The Sonia Show

Writer. Podcaster. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

Keeping you abreast of the situation


Yeah, so, I found a lump.

In May, right before I was moving into the new apartment with David, I found a lump in my left breast. It was a little painful. I didn’t have to take anything for the pain. It wasn’t that bad. It was just a little sore. I had my yearly “down there” exam in March, and there was no lump so I knew that the lump was a recent addition to my breast. I had a regular physical with my new doctor at Kaiser scheduled for June, so I decided to wait a few weeks and ask her about it. Maybe it would go away.

It did not go away.

In June, the doctor confirmed that there was a lump: “It’s probably just a cyst, but let’s schedule you an appointment with a breast surgeon and get you a mammogram just to be safe.”

I scheduled the breast surgeon appointment and the mammogram on the same day. David and I both took the day off from work and made a day of it. We went to one appointment, got breakfast at the nearby Lucky Penny and then went to the other appointment.

Somehow the breast surgeon appointment was scheduled before the mammogram appointment. She felt the lump. “Yep, there is a lump. Let’s see what the mammogram says.” The mammogram confirmed there was something there, but they could not get a really good look at it.

The breast care coordinator said an ultrasound was in order to get a really good look.

“Sure,” I said. “I love making repeated trips to Kaiser. One more trip into the parking garage and my next trip is free.” They didn’t think I was funny.

Two weeks later at the ultrasound, I asked the tech for a print out of my lump: “I don’t have any kids. It sure would be nice if I could have a print out of my lump to show people.” The tech politely laughed … She never did give me a print out.

After 20 minutes of laying on the table topless while the tech searched my rotten melon for a lump, she brought the radiologist in to take a look.

“All signs point to fibrocystic breast condition. The only way to know for sure if it’s breast cancer is to do a biopsy, but I would recommend you wait three months, and we can go back and look again,” he said.

“That’s stupid,” I replied. “I don’t want to wait three months to find out if I have cancer. I think we should just biopsy now and find out for sure it’s not breast cancer. Why would you wait?”

“Some people have a wait-and-see attitude,” he said.

“Yeah, not me.”

I went to the breast surgeon the next day, and she agreed. We did a core biopsy. She numbed my boob, made a small incision and jabbed the lump with a needle a dozen times. Fun, right? Then she stitched me back up, leaving me with an oh-so chic Franken-boob look for about a week.

The results came back Friday late afternoon. The doctor called me and left a message. My test results were “abnormal.” I frantically called back.

Turns out, I have breast cancer. It is an early form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ or as I call it “knocker sickness.” I should mention, if you are going to get breast cancer this is the best one to get. Yep, only the best for me. It is the earliest form of breast cancer, and it is not considered life threatening.

I was shocked to get that call. I really thought she would tell me it was nothing. I wasn’t the only one who was taken aback by that diagnosis. The doctor was surprised as well. All signs pointed to a benign cyst.

I had a doctor appointment today, and we went over my options. A lot depends on an MRI at this point. Assuming the MRI shows that the cancer is contained and has not spread, then a lumpectomy followed by spot radiation is my best option. It certainly beats the alternative!

I won’t lie. I’m very nervous and anxious and really scared. No one likes to hear the word “cancer.” Still, I know that whatever comes my way, I can handle it. I am 38. I am a healthy person (except for the whole cancer thing). I eat right. I go to yoga. And most importantly, I have mighty, mighty good man David, an amazing family and the most awesome friends on the planet. I am deeply moved by how many of my friends and family have reached out to me, offering such kind words and support. I feel truly lucky to have so many people ready, willing and able to help and support me through this. I appreciate everyone sending me their positive thoughts. I am forever grateful.

I have one more thing to say: Seriously, ladies, do a self breast examination. Get a mammogram. It doesn’t hurt at all, and it could save your life. I thought long and hard about writing this blog post. I thought maybe it was too much, too personal, too serious. I debated not writing it, but I figured if even one lady read this blog and did a self breast exam or got a mammogram, then it was worth exposing my breasts … so to speak.

Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/podcaster/mother/goober in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, watch movies, go to baseball games, kick breast cancer's ass, explore with my awesome autistic son, Calvin, say assy things, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

48 thoughts on “Keeping you abreast of the situation

  1. Thanks for publicly exposing yourself. You are the breast, er, I mean best. We can’t wait until you are back to your butt-kicking self, SoManChu!

  2. Sonia, I aspire to be more like you… A positive attitude goes a long way… I am overjoyed by the happiness David gives you. It makes it seem easier to approach something like this in life with someone at your side who loves you… I love you too and if you need anything, let me know. And keep me posted on this thing! Stacey

  3. Stupid Kaiser! I have Blue Shield and I always get to keep pictures of my boo-boos (I said “boo-boo”).
    Heck, my surgeon even took a picture inside my gut AND let me keep my gallstones!

    Oh, and good luck with that whole “cancer” thing..

