I’ve been doing a lot of traveling for work this past year. I’m kind of the pinch hitter for my customer and so I get sent out to help out with things where we’re short handed or need my particular expertise.
The travel was a little frenetic. Normally, as a consultant, I’d have a pretty good idea of the project plan and when I needed to be where. I rarely knew when I’d be home or for how long, which made making and keeping appointments with doctors and others a bit difficult. As a single person with no kids, that wasn’t a big deal. Until now.
The hurricanes in Texas and Florida provided me a 5 week unexpected break – but there was always the possibility that I would be sent somewhere during that time, so I didn’t make many plans. I already had a 6 week travel schedule with a few weeks’ break for Thanksgiving and then go back out again til Christmas.
The night before I was leaving for a month straight, I realized I hadn’t had any of my cancer screenings in too long, and I’d not been doing self exams regularly. My complacency wasn’t without reason – there was no family history, all of my previous scans were negative, and I hadn’t had any reason to believe I had an issue because I had felt relatively healthy all this time.
When I started feeling around my right breast, I immediately felt something hard and knobby. I literally said, out loud, “What the fuck IS THAT?” I felt around some more. Okay, only one lump. Other side? Nothing. Shit. I looked at them both in the mirror. The right one didn’t look any different than the left one. No swelling or skin changes. I don’t feel any swelling under my arm. Okay, good. But still…
What could it be besides cancer? A cyst maybe? A benign mass? Possibly. But… it doesn’t move under the skin, it feels knobby and it’s huge. Fuck. I know have breast cancer.