Life story: Breast lump surgery

surgery 3Hello, my name is Christina if you don’t know already.  I’m currently 23 years old right now living in Canada and yes, I had lumps in my breast and actually I still do. Sharing this on the internet wasn’t my first thought after recovering but I think this is an important story I should share just in case you are going through the same thing or know someone you love that is going through the same thing as well. This isn’t going to be an easy story to tell nor will there be plenty of photos for you to indulge but nonetheless I’m already typing this out, so here we go. 

Remember when you were kids in elementary school and they would already start teaching you stranger danger, if someone is touching you in your “private square” and all that jazz?  I remember as a child, sitting in the assembly room along with two other classes of 30 kids (so 90 kids in total), wondering what the heck is going on?  Wait what the hell is that?  Is that an eggplant they are showing?  But why is there a mushroom on top of it.  I also remembered vividly a kid got up in the middle of the sex ed class, went to the back of the room and proceeded to puke violently in the middle of no where.  Yes… fun times.  Well I also remembered the teachers teaching the girl to always check for lumps on your body, especially in your breast.  “Psh, that will never happen to me”.  We all thought that, don’t lie, I know you did.  I did too.

Fast forward to recent days, the present if you will.  Back in summer of 2014, I was laying on my bed minding my own business and while watching Youtube videos before going to sleep.  I don’t know what made my touch my breast (pretty sure I was just scratching it or something; don’t have dirty thoughts you!) and something caught my attention.  Around the right breast, the side boob part, I felt some foreign object.  Something is definitely not right and any normal person would get a second opinion.  I proceeded to call my mom over for her to come check as well, trying to keep my decency.  She also noticed something strange.  Of course it would be strange for a weird lump thing to suddenly appear on your body!  Why haven’t I noticed that earlier?

The usual family doctor I go to was a male, so I wasn’t comfortable going to them to get it checked out.  You might be like “oh they are doctors, they’ve seen ever weird part of the human body.”  I know but that doesn’t stop me from being weirded out.  Luckily my sister, who already moved out of the house, went to a new family doctor and just so happen to be a female.  I got a referral by her and got an appointment.  The appointment was a week away, and it was the longest week I had to go through.  Uncertainties just kept swirling in my head.  What if… what if… I don’t want to say it.  Cancer?  No, it couldn’t be!  Can it be?

A week had passed.  My mom and I went together to see the doctor.  She was very attentive and treated me like a real patient.  The usual doctors I go to always seem to brush everything off and just give me some pills or tell me I’m too young to have any problems.  I HATE THAT.  Disease know no age.  I wish doctors would be more attentive like her and actually take the time to explain things and not brush everything off like it is nothing.  That is how shit happens people!!!

She told me I don’t really have much to worry about since the lump was able to move around, which usually indicates it is 90% not cancerous.  I was quite relived to hear that but that 10% of uncertainty still haunted me.  She sent me a referral to get an ultrasound and also to a specialist to see what he had to say.

So I did the ultrasound couple weeks after and the results were sent to the specialist.  Around November or so, I finally got to see the specialist.  I walked up to the wooden office, made sure it was the right room, right doctor. Underneath the doctor’s name said “general surgeon.”  WHAT?  I’M GOING TO GET SLICED OPEN?????? NOOOOOOOOOO.

You’d think a vampire like me ,who goest to sleep when the sun comes up and sleeps during the day, can handle a little pain a blood eh?  No.  Firstly I’m going to have to explain that I’m definitely NOT afraid of blood.  If I was, I wouldn’t be able to do my job as a chef since I’m always surrounded by bloody meat.  Every single time I get injured (deep cuts, usually not even by my own knife!), my body freaks the fuck out and goes into shock mode.

Shock:  Not the emotional shock.  Circulatory shock is a medical condition is pretty much when your blood isn’t circulating properly, the heartbeat isn’t beating at a normal pace and pretty much I feel like I’m dying every time it happens.  I can’t really explain it that well, so here is wikipedia’s take on the definition. LOL  Apparently it is a “life threatening medical emergencyand one if the “most common causes of death for critically ill people“.

The first ever time I got shock was when I stepped out of my shower one day, butt naked, and suddenly felt like I had to poop really badly.  So I proceed to sit on the toilet, waiting for the chocolate glory to come out but nothing was coming to greet me.  Instead, I was greeted by a weird pain taking over my body, making me suddenly really cold but sweaty, pale lips and weak body.  I didn’t know that time it was shock and honestly thought I was going to die.  That familiar feeling is too close to me and I always take precaution whenever I hurt myself.  Other times I fainted, fell underneath a desk, splitting open my lip and blood gushing out of my freshly cut finger in the beginning of gym class.  That is a different story I can tell another time.

