Hi, everyone... I'm Julie and I am pretty sure I have cancer; it's just a matter of confirming it.
Four months ago (May 09), I realized I had a 1" or so lump in my right breast. It alarmed me because although I'd been somewhat "lumpy" (fibrocystic, probably) for most of my caffeine-addicted adult life, I had never felt anything that large.
I prefer minimally invasive things when possible, so instead of going in for a mammogram (I haven't had one yet), I had something called thermography done. (It is heat-sensitive and maps areas of your body where inflammation is, and supposedly it's an earlier predictor of breast cancer than a mammogram.)
According to my thermogram, I was "inflamed" all over... not just the one lump... which they said means it's likely I'm fibrocystic, not cancerous. I swore off caffeine (well, for about five minutes anyway!) and went on my merry way.
Fast forward to a routine doctor's appt last week. Lump never went away, so I asked my doctor (who is a breast cancer survivor -- a male one, interestingly). He checked it and must have been alarmed because he had his staff set up an appt with a breast specialty center the very next day.
At that appointment, the doctor did an ultrasound and the usual grope , and said he was concerned, that the lump is suspicious, it doesn't seem fibrocystic to him, and I need to have a biopsy. That's scheduled for two weeks from now.
For some reason, although it's been in the back of my mind, I haven't been too worried so far... until tonight.
When I answered the specialist's question of "do you have any nipple discharge," I said no. But later, thinking about it, every once in a while I notice a teeny dot of dried blood on the inside of my bra (not quite in the center, but a little to the side). I assumed it was from a zit.
But tonight, after reading everyone's bloody discharge posts, I did what I hadn't done before... gave it a squeeze... and sure enough, a tiny blood droplet oozed out.
My heart sank and a wave of panic settled over me. I feel in my heart this means I do have cancer.
I thought I didn't have any risk factors, because:
- No one in my family has ever had cancer, breast or otherwise
- I'm not a smoker, not obese, etc.
- Until last week, I was a raging caffeine addict -- and my mother has had benign cysts all her life because of caffeine -- so I assumed it was likely that I just have one big honking cyst
But on the other hand, I have one HUGE risk factor that freaks me out. They say that if you haven't given birth by age 30, you're at a higher risk. I've read that being pregnant but having the pregnancy be terminated puts you at an even higher risk. Well, my husband and I have been trying to conceive for 6 years and have had four miscarriages. Hello, cancer risk!!!!! (as if infertility and miscarriage aren't heartbreaking enough)
Out of my three best girlfriends, two have survived breast cancer... and they are the two who have never had children. So now, between that and the lump and now the bloody discharge, I am convinced I have cancer and am SICK at the thought of having to go through chemo and radiation and destroy my chances of ever being a mother.
I guess I just needed to vent and cry here a little... thank you so much for listening. I guess all I can do is wait for the biopsy (although that freaks me out because research says that cancer is able to leak out of a cancerous cyst after a biopsy and that's how it often spreads). I wonder if it's possible to just have this thing cut out of me without going through a biopsy.... anyway, sorry to ramble and THANK YOU for listening!
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