I have mentioned that the type of cancer I have doesn’t show up on a mammogram. It is even hard to find during a monthly self-exam, which I rarely do (shame on me!). The first indication that I had any trouble was the external appearance of my breast. There was a noticable bulge. Initially I thought it was just hormones. Then we thought it might be scar tissue. You know already how wrong we were. What you may not know is that shortly after we started this party, my normally inverted nipple started to change. I noticed it first, but I didn’t make the connection right away that it had to do with the tumor. I’ve always had inverted nipples, so I’m used to the looking a little weird compared to other women’s nipples. But the one on the right seemed to be positively gaping. It was The Husband’s comment that same morning that made the connection between the tumor, and the gaping nipple. He said “Are there bears living in that cave?” Which was funny, and kind of freaky at the same time, like so much else has been about this experience. I wondered – if I had noticed the bulge a month sooner, would my lymph node be invovled? What if my bone and PET scans show the cancer has by-passed the lymph nodes altogether (save the one) and moved into my bones, my liver, my blood? I didn’t notice the cavernous nipple when I noticed the bulge. Is this thing moving that fast?
Maybe it’s just that my breast has been signficantly mangled and mashed the past few weeks. I normally get twice the mangling every year, due to my fibroid-prone right breast. But for the past three weeks, it’s been a cycle of “mash. mangle. Repeat!” for poor frownie. Maybe she’s registering scorn by making a (even more) scary face at me.
Maybe if I just keep smiling back at her, she’ll see it’s really going to be alright.
Because it is.
Super powers, engage.