Holding Space

With Shelly Vaughn

December 30

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Dec 30, 2016- This day last year, right around this time, is when I first felt the lump. Sharing the details of this is not meant to scare anyone out there who feels a mass- because 7/8 of you women will be fine. But this just may light a little fire under anyone who does feel something to get it checked early- because 1/8 will be dealing with something far more serious.

Just like with other pivotal moments in life, I remember exactly where I was standing, exactly what it felt like, and exactly the how far my stomach felt like it dropped in that moment. I was getting ready for bed and knew there was something that shouldn’t be there. I ran downstairs and told Rob, asking “what if…” about a zillion times. True to his nature, he was calm and reassuring- reminding me how young I was and how many women feel lumps and have concerns that are “nothing”. It was a Friday night last year, and we knew there was no doctor to call until the next week started anyway. So I did my best to not worry about it, with an obvious plan to call my doctor on Monday. I googled a lot that night, and everything I read indicated so strongly that it was likely a “fibroadenoma”- a benign mass that is common in young women (painless, firm, moveable, distinct borders, and common in women my age.) So there it was- the mass that I felt SO many times from that point on. It couldn’t be… I’m too young… but my family history… that would be awful… not me… I’m only 36… it’s just benign… don’t worry… enjoy New Years… try to sleep… stop touching it… stop panicking… it’s nothing… every woman goes through this… I’m too young… but what if… it just can’t be… go to sleep.

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