I am hoping that this post ends happily sometime before my birthday with a solid "Thanks be to God" at the end. Right now, that is simply a hope. I don't want to make a lot of posts about this, so I'm going to make one long one. I don't like it when the focus is on me for my health, and if I start posting now and drag it out for ten days I will go berserk.
Sometime a few years ago I noticed that I have a hard lump on my left arm. I mentioned it to my doctor and he gave it a feel and told me it's not a big deal, probably just a calcium build up. No need to worry unless it got bigger or began to hurt. Fast forward to November of this year - I now have four of them, two on each arm.
On the 23rd of November I went in for my first physical in about 12 years. I was putting it off because I see specialists all the time, so what was the big deal? I decided it was time. I mentioned the bumps on my arms and she said the same thing as my old nephrologist - not hurting me, no need to remove them.
I also mentioned that I have a similar lump in my left breast. She gave that a feel and indicated that it could really go either way - either it's really nothing or it's really something bad.
Earlier this week I scheduled a mammogram - "yes, I'm a 30 year old male" I assured the woman on the phone "and I need a mammogram." It's scheduled for next Monday (December 7th) and then I have to play the waiting game that so many of my friends and family are used to playing.
I just got home from my first ever mammogram. I don't need to remind you from a paragraph ago, but I'm a 30 year old male who just had a freaking mammogram. Needless to say, I'm a bit on edge because I know that I now just have to sit and wait. I don't even know how long I have to wait, hopefully just two days, maybe three or four. The wait has gotten to me before, between kidney biopsy and diagnosis.
So - the mammogram. Wow. Ladies - I don't know that I ever envied your bodies, and if I did, all of that went away at about 2:45 this afternoon. You know you're going to have to do that yearly? I 100% agree that it's essential to have it done, but hot damn. My moob still hurts. (Moob being man-boob.)
Since I was coming from work and you're not allowed to wear deodorant I had to stop by the house to take mine off. Yeah, I don't go to work without my deodorant, so it was a necessity. Do you know how weird it is to clean out your pits to go to the doctor?
I got to the appointment just in time for my paperwork to be filled out, and was called back a little while later. I've sat around in offices for hours for years, so I'm not upset when I have to sit around a little longer. Understand this - nobody in a doctors office wants your appointment to be delayed. They are doing what they can, what their jobs are. They will get to you, calm the heck down. Okay, now that I have said that... I got called back to the mammogram room and the tech asked "is it alright if you take your shirt off?" Umm... how else are you going to squeeze my moob? "Yes" worked fine, and off it came.
The big squeeze was next. I have talked about this with my family and one of my aunts warned that it was going to hurt. I underestimated the warning, I guess, because I was actually shocked about how flat my little moob became. They did it one time flat and then a second time at an angle. Done with that part I put my shirt on and waited in the hall for the next step, a sonogram.
I have had sonograms before. Wait, you're remembering that I'm a 30 year old MAN and that sonograms are typically reserved for pregnant non-men? Yeah. I'm onto my third as of today. Anyway - they did a sonogram of my breast after waiting in the hallway for a while. That is when someone noticed that the "at 5:00" on my chest was really at 7:00. Funny, but that's important!
Now comes the waiting. I'm trying to be a realist, but I have worked myself up with every sort of phone call that I could receive this week and all sorts of outcomes.
Shit. I just got off of the phone with the nurse practitioner that ordered my mammogram. The radiologist says there is indeed a solid mass there, which they believe to be a benign fatty mass, but can't be sure. Shit. That is NOT the call I wanted to get. Scheduling a consultation with a surgeon for tomorrow to see about having a biopsy done. Knowing my history of biopsies, this could make for a long process.
December 9th (Pre-Appointment)
Anny decided to go with me to the appointment this morning, and deep down I'm glad that I did. I "had" to get a call from my pastor to push me to invite Anny, rather than just tell her about it. Let me say, for the record, that I didn't tell her not to come, I simply said that I did not think she needs to come. If it goes badly, I will need her later on.
December 9th (After Appointment)
Phew. I have been to meet with the surgeon with Anny. He was fun and quirky - probably someone I would go back to see if I ever need surgery actually. He really liked my belly scar, or that's how I'm taking his "wow" when I took my shirt off.
He confirmed what both the Nurse Practitioner and Radiologist said - what I have is called a (NON-CANCEROUS!) Lipoma (info HERE), or a fatty tumor. It is nothing to worry about. He said that he would remove it if I wanted him to and we had a conversation about the meaning of the word "bother" and that some folks are bothered because they play with such things all the time, some are bothered merely by the idea that it's there. Anny and I agreed that we are not bothered that it's there, and if I were to "play" with my moob I would have bigger fish to fry, especially in the work place.
With all that has happened over the last few weeks, I'm relieved, exhausted, confused and relieved again. I am going to take off a mental day later this week.
Thanks be to God.