The Diagnosis


If we’re completely honest with ourselves, there is always a sign. There is always that very first instance that makes us aware that something exciting is about to happen or that something is wrong. Oftentimes though, we ignore it, we put it to the side. We shrug it off as if it’s nothing.

Towards the end of December 2014 I had an itch on the side of my boob but thought nothing of it. I just thought it was some bumps. I thought – “now that I have some real insurance, I should go see my GYN for a checkup and schedule my mammogram since I’m on the verge of my 40th birthday.”

**It should be noted here that for the previous 4 years I had been in varying states of self/under/un-employment.**

Anyway, fast forward to January 2015 and I finally made an appointment because the small patch I thought were just bumps were still present but felt like they were moving when I would touch them. The PA who did my breast exam in early February described them as “peas”.

She scheduled my mammogram and denied my request for a new birth control prescription … “let’s wait and see what the mammogram says.”

Two weeks later I’m in for my first mammogram which includes a diagnostic. For those who don’t know, this means that in addition to the awkward, super squeezing boob machine there is an ultra-sound type test they do. {there’s a lot more to this part of the story but more on that another time} The results came back and there were 2 suspicious areas.

I got a call from both my GYN and the breast surgeon she recommended me to. Needless to say I was already going nuts — internally of course. NOBODY wants to hear from 1 doctor in a day, let alone 2 …

The very next week I was in for a core needle biopsy, which also has it’s very own story.

My surgeon had decided to biopsy the second area first because of its location. This was not “the peas”. This was an area only detected by the mammogram. She was less worried about this area but wanted to biopsy it first because it would be a little bit more involved than the area of “peas”.

Two weeks later I was in for the results. I was as nervous as nervous could be. But, I consoled myself with this thought while I was waiting for the doctor. Don’t laugh.

I was sitting in the exam room, fully dressed, waiting for what felt like an eternity and thought “You know what? It’s fine. Everything is fine. In all the movies and tv shows the doctor takes you into their office if it’s bad news. I’m not in her office. I’m in the exam room, fully dressed to boot! It’s fine. I’m fine”

The doctor breezed in, with 2 interns in tow, said hi, grabbed her little stool, rolled over to me, put her hand on my leg while simultaneously saying:

It’s cancer.

For those keeping count, in the span of roughly 5 weeks I went from being just Tamika to Tamika-with-a-cancer-diagnosis.

Copyright 2016 Tamika Brown/The Fyne Prynt 

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