Good news! It’s not cancer. This is very good news, considering the initial differential diagnosis was Inflammatory Breast Cancer- the deadliest and fastest-spreading form of breast cancer.
Bad news: It’s granulomatous mastitis, and nobody can figure out where it came from, so it’s called idiopathic granulomatous mastitis. GM mimics inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Treatment options overlap with treatment options for breast cancer. So, even though this is not cancer, I’ve got doctors suggesting chemotherapy and discussing a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. More on that later.
This is my first time blogging. The purpose of this blog is to document this crazy curveball. This is my free space to freak out, calm down, reflect and cope with what is happening to my body. I know it helps me to read about others who are going through similar difficulties, so I hope that my account contributes to someone else’s sanity and (comic?) relief. I have a dark sense of humor, an irreverent tone and a tendency to throw truly decadent pity parties. I am also deceptively strong and can usually look on the bright side of life. Like everyone I know, I can use all the moral support I can get.
One more thing: I am SHY and tend to be very private, so going public with this is a huge step. This blog will include detailed descriptions, and if I can abandon my comfort zone regarding modesty and I see that it will help other women who have GM or are undergoing mastectomy and reconstruction, I will post pictures of my sick breast. I expect some of my friends, family and colleagues to read my posts now and then, so let’s not let it get too awkward between us. This blog is rated TMI. Deal with it. I reserve the right to be a self-absorbed drama queen on these pages. It will keep me functioning sanely in real life.