Tag Archives: womens health

Norma.

I remember the day I found Norma. I felt around a few times and was thinking “what the fuck is this?!” It was in the fall of 2016 and I can’t even remember why I felt my right breast at that moment but you talk about a moment of panic.

I then ignored it for a bit. Thinking it was just a fluke of some kind but occasionally feeling a sharp pain randomly almost like an alarm clock saying “hey…..hunter….go to the doctor.” Finally in March of 2017 when I had my yearly I mentioned it to my doctor. He told me to lower my caffeine intake and that it could be like a cyst or something and that “some women just have lumpy breasts” and also said that sometimes they move around or get bigger and then go back down.

Well….I lowered my caffeine and checked it EVERY DAY. No change. Not even a little. It did not move around. It was stuck in the same spot inside my boob like some chained prisoner. April I went back and spoke about my concerns and he brushed it off again and said that we just switched up my birth control from hormones to no hormones (ladies…I know IUD’s are scary but switching to the non-hormonal IUD was the best choice I’ve ever made! Anyways..) At this point I was becoming very angry and scared. I asked my family if we had any people in our family who had breast cancer. Nope. So then I was looking up the odds I had it. In May, I went to my family doctor who I’ve had since I was like 12. Explained what was going on and had him feel what I was referring to. The look of slight anger on my doctor’s face when I told him how my “lady doc” had responded to me when I told him was priceless. He immediately said he was scheduling a mammogram or at least an ultrasound.

The earliest appointment was June.

June 20th, I met my “boob mate” Norma. Have you ever seen Bates Motel? You know the mom…Norma? That sneaky bitch? Yeah that’s where Norma got her name from.

Meet Norma.

Norma, she was about an inch and a half here and I think almost an inch or so wide at this point.

During the visit and after two doctors looked at this mass in my boob they asked to do a biopsy. I remember just sitting on that doctor’s bed thing and calling my at the time boss and telling her that my quick doctor visit on my lunch break was going longer than I expected and then just breaking down crying. She asked if I was okay and asked if I wanted anyone to come be with me and I just said no. She gave me the rest of the off because I was about to be poked with a big ass needle and probably wasn’t going to be feeling so hot after.

If you’ve never had a biopsy done this is how it goes. They numb up the area (or at least for me they did) and then they take this big ass needle thing that looks like it has a trigger on the other side and some how it takes parts of whatever they are needing to biopsy. You know those heavy duty staplers? Think of that sound. You feel pressure and hear it but I couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t watch them do it but I watched through the ultrasound. After they’re done taking some samples they leave like a clip (I don’t know the technical term sorry haha) so that if you ever have an X-ray or ultra sound etc they will be able to see that you’ve had a biopsy before.

On my Instagram I used to record myself doing “car chats” and I filmed this..posted it…and then took it down because I was terrified. I’m more open now about it but at the time I was freaking out.

The next 48 hours were hell. My boob looked like I had been brutally attacked or had some flesh eating disease (deep purple and green bruises) and when I finally got the call they said it was a fibroadenoma. Basically a non cancerous tumor that happens in younger women. They told me I would be fine but if at any point it caused me discomfort to get it removed given it’s size. They said that it may become an issue when I decided to have children because of breast feeding etc etc but I had to come back every 6 months for follow up appointments.

Cool right? Just what every 23 year old wants to hear.

Fast forward to December. Norma was a bitch. I would randomly have these shooting pains that the only thing that would help would be to just hold it. Legit hold my fucking boob until the pain passed. I got my letter around Christmas reminding me that I needed to go for my follow up appointment. Let me also add…I noticed Norma grew. Hence why I was having more pain because she was on the move. I still refused to go to the doctor. I was in denial and just felt that I was better not knowing.

My bosses said otherwise. They talked me into going and finally in February I went and had a follow up appointment.

I was right she had grown. She had gone from about 1 1/2 inches to almost 2 inches long. They said that fibroadenomas didn’t always grow that fast and were concerned it was a phyllodes tumor which in fact some CAN be cancerous. They then recommended instead of waiting to go ahead and meet with a breast surgeon.

After my appointment I posted this photo on my feed. In case you don’t feel like clicking that link it was:

“There’s days that I wish I would have just stayed in bed and ignored the reality of things. Then another part of me knows that’s not the answer and that you have to stay positive and strong. Even when you’re needing to cry in the parking lot of a hospital. Norma (my breast tumor), has gotten bigger. I had my follow up check in on it and got the lovely update. The doctor thinks it may be a different type of tumor but without another biopsy we won’t know for certain. Basically, they’re saying it needs to come out sooner than later just in case. As I sit in my car typing this I know many don’t care to know my business. Which is totally fine. This is more for me. To look back on a year and beyond from now and remember how small I feel but how I also know that I have to be bigger than this whatever it is and I can’t let it get the best of me. The sun rose as I went over the bridge this morning as pictured above and it should be a sign that things are going to be okay. ❤️ Right now however I just want a stiff drink and it’s not even noon….”

f3524f43-dacc-407c-98bf-2d2051cbe7e4I was so angry. So so angry. I sat in my car for over 30 minutes just crying. I don’t have the exact measurements from that day but I remember seeing Norma on the ultrasound and seeing how even the shape had changed. A couple weeks later I met with my surgeon and when she measured it again…it grew more. By the end of it or at least the last time they measured it and told me the measurements Norma was about 1.7 inches long and 0.78 inches wide and about the same thick. She was like a mini brick just chilling in my boob causing me pain.

