Last week, I went in to my OB/GYN complaining of pain and a lump I thought was associated with breastfeeding . I’ve had them come and go before and just figured they could tell me the best way to avoid/get rid of them altogether. The nurse set me up to get an ultrasound – just to be on the safe side.
Last Wednesday, I went in for my ultrasound – an appointment I nearly blew off since I was beginning to feel better. I was certain the pain was from having to pump instead of nurse, as I’ve had to go back to work full time.
When I arrived, the nurses decided I needed a mammogram too since I am over 30. I thought nothing of it, but after a third round of pictures, I began to wonder.
“Oh, we just see some scattered microcalcifications and want to make sure we are extra cautious”, the nurse said. I begin to sweat a little, watching every emotion on her face in order to interpret what she might see. In her face I saw disappointment.
“Just sit outside and wait for your ultrasound, ma’am”, she says with a forced smile. I sheepisihly waited while they interpreted results of my mammogram.
A few minutes later, another lady walks me back in a dark room to do my ultrasound. The first go around, she didn’t find anything. Clean slate. A few minutes later, however, the radiologist asked that I have another ultrasound, in a different location of my breast. I watched as she moved the wand and then I saw it clear as day. Amongst a backdrop of white tissue, there was a round, black spot. I stopped breathing.
The nurse fiddled around in that area, taking lots of pictures while I didn’t speak. I was afraid to ask any questions. She didn’t speak either. When she was finished, she asked me to wait for the radiologist to come in and give me a consultation.
I waited in the dark room for about 5 minutes which seemed like hours. Dr. Silver came in and handed me a sheet of paper with a check by “suspicious lump”, indicating that I need a follow up biopsy.
Every negative emotion ran through my body: fear, skepticism, anger, sadness. I just want to me a mom to my kids; I have too much to lose! Between this, having two kids, nursing, and a stressful full-time job, I was certain I’d lose my mind.
I went in for my first consultation Friday and found that doctor to be a total goon, so I’m getting a second opinion Monday. He did tell me that I would likely have to stop nursing, as the biopsy incision will cause a “milk fistula” (in other words, milk pouring out from the incision site) which will inhibit healing. Being incredibly stubborn, I knew there would be a way to continue nursing after having a breast biopsy. Either that, or maybe I should delay the biopsy? Would that be incredibly stupid? Probably.
In all my research, I’ve decided that I will continue to nurse Bennett, but wean him from the affected side – just until things heal. I can then begin the process of “relactation”. (Yes, this is possible and moms can even nurse their adopted children with a lot of patience and persistence.) I have meanwhile called every lactation specialist within a 100 mile radius, plus another located in Canada. Looks like I will be a “case study” in this situation, as there apparently aren’t many moms that have biopsies while nursing.
My gut tells me that everything will be fine, that I will have the biopsy and results will come back as negative. But I please ask for your prayers. I am scared and completely overwhelmed between working and trying to be a good mommy and wife. It’s just too much to handle sometimes. Thanks you for your support and concern and I will certainly keep everyone updated. If anyone has experienced anything like this, I’d love to hear from you!!