Anyways, back to the doctors office.  I impatiently awaited for the doctor to arrive.  Sadly he was a male but I had to suck up my big girl panties and told myself “it’s only awkward if you make it awkward.”  I was half naked, waiting on the examination bed with a cloth over my titties, trying to keep the last bit of decency I had left.  In comes the doctor, FLIPS THE DAMN CLOTH and then checks.  WHY THE HELL DID YOU GIVE ME THE CLOTH ANYWAYS LOL.  I as well be butt naked (」゜ロ゜)」.  2 minutes of awkwardness for me, laying on the cold, faux leather bed with a strange man I just met fondling my girls.  So… weird.  

Finally he was done his “examination”, told me I had something called fibroadenoma and definitely was not cancer from the results of the ultrasound and his expertise. Apparently it is quite common with females in their 20’s, and they are also called “breast mice/mouse” since they move around under the flesh.  He gave me two options, one was to either come back every year for the rest of my life and do ultrasounds and check ups to make sure it doesn’t turn into cancer, or two was to do surgery and get rid of it.  By that time, the lump grew from the size of a cranberry to about a grape.  It was growing quite fast and he said it would be ideal to just get rid of it.  THANK GOD Canada has a good health care system were we don’t have to pay up front couple thousands to do a surgery.  And no people, our healthcare isn’t FREE.  We get taxed on every little thing here, so it really comes from our taxes we pay.  We also have health care benefits if you work with a good company, which I do at the moment so thank goodness for that too.  I didn’t pay anything and I decided it would be the best choice for me to get rid of it and be done with.  The date was not set and they told me once there was an opening at the hospital, they would contact me.

Fibroadenoma: “a tumor formed of mixed fibrous and glandular tissue, typically occurring as a benign growth in the breast”

December 28 of 2014 rolled around and I finally got a phone call.  
“Hello?  May I speak to Christina?”
“Yes, I am Christina.”
“Hello, I’m calling from Dr. _____ office and I would like to inform you that your surgery date is set on January 9, 2015 at 10 am.  Please be there at 9 am to sign in and get everything ready.  Do not be late.”
“Alright, thank you.”  *Hangs up*.

Wait… JANUARY 9?!?! That is 12 days away!  HOLY COWS!  Of course first line of business was to get everything prepared at work and notify them that I’m going to be away for a bit for the surgery and recovery time.  I brought the news to my boss and he jokingly asked if I could reschedule.  Of course I said no since I waited for the surgery for more then half a year at that point and the lump was growing way too fast for me to wait some more.  This is not something I’m going to risk.  I just wanted to be courteous and let them know, but he was just trying to cover his ass and make sure there are enough staff.  I get it.  In the eye of business, it doesn’t really matter what is going on with personal life but I’m not going to party in LA or something.  I’m going to get a surgery that could possibly become something bigger and dangerous down the road if I don’t do the surgery.  I thought he understood that, but I guess he didn’t.

Couple days passed, 5 more days till the surgery.  I was planning to just get the doctors note and come back to work to get the time off work.  I went into work and my boss calls me into the office, closing the door.  Uh oh, you know what that means.  He also ended up pulling my sous chef (aka. manager I guess if I need to translate it) into the office and proceeded to lecture me how this is a business, how I’m being selfish and not concerning how “hard it would be for him” if I was gone. Please, it isn’t like it is easy for me to do this either and now your going to lecture me about how I’m doing something I don’t want to?  You’d think I’d take this bullshit?  NO!  I just went back at him and told him if I didn’t do this, it could cost me my life in the future and if that were to happen, is he responsible?  

“Why didn’t you tell me this was happening in your life?”
Uhhh maybe because by the time I get to work, your already going home.  What am I suppose to stop your way to tell you all my problems in my life?  Both the sous chefs know what is going on.  Why don’t you ask yourself why you don’t stay later and actually interact with the night shift staff instead of scurrying away to go home.  Children, this are the times no one else will stick up for you other then yourself.  You better learn this fast because they don’t teach you these life skills in school.

In the end, there was no discussion.  I was going to get this over with and whether my bossed liked missing a staff member and having to pay another overtime to cover the missing spot, it’s not my problem.  My problem right now is to get this daunting event over so I can move on with my life.

