So, the medical thing. Have had a mass in my right breast for about a year, and finally got around to having an ultrasound to figure out what it was (well, I tried in October, but I'm not hauling out to Largo to get poked at). It was kinda ouchie, especially since I'm on the rag, so even putting my bra on hurts, but the radiology doc said it was most likely a fibroadenoma. According to the American Cancer Society's site,
Fibroadenomas are benign tumors made up of both glandular breast tissue and stromal (fibroconnective) tissue. They are most common in young women in their twenties and thirties, but they may occur at any age. Some fibroadenomas are too small to feel and can be seen only under the microscope, but some are several inches across. They tend to be round and have borders that are distinct from the surrounding breast tissue, so they often feel like a marble within the breast. Some women have only one fibroadenoma, but others may have several. Fibroadenoma can be easily diagnosed by fine needle aspiration or needle core biopsy.
Many doctors recommend removing fibroadenomas, especially if they continue to grow or if they change the shape of the breast. Sometimes (especially in middle aged or elderly women) these tumors will stop growing or even shrink on their own, without any treatment. In this case, as long as the doctors are certain the masses are really fibroadenomas and not breast cancer, surgery to remove them may not be needed. This approach is useful for women with many fibroadenomas that are not growing. In such cases, removing them all might mean removing a lot of nearby normal breast tissue, causing scarring that would change the shape and texture of the breast. This could also make future physical examination and mammograms harder to interpret. But, it is important for women who do not have fibroadenomas removed to have a breast physical exam at regular intervals to make sure the mass is not continuing to grow. Sometimes one or more new fibroadenomas will grow after one is removed. This simply means that another fibroadenoma has formed and not that the old one has come back.
They actually found three or four other smaller ones, so that's theoretically reassuring. My largely-irrational fear that it's breast cancer is somewhat gone. I just don't need more pokey needle things right now.
And, to top it off, the calendar said this today:
You see, we are all dying. It's only a matter of time. Some of us just die sooner than others. ~ Dudjam Rinpoche
Dude, what the hell?