My Breast Lump Diagnosis Story | Michelle's Place Cancer Resource Center

 

This blog post is in partnership with Michelle's Place Cancer Resource Center.

I have to admit, it's been a bit dreary knowing I would eventually write this.  I wasn't sure if I would or wanted to but then came along Michelle's Place. They really were the extra nudge I needed.

It finally motivated me to share how the results and outcome from my mammogram back in October 2020 affected me and how the process affected me until I received my results this March. And just in case you don't follow along on my Instagram then this is definitely news to you. Either way I figured if I could share this story of mine here on the blog it would be here for reference for myself and for those who need some inspiration or resources now or in the future.


First off, I want to encourage every one of you to keep up on your mammogram exams. And yes, that includes men, if needed. Believe it or not men are also at risk of breast cancer. Sadly there is no set age anymore therefore make sure to talk to your doctor about if and when it would be an appropriate time or if any symptoms of concern have arisen. 

There is no history of breast cancer in our family and although I'm not oblivious to the fact that it could happen, I hardly imagined it. So when I finally got my results back in the fall after my annual mammogram, it was a bit scary, not gonna lie.

They weren't certain what they were seeing because my first results didn't look normal therefore I had to go back in December for a more in depth mammogram along with an ultrasound on both breasts. But I could tell right away that they were focusing more so on my right one.

After that consultation I was called with my results, two significant lumps (not very big but enough to notice that they were abnormal) were found on my right breast. I'm prone to having quite a few cysts on both breasts already and so I thought that maybe that's what they were seeing but not so. Although they didn't want to jump to conclusions or assume the worst right away. Their positivity was definitely soothing.

It was hard not to have all of the feelings hearing this news. I went in thinking nothing of it and coming out a few months later wondering if I truly needed to be concerned and not really knowing how I should feel. The positive mindset that I've been able to maintain these last few years really made all of the difference in not letting my mind overwhelm itself with thoughts of concern and having the support I needed right at home and around me with amazing family and friends truly made all the difference. Not to mention YOU guys!

After finally talking to my doctor because of my breast implants they suggested I speak to a surgeon in order to get an excisional biopsy. It was the only way to have the lumps examined and determine if they were benign or not.

Excisional: Pertaining to the act of excision, of removal by surgery. An excisional biopsy is one in which the lesion is removed by the biopsy. From the Greek ektome meaning excision.

After finally talking with the surgeon it was clear that surgery was the only option and soon after she mentioned that unfortunately due to the placement of one of the two lumps they would only be able to reach and remove one. And unfortunately the waiting game to surgery day was a few weeks out thanks to the pandemic. So on top of simply wanting to know what it was, waiting made it that much more worrisome.


Truth is without my little community, my family and friend's support I wouldn't have survived the wait, okay I might've survived it but they made it easier to overcome any hardship at the end of the days and thanks to resources like Michelle's Place it's definitely another source I highly recommend when it comes to waiting for any kind of news or even after receiving it. Michelle's Place offers a variety of programs which are constantly growing and evolving. What's best is that they aren't very far if you're a local to Orange County/LA County area.

I was lucky enough to be the exception but not everyone is that lucky. My diagnosis could have been worst and even though what I went through wasn't easy, knowing that my lumps were benign made it all worth it.

No one should face cancer alone or even the possibility and their mission is to empower through education and support services. Though that's not my outcome, a situation like this affects you and stays with you always. Mentally it's hard not to wonder and even still if it had been worst case scenario it brings me comfort to know that there is awesome support and resources for free.

If you're going through something similar or trying to overcome any kind of hardship that comes with the results of cancer, please visit Michelle's Place to learn more and/or support the center through the donations page on the website to help with their expansion in 2021 for new center offerings and they need help spreading awareness and raising funds.

For those located in Southern California and if you're struggling with cancer you can benefit from the many services the center has to offer. In addition, Michelle’s Place would like to invite you to join their Walk of Hope on May 23 #walkofhope2021.

For more information visit their social media platforms below:

Programs & Education at Michelle’s Place:
  • Education is key for individuals to take control of their health to increase early detection and prevention of cancer.
  •  Breast Health Assistance- Provides access to free or low-cost diagnostic breast health services to eligible individuals.
  • Pink Ribbon Assistance- This program provides toolkits to the newly diagnosed and temporary financial assistance while in treatment.
  •  Education Resources- The center provides a multimedia library with books, videos, and high-speed internet. Regular workshops and guest speakers are open and free to the public.


Support Services:
  • Free transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Journaling class, spirituality class and cooking class
  • Volunteers provide Survivor Network offering support and a listening ear.
  • Self-Help/ Support Groups for individuals going through all stages of cancer.
  • Esperanza para Mujeres (Hope for Women), a Spanish-speaking support group.


A Metastatic Support Group for women living with Metastatic
Cancer:
  • Expressive Art Classes that encourage self-exploration through art.
  • Reiki sessions for cancer patients and survivors to reduce stress, pain and fatigue.
  • The Joy of Yoga, a gentle class focused on stretching and moving.
  • Wigs, bras, prosthesis, hats, scarves, etc.
  • Hair cuts available free of charge for those currently going through treatment.
  • MP Stitches, a knitting and crocheting support group led by cancer survivors.
  • Lymphedema fitting and garments.
  • Ovarian cancer self-help group for women newly-diagnosed,
  • Currently in treatment or beyond treatment for ovarian cancer.
  • Husband’s hangout, a hangout for men who have been affected by cancer, whether they are a patient or caregiver.
I'm glad that my situation was not worst that having gone through the surgery, but that's not always the case and those facing the worst of it, could always use a community of support and the resources to be able to face anything that comes with worst case scenario.

Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center relies on the generous donations
of supporters, foundations and the public to fund the many programs and
services offered at no cost to each and every client we serve. All
donations received will support individuals and their families living with
cancer and enhance the programs offered at Michelle’s Place.

To support
Michelle’s Place by donating today please visit
https://michellesplace.org/donate/

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