January 8 rolled around and I finally got to meet with the family doctor to get the doctors note for time off work.  Sadly the doctor I first met up with who I said was super attentive, moved back to Toronto.  How come the one time I finally find a good doctor, she gets pregnant and move away.  But congratulations anyways :), I’m happy that you are building your own nest!  Anyways, I got my doctors note, which costed me $20!!  $20 for a stinkin’ piece of paper to shut my stupid boss up.  I drove back down to my work place to drop it off, and luckily it was my second sous chef who is super understanding and frowned upon what the boss was trying to do.  He told me to not mind him and my health was more important.  I really wish he was the one that was my boss.  Sigh….

24 hours…. the hardest most nerve recking day of my life.  My first surgery, I wonder how I will be.

I woke up at 7:50 am that day and made sure I ate a full breakfast which I never do since I’m always in a hurry to rush out the door.  Wearing my bling bling dinosaur sweatshirt to lighten up my mood but nothing could really mask my scent of fear.  Onto the car I went with my boyfriend and my mom accompanying me.

9 am, we got there, registered and everything and sat on the surgery level, waiting.  I absolutely hate the hospital.  This is this distinct artificial clean scent masking the smell of death.  I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about, but if you ever enter a hospital, you’ll know what I mean.  Everything there was just not a place you’d want to stroll around.  Every corner you’d see the fatally injured, old people that are almost on their last breath of life.  I mean I guess you can say it would make you appreciate life more.

We sat there for a goof 45 minutes until finally the nurse called my name. 
“Christina, Christina for 10 am.”
“I’m here!”
“Can you please confirm your birthday?”
“February ________”.

In we go.  Into the room I’ve been dreading to step foot in.  They gave me a gown to change into, nothing on top but I could keep my pants and boots on. 

surgeryHere was a picture of me just minutes before my surgery.  I always make goofy faces to make myself feel a little better.  But really, I was about to shit bricks.

surgery 2The bed I laid on for a hour (I believe it was just half an hour but it felt like an eternity).  I don’t know why, but I imagined the surgery room to be more like what is in the movies with the stainless steel walls, sleek white futuristic machines.  We have here a teal green bed cover and machines parked along side the wall.  Interesting…

My surgeon comes in and says “Are you ready?  How are you today?”

Haha… I’m fine?  But I really wanted to say “OF COURSE I’M NOT FINE!  YOUR GOING TO CUT ME OPEN!! WHYYYYYYY.  I WANT TO GO HOME.  MOMMMYYY~~”  Big girl panties…. big girl panties.  What Fergie would say, “Big girls don’t cry”.  Fine I won’t cry but I can still run away right? HAHA….( ⚆ _ ⚆ )

I was instructed to lay on my left side, but bending my upper body to the right and keeping my hands underneath the sheet they were covering me with just in case I moved or accidently sock the doctor in the face.  First of all, could you guys not give me a pillow or something to support my back?  My back was so sore just after the 5 minute mark but I had to hold still.  He comes to me with a GIANT ASS NEEDLE that was at least 10 cc, and begin to inject the numbing agent.  That was the time my shock started to kick in.  I felt like I was the life force was getting sucked out of me once again, my body was freezing cold with cold sweat, pale lips and I was about to black out.  The doctor wasn’t fazed at all, telling the nurse to get me a cold towel and the oxygen tank.  She placed it underneath my neck and stick the oxygen nose plug thingy up my nose but whatever speed the oxygen was flowing out of the thing was actually making it harder for me to breath.  

The doctor, trying to make light of the situation, was trying to make small talk with me but of course I wasn’t having it.  I was trying my best to respond but man…. can’t you just let me black out LOL.  Seriously!! I think I’ll come back to life, I think. He kept asking me how was work, how was my day.  All I said was… good?  Uh huh….● ﹏☉

In came the knife.  Actually it isn’t the knife anymore but a laser.  The whole time I refused to open my eyes because if I did, I would realize that I was getting cut open while being awake.  I wanted to be knocked out but the doctor said it is really harmful to the body.  Dang it!  I could smell my flesh burning. He was almost done but all of a sudden I felt it.  He didn’t put enough of the numbing agent and I felt my flesh being cut deeply open.  I told him I can feel the laser cutting me and if he could put more numbing agent please!  Throughout the whole surgery, I didn’t feel much pain.  I think the worse was the clicking nosies his tools were making and something wet rolling down the side of my back (aka. blood).  Around 20 minutes or 20 minutes passed and he was sewing me back up.  I could kind of feel my flesh coming back together.  It’s kind of disgusting if you really think about it.

