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How One Growth is Healing Another

Updated on September 24, 2015

Life can surprise you, good and bad

In earlier blogs, I wrote about the discovery of the lump in my breast, and my concerns associated with it--the unknown nature of it, the eventual diagnosis whatever it would be, and my fear that it could take me away from my son.

Not long after my mammogram and needle biopsy, I began to suspect that I was pregnant. The first person I told was my son, who promptly asked me, "Is it a girl?"

I said, "I don't know."

He replied, "It is. Her name is Lily."

While I suspect he is right about the gender of the coming babe, I do not know for sure, but one thing I am certain of is that I am indeed expecting.

It had already been determined that I need surgery to remove the growth in my breast.

This was fantastic news for my partner and I. What I was not sure about was--how will I have surgery when I'm pregnant? How will this effect the baby?

When I was pregnant with my son (2010)
When I was pregnant with my son (2010)

Follow-Up: What Now?

I was scheduled for surgery already. I went into the office for my pre-surgery blood work, when I informed the nurse that I was pregnant. It had not been confirmed by a doctor at this point, but later that morning it was. My blood work showed that I was definitely pregnant.

The nurse informed me that the surgeon would likely want to monitor the lump throughout my pregnancy but that he would probably not want to do the surgery. However, in my visit with the surgeon a week or so later, he told me that due to my family history (my mother is a breast cancer survivor), he wanted to go ahead and remove the lump under local anesthetic rather than general (meaning that I would remain awake during the procedure). I asked, "Does that mean I can watch?!?" (I have a scientific interest in seeing my own insides).

He looked at me and said, "No, but we can talk during the procedure and listen to music." I really like my surgeon. He's a great guy. We scheduled the surgery again, this time for a few weeks later.

The day of surgery

My love picked me up at 5:30 a.m. to take me to the hospital. While I had been nervous in the preceding days, the morning of surgery I was in a pretty good mood. I was a little nervous still, but I had confidence in my surgeon and was secure in my support system (my partner and mother). After getting back to the pre-surgery area, I had my vital signs taken and spoke with a few different nurses. My love and I chatted about various things while we waiting for the surgeon to arrive.

Eventually, my surgeon knocked at the door and came in, a nurse in tow. He pulled my gown aside to examine my breast and mark the location where the incision was to be made. He asked me to find it for him. I massaged the area, probing with my fingertips and pointed to a general area where I thought it might be. I could not quite find the lump. He too, sought to find the lump with his fingertips.

"It feels different, doesn't it?" he asked me.

I looked at him and agreed, yes, it was difficult to find now.

He had the nurse lower the head of the bed so I was laying flatter and attempted to locate the lump again.

He told me that it had changed. "Your hormones have changed it. Do you feel how it has less of a definition now?" He said that was a good sign. "We might be right back in here," he said, "but for now, I want to see how this goes. Come see me again in four to six weeks."

"So no surgery today?" I asked. "No surgery today," he said.

The hormones in my body generated by my pregnancy, had caused the lump to flatten and spread out, a sign that it is almost definitely fibrocystic. "Something more serious wouldn't do that," the surgeon told me.

The surgeon patted my shoulder, smiling, and exited the room.

I looked at my partner, and he said, "the baby is healing you!"

What does this mean for my health?

Although Google is my online go-to web doctor, so far I have been unable to find anything about why this lump has changed or what it means for me.

I am hoping this is good news. I am hoping this means it's healing.

My motto in life is prepare for the worst, hope for the best. I am prepared for the possibility that this could be bad news, but I am optimistic that it is not.

Either way, this baby and this lack of surgery are both good news.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that I did not have to get cut into today, and that's a good thing. Religious folks might look at this like it is the work of God or some gods or the Goddess and maybe it is. Or maybe it's just the way the universe played this part of my story, our story, out. I don't know if there's a being I believe in, but I am thankful to the universe every day that I met my true love and that that I'm blessed to be carrying our child.

No matter what happens with this lump that's not quite a lump, those facts do not change.

I'm a survivor


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