By Tanya Dodd-Hise
Today could very well be the beginning of a new, long journey. Who knows. But I suppose any day of our lives could be a turning point for any of us that we just don’t know – until it happens.
Today was the day that I confirmed a fairly large mass in my left breast. Today was the day that I said it, out loud, to my wife and best friend. Today was the day that I had to stop denying what I felt in the shower twice last week.
I am moderately freaked out by this discovery. When I first felt it, in the shower at the gym, last week, I shrugged it off thinking it was all in my imagination. A couple of days later when I was showering after our Aqua Cardio class, I felt it again and again thought it was all in my mind, so I totally blew it off. It was this morning, when lying down for a nap with the baby, that I rolled over onto my hand and was awakened because I felt the mass against it. This, of course, prompted me to roll over and do a proper self-exam; and it was definitely NOT all in my mind. It is most definitely in my breast. I went into the bathroom to see if there were any noticeable differences to the shape; and was disappointed to see that there was. Great. This is really there, and I’m gonna have to do something about it.
Back to being freaked out. Oh my God. I have no health insurance. OK. So what am I going to do? I cannot be one of those people who don’t do anything because they don’t have insurance. There ARE resources. There IS help. Nor will I sit back and blame the president or other some such nonsense for the situation I am in. I don’t have insurance because self-employed folks pay really high rates for really high deductible insurance, which doesn’t help the little guys like me; plus the fact that my wife’s company refused to add me to her fantastic insurance plan simply because we are the same gender. Bastards. All of them.
So I recalled that last time I went to my doctor, I grabbed a card that stated that they can refer patients who qualify for eleven dollar mammograms through their foundation; each test is funded by donors and grants. First I had to locate the card, and then I called the number. I got a recording the first time, and again the second time – so I left a message and waited for my call back. It was Friday afternoon around 2 PM when I left the message – no call back today. I hope to get a call on Monday and get it scheduled as soon as possible next week. The waiting is the worst part. All of the things that the imagination can put us through is what has been happening all day. Erikka says not to panic, but it’s very hard, given my family history with the boobies. I told her that I would be SO pissed if I have worked this hard over the past year to lose weight and get healthy for something like breast cancer to happen….only I didn’t say the C word.
All I have now to go on is a message left for an appointment that is yet to be made. That is my next step. I will go and have the mammogram done and see what they say. In 2008, at the age of 38, I found my first lump on the right side – and it was about the size of a pea. I went through the mammogram process, which led to further testing and sonograms, and ultimately being told that it was fibrous tissue. This one is different, and about four times as big; and the underside of my breast is flattened, kind of dimpled in. It scares me more.