About 40 minutes passed and I was done.  Still trying to recover from being in shock, my body was still not up to speed.  I was cold, shivering, my mind was just not there and half way through the surgery, my stomach for some reason hurt a lot!  I think my body didn’t like the numbing agent and the natural response was to poop?  What the……..  I got wheeled out of the surgery room and the first thing I mumbled was to please be wheeled to the washroom.  My mother wheeled me over and my boyfriend also greeted me with “uhh why are you so grumpy looking.”  Uhhh… are you serious right now?  If I was fully myself at that moment, I’d be pissed.  I didn’t have enough energy to be pissed so I just brushed it off.  I NEED TO POO!  That must have been the hardest poop I did of my life.  With the little energy I still had, I practically crawled there and tried my very best to let it out.  If you have ever seen a chihuaha poop, it is the funniest thing ever.  They poop like it is their last time to ever poop, their whole body shaking while trying to let one out.  That was me. My mother would knock every 30 seconds to make sure I was still I was still alive and I couldn’t really respond other then a slight tap on the wall.

I finally got to leave the hospital and back on.  But on the way back, my sweet mother stopped by our favourite Pho place and bought me some noodles because I had to be left alone at home since she had to go back to work.  I thought my boyfriend would be able to stay with me the whole day, but he had some personal business he had to take care of and said he would be back later in the day to pay me a visit.  Sadly he got caught up and never came back. I’m not going to lie, I was kind of sad but on well.

Home sweet home. My body was finally up to speed and I felt normal again.  Sadly the numbing agent was wearing off and I started feeling shooting pain throughout the right side of my body.  For the next two weeks, I tried to limit any movements and mostly laid in bed with a pillow supporting my right breast.  Seriously I don’t know why people would want to voluntarily go under the knife for vanity.  It is not fun!!! Think about it, your breast moves 360 degrees, jiggles and everything.  I couldn’t wear a bra of any sort, I couldn’t move my right arm up past my waist without being in excruciating pain, I couldn’t go to to the mailbox without having to awkwardly cup my breast like the freak of the week.

I’d say about a week, the pain slowly started to go away and I could move my arm up past my breast.  Not all the way up since it would stretch the skin too much.  Throughout the whole two weeks, I just enjoyed being a hermit crab, sleeping at home and making tons of delicious food.  You could look back at my instagram to see what I made.  I think I made Pho for the second time and it was DELICIOUS.  Not toot my own horn, but the broth I made was DAMN GOOD.  It was just the same, if not better then the ones I go out to eat.  Of course mine is better since there is absolutely no MSG or any additives, pure beef bones, vegetables and spices.  It was AMAZING.  I also made some yellow curry and butter chicken.  Oh yea, that was the life.

Two weeks passed and I was alright enough to go back to work.  First day back, my boss almost punched me exactly where my scar was.  HOLY COWS I ducked as fast as I could!  Of course he didn’t do it on purpose.  I was walking in while he was talking to someone, with his back facing me and I guess he was getting really excited in his conversation with a colleague and swung his arm out.  Blood would have been gushing out HAHA.  

A month passed and I went back for a check up with my surgeon.  Everything looked great, everything was healing well and to my surprise, I didn’t need to get my stitches taken out.  Nowadays, the stitches just melt away.  Perfect! I don’t do well with pain so one less trip to the hospital is A okay for me!  In one year, I had to go back to him to do a check up, ultrasound and all to make sure everything was doing okay.

Fast forward to present time, around October of 2015, I noticed there were two lumps again in the right breast.  Why is this happening again!  Apparently is is very common for fibroadenoma to reoccur so don’t be surprised.  Luckily I had a check up already coming up with the surgeon.  I did check with my family doctor to see what would be the best option for me and they just told me to just keep an eye on it but there shouldn’t be much to worry about.

I paid my surgeon a visit back in February and he pretty much said the same thing.  Just keep an eye on it, and if it gets any bigger, we might have to go back in there and get rid of it but at the moment, they are small and don’t seem to be cancerous either so we can just leave it since there is no pain. Fingers crossed that i don’t have to do surgery again (●´・△・`.  At the moment, I have a visible scar that is about 7 cm near my side boob.  I don’t really care that I have an ugly brown and pink scar, I actually think it is quite cool.  I kind of feel bad ass and it serves as a reminder that if I can survive through something so daunting, I can go through anything.  It’s all perspective.

