Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Last month, I decided "on a whim" to go get a physical. I hadn't had a physical in years, because I've been so healthy, so it seemed silly and unnecessary. But I decided to go, just for the hell of it...I loved filling out that form, checking off "no, no, no, no" for all the health problems it asked about. Dr. E checked my blood pressure - great! My lungs - so clear! My heart - healthy! My weight - just right! My ears - doing well!

Then she palpated my breasts, and found a small lump in my left one. TINY, about the size of a pea. She thought it was probably benign, but suggested I get an ultrasound, "just to be sure." The radiologist looked at the ultrasound and was "98% sure" it was benign, but suggested I get a biopsy "just to be sure." The surgeon completed the biopsy and was "99% sure" it was benign, but scheduled me an appointment to come in and officially hear the results of the pathology report anyway.

This morning, I went to the hospital with the meeting with Dr. R. It was a beautiful, unusually-warm, sunny day, and I was eager to get this appointment - which I had been referring to as "the official 'yay, you don't have cancer' conversation" - out of the way. On the way in, I teased Mom and Andee, who were accompanying me to the appointment and had been with me for the biopsy, that the goal was to not let Dr. R talk on and on as he has a tendency to do. "I just wanna hear, 'You don't have cancer,' and then we can go!" I said brightly. I was cheerfully chattering away, right up until we entered his office. I greeted him and went to shake his hand, but he avoided my eyes and did not smile in return. That's when I knew. He asked tentatively, "Has anyone told you anything about this yet?" I said no, and sank down into a nearby chair. He said, "We have the results back, and...they found something. They're calling it breast cancer."

That's all I heard. He did indeed talk on and on for what felt like hours more, but I just felt like I was underwater, being churned around in a big ocean wave. At the same time, my breath was as shallow as low tide. I couldn't focus on anything. Cancer. Cancer. Not in ME! Not in MY BODY!

It doesn't feel real. It doesn't make sense to me. How can I have cancer?
I'm 30 years old.
I have no family history of breast cancer.
I am one of the healthiest people I know. I eat a vegetarian, largely organic diet. I exercise. I'm not overweight. I never drink, smoke, or do drugs. I use natural bodycare products. I have a fulfilling spiritual practice. I have a healthy body image/love my body, including my breasts. I get plenty of rest - usually 8 hours of sleep per night or more. I do yoga. I don't wear underwire bras. I don't use antiperspirant with chemicals. I did not begin menstruating at an unusually early age. I have the highest levels of antioxidants out of the several hundred people who have been tested with the biophotonic laser scanner in my dad's chiropractic office. I am so healthy that until the biopsy, I had not had a needle in me in about 16 years, other than for dental work. I can't even remember the last time I threw up, and I've never broken a bone, or been unconscious, or needed a cast or crutches, or had surgery, or had stitches, other than a few on my nose when I was one and fell while learning how to walk. I am happy. I am healthy. I say prayers of gratitude every single night for my life, my health, and the love that surrounds me. I am a good friend to myself and others. I take really good care of myself.



  1. Britta, I was so surprised to see this news! The first thing I thought was, wow, she's SUCH a healthy-type person and it was interesting to read that you're having those thoughts too.

    So sorry you're going through all of this. I know we've never met in real life, but jeez I feel as concerned as if one of my longest-time best friends just found out SHE had breast cancer.

    I think that your healthy lifestyle and body will probably play a big role in how treatment goes. That's just my totally uninformed opinion, but I think all your exercise history, diet choices, body love, and meditation and yoga and stuff will help you fight this fight.

    Big hugs and let me know if there's anything I can do!

  2. I'm three months into this ordeal myself - age 38, also mucinous, and super healthy otherwise. I'm glad to see you're doing so well. Thank you for writing so honestly. I find it easy to write in happy times but painful to write during sadness. You've captured my emotions in your words - thank you :-)

  3. Tyler Logan, I'm so sorry you've had to join this club that has way too many members and that no one wants to be a part of!! But I'm glad to hear that you're otherwise super healthy. And I'm sure you know by now that mucinous cancer usually has an excellent prognosis. I'm glad you found my blog and found it useful. Thanks so much for commenting! Sometimes I freak out a little when I realize just how much personal stuff I've shared publicly here on the Internet, and consider taking it all down... but I leave it up, for people like you. Writing is a release for me, a way to process what's going on in my head, but beyond that, my hope is always that my blog will be of use and comfort to other women on their cancer journeys. I'm sending you good wishes as you go through this ordeal... check back in when you can and let me know how things are going for you!!