All stories have a beginning. This is mine.
Around August 2016, I noticed a small lump in my right breast. At the time, I was 4 months pregnant with Kieran. Breasts change, especially during pregnancy, so I thought nothing of it. Plus…busy mom! No time! By October, however, I could not ignore that lump. An ultrasound revealed a cyst and my doctor told me not to give it a second thought. She said it would be gone by the time I gave birth and was likely a milk cyst brought on by hormonal changes. Three months after Kieran was born, rather than disappearing, my cyst was larger. Again, I went to the doctor and another ultrasound reinforced that it was a cyst. November 2017 rolls around. Kieran was 10 months old and my cyst had grown; the doctor explained that it had doubled in size and had a thickened wall. I was sent to the Breast Health Centre at my local hospital where my surgeon, with 35 years experience, reassured me that I had a common milk cyst and offered to drain it on the spot. I hate needles so I left without getting it drained. But something made me go back (perhaps it was Ryan’s incessant nagging, but one can never be sure). My cyst was drained on December 20, nearly a year and half after I first went to the doctor. It was not milk. Then began the tests. First, a mammogram and a triple biopsy revealed that I had invasive ductal carcinoma. Following that my doctor ordered a bone scan, CT scan and blood work to find out if my cancer had spread to my brain, liver, bones and lungs. The days spent waiting for these results were perhaps the longest of my life. Thankfully, all were negative. I had a partial mastectomy on January 18, only six days after my diagnosis. It has been about five weeks since surgery and I’ve completed one chemo session out of eight. I wanted to write this post because I think my story is essential; it is a reminder that you can eat organic, not use plastic, exercise daily, get your greens and get checked again and again and still….and still. This is by no means meant to scare you, even though I could see how it might! It is merely a gentle reminder to be kind to your body. It may not be perfect but it is perfectly yours. Listen to your body and always make the time to get something that doesn’t feel right checked out. It may just save your life.