So that was my long long long long story.  Hope you enjoyed my little life story, a snip it of my life if you will.  Hopefully this is a lesson for all the ladies, make sure to check your breasts either weekly or monthly as a precaution.  Don’t be like me, “Oh it will never happen to me”.  Yea… never say never.

Let me know if you guys had the same experiences!  What surgeries have you had in the past?  Have you ever heard of something called fibroadenoma?  Let’s start a conversation down in the comments :).

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Anna

    Thanks for sharing, Christina! You truly are brave for going through that.

    I actually put off surgery for about a year now thinking if it doesn’t hurt then why go through an operation.

    Just out of curiosity, did the size of your breast change after? And does it still hurt?

    1. Christina

      My lump didn’t cause me any pain, but because it was growing at a speed that was too fast, it had to be removed. I’d rather be safe then sorry. And no, my breast size did not change, it stayed the same. Only difference is that I have a scar now.

      If your doctor recommended you taking it out, you might want to reconsider since throught their expertise, it might be your best option just in case.

      Hope that helps.

  2. Midori

    I’m so glad to hear you’re okay. Sending you lots of love and warm hugs.

    1. Christina

      Thanks love ????

  3. ken

    Glad to hear everything is well! My mom had a lump too and scared the bajesus out of me. When I went to the doctor with her and found out, the same day was a union strike at other hotel. I rather stay home to comfort my mom instead of going to hotel. Supervisor calls and bitches saying “you don’t care about your future blah blah blah “. I had to bitch back telling him I have to deal with family issues, and still he wasn’t getting the point until I told him what happened.

    1. Christina

      Oh no! I hope your mom is okay. Did she have the same thing as me? I hope it’s not cancerous!!!

      And yea I hate it when your bosses don’t understand. Funny thing is, i never miss a day of work, never come in hung over (since I don’t party anyways)and the only times I’m atually away is when I’m actually sick. That’s it. So it came as a surprise to me when they were bitching at me when I told them what was going on, while a lot of other dishonest staff memeberd would get away with murder. Like how does that work?

  4. Fiona

    You weren’t kidding about being a night owl ._. I saw your IG post when I was getting up!

    Thanks for sharing your story. Someone close to me went through a very similar ordeal. Sending you the best vibes from this side of Canada (sorry we ‘stole’ your good doctor!) As for myself, I’ve had one surgery on my toe when I was about 10. A much smaller scale surgery for sure, but the memory of the painful anesthetic needle plus the post-surgery treatments to keep the area clean daily, and going for check ups, are forever ingrained in me T_T. Since I was a child, there was a nurse just dedicated to talk to me to try and distract me from what was happening. I remember that I kept telling her ‘it hurts’ and she just kept saying, ‘i know, honey’ and petting my hair.

    1. Christina

      Haha I’m a VAMPIAAAAAA. Yes i truly am a night owl.

      I rememeber having a wart in between my toe and it had to be surgically removed as well, but it was done at my family doctor. I was a child too. I was a touch child actually, I’d just grind my teeth and not say anything. The doc froze the wart with liquid nitrogen I believe and took a razon, sliced it off. We had to do it twice which was the worse part haha. It would heal and then the doc sliced off some more. ????

      Hey at least you had a kind nurse ????????????????.

      P.S if you would kindly send us back our doc, that’s be lovely ????

      1. Fiona

        Aside from the actual surgery itself, I think the worse part really was the aftercare. At first, removing the bandage was a bit hellish due to dried blood (tmi?) so I hated taking it off. I had to soak it in some kind of solution every night and it would BURN. Then, I had to wear a slipper instead of a shoe which, when you wear a uniform to school, sticks out like a sore thumb. Finally, when I would think I’m better and run around a little bit during recess, I’d go home and it’d be not-so-good and I’d get yelled at by my mom ^_^;; and yes! I had the liquid nitrogen thing done before too, contracted something from a dance floor at school! But doing it twice definitely sounds waaaay worse D=

        1. Christina

          Holy cows that does not sound pleasant at all!! I know the feeling of wearing something outside of your usual uniform. It totally feels like you’re wearing a bright red sign that says LOOK AT ME! It is like me when I forget to bring my work shoes and have to wear my casual tennis shoes, so awkward!! My tennis shoes have mickey mouse on it too HAHA. What is with all the foot infections gurl! LOL. Do take care of yourself <3

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!