My Savior- The cat?!

pic for blog1We’re always so busy, that we forget what it’s like to relax-but when we finally settle down, it happens.  When it’s least expected, you realize something.  You see something.  You FIND something…

It was the Tuesday evening after the run of our Community Theatre show.  My husband and I were hanging out in bed, watching TV, with the dog at the foot of the bed, and the cat cuddled on my chest.  Cats like soft, cuddly boobs. Anyway, there we were, relaxing and watching TV when the dog finally realized that the cat was on the bed with us.  The dog, although well-meaning, doesn’t understand that the cat wants NOTHING to do with her- so a chase ensued.  The cat jumped off of my chest, ran under the bed, and ultimately opened the bedroom door and ran out (yes, you read that right- the cat opened the door- don’t ask!).  I go to do what I always do in this situation- brush off all the cat hair from my chest- when it happened.  When I brushed the cat hair away I felt a lump.  Not just a tiny lump- but a LUMP.  You know, the kind of thing that when you feel it, you’re like, W.T.F?!  Oddly, I had never felt it before, which bothered me even more.  I said right then and there, “I feel a huge lump.  Feel it.  I better call the doctor tomorrow.”

The next morning, I called the doctor and was scheduled for a mammogram and ultrasound for the next morning, then an appointment with the breast specialist for the morning after that.  Talk about service!  It’s like the universe wanted me to have this looked at ASAP.  I had the mammogram and the ultrasound, and the radiologist called me in to say that there is a very small area in my breast that the doctor may want to biopsy- or she may decide to wait- it was up to her, but it didn’t look like anything bad.  PHEW.  Or so I thought…

At the doctor’s office, the specialist came in and said, “Okay, we’re going to biopsy that spot and see what’s going on.  It’s probably nothing though.”  So, we go to the ultrasound room, where the biopsy is done, and the tech is measuring an area on the underside of my breast, NOT where I felt the lump.  So, quickly, I tell the doctor, “THIS is why I called you.” And had her feel the upper, inner part of my right breast, where the lump is.   “Oh, she said.  You’re getting a two-for-one-special then.”  Neither the diagnostic mammogram nor the ultrasound picked up the lump that I felt!  It could have been that it was in a tricky area, but Thank Goodness that I said something!  She biopsied both areas, and I was on my way to the waiting game.  This was a Friday, so it meant waiting at least until Monday for any results, but I wasn’t really worried at that point, just glad that I had it done.

Monday morning arrived.  It was about 8:00 am, and I had facial cleanser smeared all over my face when my iPhone started ringing, and an unfamiliar number came up.  So, as anyone else would do- I declined the call and rinsed my face off.  But then there was a voicemail.  A VOICEMAIL FROM AN UNFAMILIAR NUMBER.  It was the breast specialist, calling from her cell, and asking me to call back.  So I did.  I wasn’t so much scared, as I was just interested that she had the results because she’s really a good doctor and gets back to patients right away with things like that.  She picked up as soon as I called and told me she was calling from her daughter’s field trip, but she wanted to tell me the biopsy results.  THEN I was scared.  She started off with, “The spot on the underside of your right breast is nothing, so that’s good…”  Uh-huh… “But the lump you felt in the upper inner corner- That, unfortunately, IS cancer.”  My mind and body went numb at that exact moment.  She continued, “Don’t worry though, we can cure this.  You’ll need surgery, and probably radiation, but we will get rid of this.  Can you come to the office so we can go over everything?”  I asked, “When?”  She paused and then said, “I can do tomorrow at 8:00 am”  “I’ll be there.”  I didn’t care if she said 3:00 am- I was just numb, but scared shitless, and needed to know what the fuck was going on inside my body.  I opened the bathroom door and called for my husband, Anthony.  He came to the door, and all I could get out was, “I have breast cancer.”  We stood there and held each other for what seemed forever because there were just no words at that moment.   This is where my journey truly begins…


  Jennifer Ricci           “Ms. Happy, Alive & Built to Survive”


6 thoughts on “My Savior- The cat?!

  1. How beautifully you related your story relating to the discovery of your breast cancer. You are in my prayers!
    Ms. Gaudelli


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