Okay, this wasn't on my "39 to 40" birthday list (seen here.)
I had a lump removed from my left breast this morning. All of the paperwork said "partial mastectomy." Nobody likes hearing that phrase. It's scary and makes you think one of your girls is about to be slit in half like a baked potato. But it's just medical jargon. The term "lumpectomy" was coined to make us feel better -- and, yes, it certainly does. My lumpectomy was a same-day surgery at the hospital, lasting about 4 hours. My incision is only 1/2 inch long (or so I think -- they gave my a HUGE bandage) and I still haven't had to take any pain medication. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Still I feel greatly relieved. The surgeon was able to determine and tell me after I woke up that I've been given the all-clear. My mass was a clogged duct/gland -- Praise God. Honestly, I'm just relieved that the anesthesia was a piece of cake. I had a couple nightmares since mid-June where I didn't wake up and then I was left with this huge amount of guilt over my son growing up motherless. The subconscious is a crazy thing.... My only other experience involving general anesthesia involved my waking up with my arms restrained to the gurney (a story for another time over drinks, I think) so you can see where I was coming from. Surgery at 39 is definitely a different experience than surgery at 16. Oh well, everything is good. My case is closed. Guess I go cross this off my, uh, list???
PS -- if you take anything away from my tiny tale, it's this: monthly self-exams are crucial. Do them!!