not so much painful but uncomfortable after being squeezed, moved, turned and told to hold my breath.  The entertainment came from the technician who was also Indian and chatted with me about all things Indian including food, customs, and in-laws.  The afternoon appointment was for the diagnostic ultrasound with a more powerful machine than yesterday’s.  The ultrasound tech took many images of my left lump.  Afterwards, a very eloquent doctor came in to talk to me.  She looked at my mammogram images and saw that I did have a mass.  But she didn’t think it was anything serious as it looked like a cyst to her.  I lay down again for her to feel the lump.  She looked at the ultrasound images that the tech had taken and told me that it looked like there was one bigger cyst in one location and a bunch of smaller ones in another location.  They are nothing to be worried about.  They don’t increase the risk of cancer and they come with the fluctuation of hormones.  Sometimes they go away depending on the hormonal level in the body, like the little one on my right side.  Although the guidelines for mammogram have changed from over 40 to over 50, she’d still recommend an annual one from 40 on.  The only disadvantage is a false positive that may cause a bit of anxiety, but the advantage is that it does catch cancer and save lives.  She wants me to know that having cysts does not mean the risk of having cancer is diminished.  So I have to know what these lumps feel like.  If there are any changes that are out of the ordinary, I should still seek help.  I think from now on I’ll have a mammogram on a yearly basis just to be sure.

It’s such a blessing to be healthy.  I am so grateful that this is nothing more than discomfort and soreness.  Now I can focus on other important things in life and won’t be distracted by this health scare anymore.

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Breast Scare and Grandma

One of my grandmothers is going to turn 97 or 98.  (Age and year of birth of that generation in the Chinese culture is often vague.)  I haven’t seen her since our trip to Asia in April 2014.  It is tough to live so far away from the majority of my family.  Grandma had been in very good health until this summer when she fainted and was hospitalized.  Physically she is fine.  However, her mind might have been a little chaotic.  As someone who used to have the best memory (remembering everyone’s birthday), she exhibited some symptoms of mental confusion and at one point didn’t even recognize my cousin who lives with her.  She no longer takes the shuttle from her home to the market for her breakfast, which was her routine for 20 years.  Her mind has improved since the summer, but it feels that a visit with her overseas is necessary at a time when she is still relatively lucid and healthy and we can still spend quality time together.  I do not want to go when it is too late.  Since we have been trying to sort out the whole donor egg cycle and surrogacy, there has not been a good time to go.  The timing seems good now that we are down to the wire in terms of preparation for our gestational carrier’s transfer.  The legal paperwork will hopefully be completed by the second week of October and we are hopeful to do the transfer the first week of November.   Grandma’s birthday this year is October 22 (it changes yearly according to the lunar calendar).  My brother is set to fly over for a visit around that time.  It would be good for me to go around the last two weeks of October just in time for a transfer in the first week of November.  I was doing my search of reasonable airfare and then…

I found a little lump on my right breast last weekend randomly while watching TV.

It felt small and it moved around a little, but it was definitely something new.  I freaked out a little but decided to make an appointment with my primary care doctor online.  I scored an appointment for Monday afternoon.  I am not going to lie, but my mind was going fast and I was worried.  You know how it is.  Our worries about the future cloud our judgment as our mind jumps to conclusion.  The worst case scenarios flashed in my head.  Fortunately, prayers for peace and the determination to stay away from Goog.le search had kept me sane.

My doctor reviewed my mammogram results prior to coming in the exam room.  My one and only mammogram two years ago was normal but did indicate that my breast tissues were dense and fibrous.  Upon palpation, my doctor couldn’t even find the little lump at first until I pointed it out to her.  She said it felt more fluid-filled, like a cyst.  Just to be sure, she also examined my left breast and found a bigger and denser lump on the top left part of it.  She said that since this one felt more solid, it’d be best for me to do a scan.  She put in an order for a mammogram and told me to go to radiology to make an appointment.

At radiology, I was told that I could be seen immediately.  However, the staff members asked me a question that was taped on the counter: Do you have new masses or lumps on your breast?  I answered yes.  Because of this yes, I was told I had to go to the “Breast Health Services” downstairs.  Over there, I was told that I had to be scheduled to see a doctor there first.  The first opening is this coming Monday late morning.  So that means that I have had to wait a whole week to see this doctor before I can get any scans.

During this week of waiting, I still freak out at times, thinking about the possibility of me being sick and us bringing a baby into this world and the baby not having a mom.  The mind can go to the worst place fast.  But I am mostly at peace with this and am just waiting for the appointment.  I pray that I surrender everything to God as He is the one who is in control.  It could be psychological, but ever since these two lumps were found, I could seriously feel my breasts throbbing with soreness at times.  Speaking with others helps.  Both of the coworkers that I spoke with have had the same happen to them.  Both were checked out and were fine.  It’s helpful to know that the results could be normal.  This has also freaked Bob out.  The first night was the hardest as he was worried and wondered why we had to deal with one thing after another.  He has since then calmed down and has also just been waiting patiently for the appointment next week.

Because of this new development, I have been hesitant with the trip to Asia.  What if these lumps are more serious than I would like?  What if treatment is needed?  What if what if what if.  I have delayed looking into plane tickets but then I am also mindful that I would like to be around for all the initial scans that Annie, our gestational carrier, would have if/when we get pregnant.  It will be even harder to schedule a time to go see my grandmother in the near future once a pregnancy is achieved if I want to be as present for the pregnancy as possible.  So I have decided to purchase my plane tickets this weekend regardless of the outcome of the exam on Monday.

It is sometimes difficult, but I am determined to focus on the good things: seeing my family, spending time with my grandma, and being full of anticipation for our upcoming transfer.  I pray that the exam on Monday yields good results so that my mind can rest and truly enjoy the good things that life has to offer.