Those of you who know me have heard the story of my first scrap with cancer. However, now that my blog is becoming world wide super fly, I figured it appropriate to take a step back and start from the beginning. Grab some popcorn kids, it’s story time.
That’s me at my first chemo treatment. I had just got back from the Superbowl and was rocking my gear, bragging to everyone. Steelers beat the Cardinals asses and I was right in the middle of the action. The boss was the halftime show. I practically choked on the masses of confetti that rain down after the victory. It was awesome. Just sayin.
One of my favorite things in life is vacation days. I’m talking the kind of vacation day that entails sleeping in, watching trashy day-time television, showering at whatever point in the afternoon you damn well feel like it or not showering at all in my case (don’t judge…I hate showering…I swear I was a hippy in a past life) spending entirely too much time surfing the internet and watching ridiculous youtube videos…you know…just maxin’ and relaxin’. Well, in December of 2008, I was cashing in on like 2 weeks of vacation time that I had saved up, and I was doing exactly that, and loving every second of it.
A few days before Christmas, I had plans to meet up with my lovely sister to do some last minute shopping. On this particular day, I did shower…and afterwards, I was lotioning up with some good smelling festive body lotion from bath and body works. (I should mention…I put lotion all over every inch of my body EVERY day…gotta keep that baby soft skin moisturized). As I’m putting on my lotion, I pass over my right boob and I feel a lump. Now, I had felt this lump before, but for some reason that day, I didn’t just ignore it like I had all of the times before that. It felt bigger…harder…I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Later that day, after both my mom and sister had felt me up a few times…per my mothers (who has been a nurse, a very talented and compassionate nurse, for over 35 years) suggestion I made an appointment with my gyno to get the lump checked out. The next day, I saw my gyno and she had the same reaction as the rest of us…acknowledging that there was definitely a large mass in my boob and that we should probably find out exactly what it is…so she recommended a mammogram and ultrasound, which I should have done after Christmas. Until then, Merry Christmas…Happy Holidays…Peace on Earth!
We had a lovely holiday at the Piazza residence that year…one filled with love, laughter, fine food and spirits and time with friends and family.
To be completely honest, I really wasn’t all that concerned about the lump in my boob. Cancer was the last thing on my mind. I was scheduled to get my first ever mammogram and I was more concerned about the large machine that would be squeezing the shit out of my boob later that morning.
The mammogram wasn’t all that bad. It was over in a few minutes and they proceeded to stick me in a small exam room where I was told to wait for the doctor who would be giving me an ultrasound. After a few minutes and a few nurses popping in, I knew something was up. They kept on confirming my age and medical history and asking me if I had someone there with me. The doctor finally came and got me and took me in for the ultrasound. I laid in a dark room, on a cold table, for what seemed like an eternity, while the doc kept on going over and over the lump. There was a small TV screen and I could see exactly what she was seeing (which looked like nothing but a bunch of white waves to me). She left me in the room and said that she would be back in a few minutes.
“I’m really worried. I think you might have breast cancer.” Those were her exact words when she came back into the room. I didn’t know what to say or think or feel People say this all the time, but it really felt like I was watching someone else in that moment. It wasn’t even real. I think my reaction was kind of a combination of complete shock and just absolute rage. I couldn’t believe she just came into the room and word vomited such heavy news all over me, with what at the time, felt like no compassion or concern whatsoever.
A few minutes later, I was back on that cold, hard table having a breast biopsy, which was quite possibly one of the most horrific and terrifying experiences of my life. I felt like I didn’t even have a chance to process the news and now they were stabbing me with a massive 6 inch long needle that was hooked up to some sort of vacuum, sucking out tissue from the middle of my boob. I’m not a crier, but I balled the entire time.
Those biopsies were sent to the lab and I would get the final results after the new year. Happy 2009, T! WTF??
Ok ok…this is getting really long. If you can’t tell…the first cancer rodeo was way more dramatic. I’ll pick up where I left off next time. Until then, check out this interview the hospital did with me and my oncologist a couple of years ago.