In all of my 35 years, it never even crossed my mind that cancer could even be an option for me. Sometimes we walk around life acting as if we’re invincible to the things that may go on around us. Yeah, it can happen to someone else but not me. I’m Teresa. I’m the person who’s full of faith in God; who pays her tithe and offerings on a REGULAR so God won’t allow anything like that to happen to me. No, not me!!
Well, I had a dose of reality hit me this past month. So I decided to go for a routine check-up, physical on September 3. Well, I knew because of the weight there were certain things that were going to be told to me that I knew I had to take care of. So I was prepared to hear those things (wasn’t ready for the fact that I’m borderline diabetic) but wasn’t too upset about it because with as much weight as I have on me, that is a side effect. So my doctor fusses, tells me that I’ve got to make lifestyle changes now before I’m having to take insulin and popping pills at an early age. That was my first wake-up call. So I started the diet FOR REAL this time.
Now does this mean, I’ve got this down to a science? Not at all!! Actually it means that it’s been harder than ever. But it’s not an option for me to do anything else but get rid of this weight. So I’ve got to buckle down and do it. Diabetes CANNOT BE my DESTINY!!
Ok, back to my BC story. Well because I’m 35, my doctor says that this is the age that I should get my first mammogram. Well, I’ve heard horror stories about getting mammograms so I’m already nervous about getting this. But I was like well it’s just routine so let’s go on and get it over with and I won’t have to have another one until I’m 40. HA!! Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
So my results come back and they found a small mass on my left breast. It was only 7mm but to me that might as well had been 7 inches. So I had to go back for a second mammogram and ultrasound. So I told people about this and they were like oh, it’s only going to be fatty tissue. So when I went for the mammogram and ultrasound, I was like ok, this is just routine. Because I’m a voluptuous girl, I was buying into that theory from everyone that it was just fatty tissue.
Again, I was in for a reality check. The doctor comes in the room and tells me well Ms. Lamar, the mass on your breast is solid tissue. It is small so you can either have a biopsy or wait and come back in 6 months to see if it has grown. And she was so nonchalant with this statement as if she was talking to me about needing a haircut. Well, I initially said, I’ll just wait the 6 months. SIKE!!! My brain wouldn’t allow me to wait. After I left the place, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
The fact that both my grandmothers had had bout with breast cancer was playing on my mind. My mom’s mother actually had one of her breasts removed due to it. So you know how your mind starts playing tricks on you. In the last 2 to 3 years, there have been so many people close to me who have had to deal with this disease. So I really started to get nervous about it. With that being said, I told my family and of course their first reaction was, “NO. You can’t wait!! You have to find out now so that if it is something, you can get it taken care of before it grows.” And the more I thought about it the more I realized that was the right thing to do. So I made the appointment to have the biopsy.
Now during this time, many of my friends were calling, texting, sending messages on FB, etc. and I wasn’t returning calls. I am the type of person who loves to help others but I am not one to share when I’m going through things. So I want to take this moment to apologize to all of you who I was sort of kinda ignoring. It wasn’t out of spite but I was dealing with this in my own way. I love you all!!!
Now back to the topic. Now for those of you who don’t know, a biopsy is minor surgery so this was not something to take likely and it does everyone differently. I read about it but I had to make sure I didn’t get too overwhelmed by it. But the more I thought about it the more nervous I became. So by the time September 15 came for me to get the biopsy, I had had all kinds of thoughts. I had actually said in my mind, well if this is the case, it means that God wants me to go through this test to help someone else. But it will not be unto death. Now, for some that is a good attitude to have, right? But for me, Teresa, where in the world was my faith!!! Again, I’m that avid church goer who supposedly has all this faith, right? Boy talking about being tested.
Well I went through the process of the biopsy and the doctors and nurses were so amazed at how calm I was but that was because I had resigned that morning that it would be whatever it would be and if God had brought me to it, he would bring me through. The surgery went very well and they pulled the sample they needed. I was told 2 to 3 business days for the results…….today is Wednesday, so my appointment to get the results was for the following Monday. Talk about not being able to sleep!!!
Well Friday afternoon, I get a call from my doctor and not the lab and she says well I want to let you know so you won’t have to wait over the weekend. The results came back benign. GREAT NEWS, right? Well that high was short lived because in the same breath she tells me that she was afraid they didn’t get enough sample so I needed to call Monday to set up an appointment to see her. I still go to the appointment with the lab on Monday and they tell me everything is fine in their eyes. So now I have to go to my primary doctor.
Yeah, this is a long story but this was a major ordeal for me!!!
Well I get an appointment for Wednesday with my doctor and she tells me that she wants me to see a breast specialist!! WTH!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS!!! Remember, it was only 7mm!!! Well she’s afraid that they didn’t take enough sample because they only got 2mm out for the sample which wasn’t even half of the mass. I just smile and say ok and called to make the appointment.
Now when I call for this appointment, guess what, they can’t see me until the following Monday, September 27. Are you serious? Another weekend with this?? But I’m patient. In the meantime, again my mind starts playing tricks on me, again. I was having pain in my left breast (in my mind). Well of course it’s going to be sore, I had minor surgery!! DUH!! Finally, Monday came and I have the appointment with Dr. Kemp. Love the lady now. She’s my new best friend. 🙂 She looks at all of my charts, films, ultrasounds, mammograms and she tells me Ms. Lamar, you’re fine. You just have blah, blah, blah. It was some scientific name for lumpy breasts (don’t laugh). That was the best news I could have gotten in my life. Lumpy breasts, I can deal with!!! It’s not CANCER!!! THANK YOU LORD!!!
So now what does all of that long story mean……simply this, life is worth living people!!! I don’t care what’s going on in my life, every trial, every hard time is worth it because it means I have a chance to make it better and get things right.
I want to admonish all ladies though to please go get your regular mammograms. God forbid it had turned out differently for me, at least I would have had early detection and it could have been taken care of in time. Do your regular at home checks. This disease is no joke and there are so many people who have it. I was in all of these different appointments with so many women who were not as fortunate as I to get the same results.
It also gave me a new outlook on getting this weight off. As we all know, we all have cancerous cells in our bodies. But our immune systems are what fight them off. So the more we take care of our bodies the less likely they flare up. And to my surprise, the more weight you have, the more it contributes to cancer. Now maybe I should have known this but I DIDN’T!!! I knew weight caused a lot of issues but didn’t know it contributed to cancer as well. So that gave me a renewed energy to stop being lazy and get in the gym. I want to live. And I plan to one day be married and have kids so I have to be healthy to be around for them.
This is just my story and mine turned out to be good. I will always have a constant reminder because I now have a titanium marker to show where the biopsy was done and a little scar. But that’s my constant reminder that each time it hurts when I’m working out that it’s worth it. My sister now calls me Wonder Woman because she says I have a bionic breast because of the titanium. (She’s funny :))But I can take the jokes because I have life!! I hope I have encouraged all ladies and even men to go get your regular check-ups. Knowing is better so that you can be helped before it’s too late.
I love you all………as always…….Be good, do what’s right, live for the Lord, the Lord loves you and I do too!!