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And So It Begins – The First Hurry Up & Wait Cycle

By: Evidence Based NP

October 4, 2017 – Approximately 4 weeks ago, as I was showering, I felt that weird sensation that something was strange with my right outer breast.  There was no lump or definitive change.  Just a weird tenderness I never felt before.  I was super busy with work trying to prove my current position could be profitable and I didn’t feel I could take off to have it checked out by my primary care provider. I also turned 40 this year and had my routine mammogram back in May of 2017. It was negative for any abnormality.  I blew off the weird tenderness as something related to my period and just decided to monitor the area.

Fast forward 4 weeks and the weird tenderness is still present and hasn’t changed at all.  My husband is aware of the area and is concerned.  I am now questioning whether or not there is a slightly thicker area to my my right breast at the 10:00 position associated with the tenderness.  I finally break down with the urging of my husband and schedule an appointment with my primary care provider.

Moving forward to today, Wednesday, October 4, 2017, the date of my primary care provider appointment.  As I sit in the waiting room, I am still laughing at myself for making this appointment thinking that I am overreacting.  In the exam room, I describe my symptoms to my primary care provider and the medical student that is with her.  They both examine my breasts and the doctor states, “Yes, I do feel something there, it may just be an inflamed milk duct, but I think you should get another mammogram just to be sure.”

I am in shock and really worried for the first time since I felt the tenderness! This is the first time I realize this could be something much more dangerous and scary than anything I thought possible.  I hold on to the idea of an inflamed milk duct with a death grip.  I remember repeating to myself, “I’m healthy, I eat pretty good and exercise off and on, this has to be just a stupid milk duct!”

The doctor notifies me while still in the exam room that I have an appointment for a mammogram scheduled for Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 1:00pm.  And so we begin the first hurry up and wait cycle, the hardest waiting I have ever done in my entire life.

Joy originally created her site – evidencebasednp(dot)com –  to help herself walk through clinical decisions with the most reliable, evidence based information possible.  Before she could even get started on the site, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Since she also wants to share my story as a nurse practitioner with breast cancer, my two-fold blog was born.  She has been an adult nurse practitioner since 2013 and have been a registered nurse since 1999.  She works primarily in geriatrics seeing nursing facility patients.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2017.


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