After a stressful few weeks of nail-biting, I met with the surgeon today to go over the results of the biopsy I had last week. The tests showed that the tissue was benign! I was so relieved, and my husband was, too. (I bet my pulse went back to something more normal than the 106 the nurse measured when she took my blood pressure.)

This good news was tempered by the surgeon’s concern about the shape and firmness of the mass in my breast. He said that normal cysts are generally pretty round with well-defined edges. My lump is not. It’s rather irregular and hard to the touch. He said we had three options:

  1. Accept the benign biopsy results and do nothing.
  2. Remove the mass surgically right away.
  3. Wait six months, come back to see him, and revisit the idea of surgery.

But before he finished describing the third option, he suggested that’s the way he’d like to play it. And he wants me to monitor the lump and call him right away if I notice any change in size before six months is up. That sounded like a pretty fair deal to me, so I agreed.

They’ll be making an appointment for me to go back for an ultrasound in six months, and my follow-up with the surgeon will be scheduled for after that. I’ll receive information about both of these appointments in the mail.

I’m fairly certain that I’ll be having surgery after my six month follow-up. I’m guessing this will be the procedure known as a lumpectomy. I’m okay with this. Honestly, I’d agree to the surgery now if he’s concerned about this mass. Even if it’s not cancerous, it’s abnormal, and I’d rather get rid of it than worry about it forever after. But with the time of year being what it is, I think April is a better time to do all that. And if it gets noticeably bigger before then, we’ll get rid of it sooner.

I’m not discouraged by the caveat to the benign lab results. I’m going to be proactive about this, plan on having surgery, and if they find cancer cells in there once they take it out, I’ll do whatever they want me to do to ensure it’s not going to come back, whether it’s chemo, radiation, or both. But hopefully it is just a really bizarre benign tumor, and my probable surgery will give me more complete peace of mind.

[Update 2024: It wasn’t until having my breast reduction surgery in 2023 that I was finally diagnosed with atypical lobular hyperplasia, which is not cancer but dramatically increases my risk of developing breast cancer every year. I am now monitored by an oncologist.]

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