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One lump or two….

So I was just cruising along minding my own business waiting for my next meeting with the bariatric psychologist when about a week or so ago I noticed that my left breast was a little tender in the nipple area. Given the fact that there was no reasonable good circumstance for this to occur I did a little self examination. Now I am not in a great habit of touching myself there with any frequency, and frankly it is a little uncomfortable to even talk about it with my spouse, let alone tell the world about it on a blog. After a little poking and prodding in the fleshy man boob area I discovered much you my dismay a lump. When my fingers discovered it you would have thought I had just touched something red hot. I jerked my hand away and couldn’t believe what I had just discovered. At first I was a little hesitant to poke for it again, but I did, and again I felt the lump situated just off center from the nipple. As any sane person would do at this point I went straight to the nearest device that was connected to the internet, went to Google, and typed “what are the symptoms of breast cancer in a male.” I didn’t even know if a man could get breast cancer, but either way I knew I would find a fast enough answer to my question. For those wondering, yes a man is able to have breast cancer, while it is a rare, it can and does happen. Obviously Google turned up page after page of information telling me the same basic thing. At this point I decided the best thing to do was to give it a day or so to see if it was just something fluky and the tenderness would go away with in a few days and hopefully take the lump with it. Unfortunately it persisted and this past Sunday I finally asked my wife to poke around a little to see what she thought. It didn’t take long for her to find it and say, “I think you need to go get that checked out.”

Fast forward to this morning….

I had already had a Doctor’s appointment scheduled in a few weeks for a follow-up so I just moved it up a few weeks to get my still present lump checked out. Since Sunday I have resisted touching it, feeling that maybe it would just go away. I also knew that the more I touched it, the more I would dwell on things and in general I already had a feeling that I just want this out of my body. So until this morning I resisted looking for the lump, but I figured if I was going to the doctor I better make sure it was there and not a phantom thing. Of course it was still there, as I knew it would be, and just touching it caused many thoughts to run screaming through my head.

I got to the doctor’s office abnormally early for me…normally I am right on the money or a few minutes late. This morning I was 15 minutes early. After the obligatory 25 minute wait in the lobby I was called by the triage nurse to come back. Then after answering all the standard questions, the taking of my vitals, she said the nurse practitioner would be in to see me. Let me take a step back and say that this is normal for my visit. While there is a doctor on the premises I typically see the nurse practitioner. Not that I don’t like the doctor of the practice I just seem to have a better relationship with the NP than I do the Doc. Let me also preface a few more things, both the Doc and NP are females, and on almost every visit they have had a student of some degree doing an internship. So most times there are three people ion the room not just two.

It took a few minutes and when the door opened I was looking at a student and not my normal NP. I could tell she was a little nervous with me when she came in the room. She explained who she was and asked if I was if I was comfortable with her doing the preliminary examination. I really don’t have a problem with the students in the examination room, I figure everyone has to learn somewhere and it wasn’t like she was going to be operating on me. So as she was explaining who she was, she also was apologizing for the wait because someone was out with a hearing problem. No if anybody knows me they will know that my canned answer to anything remotely close to this is “I am sorry what did you say?” Which I did said to her and she kindly repeated herself, which I then responded once again with “I’m sorry what was that again?” Which for the third time she started to repeat herself, but she looked up at me and saw I was smiling. I let her know that one of the things she wouldn’t find on the chart was my sense of humor. This put her a little at ease, because I could tell I didn’t think she had anticipated having to do a breast exam on a 400lb+ man this morning.

Not ever having a breast exam done on myself I was sure what protocol was, she had me lay back and un button my shirt. Long story short here, it was probably uncomfortable for both, and I resisted being any more of a smart ass than I normally am and let her do her job. As my own self examination revealed she found the lump with little effort and confirmed my findings. She checked both sides and I was relieved that she only found the one lump. I was about to button back up, but she told me the actual NP will want to exam me as well. And as she walked out of the room to go get the NP she said “it’s you lucky day, you get to be felt up by two women this morning. See I have a sense of humor as well”

Fast Forward a little more…NP comes in “feels me up” confirms what we already know, you have a lump and orders an ultrasound to be done. She told me the positive news is that the lump area is tender, this isn’t typical of a cancerous lump, but I can’t count it out either. So add one more thing to my list right now, hopefully I can lump this ultrasound together (yes, the pun was intended) with the one I already have scheduled so I can expedite things along and hopefully keep everything moving in a positive direction.

So in the immortal words of Carl Spackler, “So I have that going for me” which unfortunately is NOT nice.

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