It’s probably nothing (but still get it checked)

Note of encouragement for breast cancer survivor

Or, as my friend and fellow breast cancer survivor Rachel would say, it’s probably a nothing burger. I’m going to start finding ways to work nothing burger into as many conversations as possible :). Slightly irreverent phrases make me giggle. I’m extra mature that way.

This morning in the shower, I felt a jelly-bean sized lump above my reconstructed breast. Everything I know from the last rodeo tells me this is nothing more than benign tissue – a fatty nodule that just randomly decided to spring forth.

But just in case, I’m doing the self-care, be your own advocate things that I know need doing. It’s a pain in the butt – and also the right thing to do.

Regular mammos and ultrasounds are part of my care team’s recommended post-treatment regimen. Even so, no one is more motivated than me to make sure these appointments happen when they are supposed to; I’ve learned the hard way that you’ve got to stay on it rather than just trusting that all the referral back and forth processes will run smoothly.

This means that I’ve had to follow up multiple times with my referring physician’s office, because after they said they’d sent the order for that routine mammo and ultrasound in November, an entire month passed with no call from the facility. I knew somebody had dropped the ball.

Turns out the order was missing one piece of information preventing it from being completed. So I got that straightened out.

In the process I learned of an app that my provider uses allowing me to speak with her directly, which is bonus because working through her scheduler is time consuming and for other reasons, absolutely no picnic. I’d never have known this was even an option if I hadn’t asked for her email address (which I’ve since learned she doesn’t use for patient correspondence). It’s much more efficient to talk with her through the app anyway, and I’m glad she made that option available to me.

Moral of the story – ask, people, ASK! Don’t let the run around of snippy office assistants and inefficient voice mail/wait/missed call/another voice mail tail chasing wear you down or prevent you from seeking the follow-up care you need.

I also wasn’t super thrilled to learn that the order had been sent to a different facility, one that wouldn’t be able to see me until February 1st, and one that would also require me to take on the extra task of filling out an in-person form and then collecting all my films and files from the prior provider, then ensuring the new provider has them all. Um, for lots of reasons, NO THANK YOU.

So I (using the app) requested that the referring physician keep me at the same facility, which had the added benefit of me being able to get in sooner.

Now instead of wondering what this jelly bean lump actually is for the entire month of January, I’m getting it checked this coming Monday morning.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to spend all this back-and-forth time just to ensure that we’re evaluated quickly at the place that’s most efficient for us. Then again, my perfect world wouldn’t have cancer in it either.

Here’s to the odds of nothing burger news on Monday!

In the meantime, enjoy this little reminder to take good care of you and all your parts.

Closing with a shout-out to fellow survivor sister Debbie, who just happened to be doing her own self care today and found this prayer and gratitude tree (pictured in this post) right there at MD Anderson. How she blessed me with the note she added to it after I’d texted her the jelly bean find.

These are the kinds of friends I prayed for; surround yourself with good human beings like this!

They continue to bless me and teach me what it means not only to be a true friend, but also a sister in Christ.

Also never underestimate how much a quick but sincere call can mean to another. I love you Alex!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Linda Wolfe says:

    Praying for your peace no matter what. You have some mighty prayer warriors out there and prayer is powerful. Faith gets stronger the more we practice it.

    1. It’s the greatest gift of our Pinks! Can’t wait to see your smiling face soon friend! And I’ll definitely keep y’all posted once I know results.

Leave a Reply