March 27th 2018, Norma was evicted. The last thing I remember was them putting something in my IV and then two seconds later it seemed I was out cold. I woke up facing a wall in post-op and starting to freak out. I had no idea where I was, I was in pain and just alone. The nurse came over and the first fucking question I asked was “Where is Norma?” She had no fucking idea what this drugged up girl was talking about. But I repeated myself and then also said “I want to take her home I made her” hahaha I didn’t get to see her. I did look up youtube videos prior to my surgery though so I have a good idea as to how she looked.

2018-10-21 11:06:11.976

The following couple weeks and month’s were a..struggle. I couldn’t find the videos of before surgery but I was very angry for a while there. Here I was 23 and having body altering surgery and as a young woman…as vain as it sounds I was pissed that I wasn’t going to look like myself anymore. There is a size difference now. I have a scar going right over my boob and some clothes or bathing suits don’t fit the same way they used to. Bras?! Forget about it. I’m never going to find a comfy bra ever. One side will always be either too tight or too loose. Small problems to have but ya know…

I remember a couple days after my surgery crying to my at the time boyfriend about how disgusting I looked. My entire boob and I mean ENTIRE BOOB was bruised and parts were shades of green. I kept calling it Frankenboob.

2018-10-21 11:05:02.884

Everything came back good though I’m happy to report. I just had a angry fibroadenoma that liked to grow and cause me pain. It’s been a little over a year now since the surgery and I’ll still have some discomfort. Which is normal. My nerves are still adjusting apparently. I also…which I don’t know if this was intentional but, part of my boob is basically numb. I can feel things but it doesn’t feel the same I guess is the best way to put it.

Now the doctor bills…oh my lord the doctor bills. Thank God for insurance but it still is costing me about $4k (one bill alone before insurance was over $10k..)

I decided to write about this because you never know. You don’t. Many girls and guys my age don’t think to check into these things. What if it would have been cancer? What if I would have just ignored it. What if what if what if.

If any one has further questions of any kind or has also experienced something similar feel free to reach out. I had a lot of questions when I first started learning about Norma and believe you me I was terrified.

If you made it this far wonderful, if not then that’s fine too. 🙂

Snap back to reality…oh, there goes gravity

Have you ever read lyrics that you relate to like 100%? Yes, it is an older song that I have listened to more times than I can count. However, at this point in time it fits 10000000%.

There are moments in life where you sit there and it is literally like that meme of the dog sitting in a room that is on fire and is just like “this is fine”.
For me, this past semester I had a lot of personal stuff go on. So personal that I will not openly speak about it (and I’m very open about a lot of personal stuff but some stuff is better left unsaid) and with my blog and Instagram I was just getting in the swing of things. Getting a schedule, posting, planning etc and when life gave me a dose of reality I had to take a step back. That is the one thing I cannot stand is the fake social media because life is not always perfect and no matter how many filters you use it is not going to change that.

If you are on my Instagram you may have noticed the lack of posts lately. I took time off from work and school as well to be honest so when I say I needed to take a step back…I meant like WAY back. School took a little hit but I still passed and it is what it is. Let me also say that everyone is okay. 

There are times where you just need to not care about certain things but take the time to work on you and your mental health and overall well-being. Plus, aside from everything else I got a letter about my 6 month check up on my tumor. Which, as I write that I realize I never actually spoke about that on here…

Sidebar; I have a 2 inch benign tumor in my right breast in the deep tissue that I have to keep an eye on and at some point get it removed. We aren’t 100% certain how or why I developed one but we think it was my birth control and the hormones. So there is that, and then I have to get ultrasounds on my ovaries and see if I do indeed have endometriosis like my mom did because I’m starting to have the signs of it. Which, we have been preparing for since I was a teenager. Brandon and I have already discussed about all the “what if”s and we will cross the bridge when we get there. But, since I have had a kidney infection, issues upon issues with my lady bits with cysts and overall pain, and then my tumor within the last 5 and a half years….we basically had to have the discussion ya know.

I’ve had a love hate relationship with God over the last year (years really but it comes and goes) and I know what doesn’t kill you makes you a stronger person but fuck I’d like ya know…shit to go right.

Anywhoo, this was meant to be brief.

Happy notes, I have THREE yes THREE classes left and then I am done with my first degree. Next week I see my mom for the first time since LAST Christmas, and we are going to D.C. for two days. I got a new car, her name is Stella. Um, Sylvester is nice and big and happy. If you don’t know who that is….well you are missing out on fuzzy cuteness.

Just know that things can hit rock bottom and it is okay to need to take a breather and things can turn around over time. It is hard and you are going to want to scream until there is no more air in your lungs but you have to push through.

XOXO
-H