I felt a lump in November or December of 2014. Two. Years. That's a long time to know something isn't right but still think everything is ok.
Let me explain.
I could feel something not right in my left breast in late 2014. It felt like a marble. I could feel it but couldn't see it & it wasn't causing any issues. All the same, I asked a doctor about it at my yearly GYN appt. in Jan. of 2015. She told me it was a fibroadenoma - basically a little fatty tumor. I asked if I should get a mammogram. She said no. "I wouldn't bother. Insurance won't pay for it since you are too young to be worried about breast cancer. It's just a fibroadenoma & that's really common and nothing to be worried about." So I believed her and didn't worry.
Fast forward to 2016. This harmless fibroadenoma was changing. It had grown. It became visible. Then it began to itch and hurt. My skin changed. My husband and a friend began encouraging me to go to another doctor. So I made my appt since I needed to go the GYN again anyway. She felt it and said NEARLY the same thing. "It's probably just a fibroadenoma but lets get you a mammogram just to be sure." The mammogram was scheduled for the next day. And then an ultrasound, and then a biopsy, and now appointments with surgeons and oncologists because it was not just a harmless fibroadenoma.
I don't know if this was cancer two years ago and I've given it two years to spread or if the changes I felt this year were it changing into cancer because I didn't insist on getting a mammogram in 2015. I may never know. But let me say this - know what your boobs feel like! Know what your normal is! That way, if anything changes you will know something isn't right & can tell your doctor. Most breast cancer is found by women checking things out on their own and finding something that "isn't right". And if you do find something wrong, be a strong advocate for yourself and insist on finding out for sure with a mammogram. I know better & still just let it go. I work in healthcare and know how often a doctor can be wrong. They are human and it happens. 30 year old women aren't supposed to get breast cancer. I will regret that decision to ignore this forever but I hope I can help someone else learn from my mistake. Know what your normal is so you know if something isn't normal!