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.
HOW CAN I HAVE CANCER?