    Edith and I are here if you need anything!

  4. Sonia!! I am sorry to hear that you are going through this, but it sounds like MMGM (mighty mighty good man) David is taking excellent care of you. Best wishes for a speedy boobie recovery!!

  5. I’ve gone all the way up to “having a core-sample taken” stage. Thankfully that’s as far as I’ve had to go so I know how you felt up to that point. You can count on Tom and Me to help you out with whatever you need.

  6. Every woman I’ve ever known who’s had breast cancer has beaten it.

    I fully expect that trend will continue.

    Prayers and good thoughts headed your way.


  7. Sending positive thoughts, but your attitude is already amazing and inspirational.

    After reading this, you have spurred me to follow-up with my doc. I have fibroidcystic masses and the doc reminded me it was time for another mammogram.

  8. Thank you everyone for your kind words. I am most grateful!

    I’m happy to hear that my post is getting all my ladies out there to feel their boobs and get mammograms, which was the ultimate goal of sharing my story.

    One of the ways I deal with serious and stressful situations is with humor. Sometimes it can be inappropriate, but it makes for entertaining blogging. I warn you: Inappropriate jokes will make on this blog. No doubt.

  9. Sonia – I too offer my best wishes for a speedy and positive resolution to your knocker illness. On the plus side, your post has inspired me to offer free breast exams. Line forms to the left.

  10. That’s very, very true. First ten ladies to sign up get a free, signed 8X10 of my senior picture.

  11. I think I see the light at the end of the unemployment tunnel.

  12. Oh – I thought we were talking about my hands. But Joe’s aren’t bad either. He knows his moisterizer, that’s for sure.

  13. Oh Sonia! Wow. =(
    This has to be so scary for you. I’m really glad you’ve got the good attitude, good support and good prognosis.
    It’s funny, I’ve done many a post-Kaiser Lucky Penny visit myself– somehow a plate of mashed potatoes or grilled cheese sandwich (with American “cheese”!) in a vinyl booth turns it into something almost resembling a fun day.

  14. Sonia.
    While I’m sorry to hear of your diagnosis, I’m happy to tell you that I have many friends who’ve survived breast cancer. In my 30s I knew five women in their 30s with breast cancer!!! I’m glad you discovered the symptoms early. You’ll do fine.
    fondly, fred

  15. Sonia, I can’t believe it — but am relieved you were proactive about it and caught it early. Thank you for the blog post … please let me know if there’s anything we can do for you.

  16. You are so, so right about bringing it out in the open, or “letting it all hang out”. 😉 I have far too much exposure to the cancer show and the only thing that has saved my sanity is sharing, knowledge and a kick-ass sense o’ humor. Thank you kindly for your post, we need more like you in this world.

  17. wow Sonia I wasn’t expecting to hear that it came back positive. I give you virtual hugs from down here in LA and I’m sure all the bay area folks will be there for the real ones.

    What I am expecting is many Top 10 lists regarding this…names for your new friend cancer, vacations places for single cancer cells, etc.

    please be terribly inappropriate.

  18. Wait three months??? Way to take control of your own destiny and get the information quickly rather than waiting.

    Several women I know have had breast cancer in the last two years. All of them have kicked its a$$. You’re next in line and you’re wearing a$$ kicking boots!

    All the best.

  19. a)the force is strong with you, so I have no doubt you’ll be back to being 100% sasstastic in no time.
    b)think of all the boob jokes!

  20. Sonia — CRAP. I’m so sorry to hear this. You have the best possible tools to fight this on your side though: early knowledge, a good attitude and people who love you. 🙂

  21. We love and miss you here, and our thoughts will be with you every day! 🙂

    • So funny you should comment, Bonnie! You have been in mind a lot lately. I thought of you this morning, in fact. I was feeling so overwhelmed at work, and I was so worried about my job. I thought, “Bonnie told me once that this is the sort of thing HR is supposed to help me with.” So, I went into the HR office and spoke with them, and I left feeling so much better. Now I can worry about the “other stuff.”

      Thank you for your kind words!

  22. Sonia! I’m so sorry to hear of the diagnosis, though happy that you’ve found a previously untapped source of material for inappropriate jokes. Let me know if you need a pie delivery to help you through it. (The FDA has not approved any statements about the efficacy of pie in curing boob sickness.)

  23. sending positive thoughts your way.

    Just let me know when the inappropriate comment list gets started. I’m all over that!

  24. My prayers are yours for the next few months. It may not be as scientific as a lumpectomy but I think it works.

    • Thanks, Pat. I appreciate that!

      I am now accepting all prayers, positive thoughts, good vibes and any cash that people want to send to me just in case the U.S. health care system collapses and I have to make a quick dash for Canada.

  25. This was a beautiful post. It was well written and from the heart. It made me cry. I just put a note by my work phone to call my doctor on Monday morning to make an appointment. I love you and your mighty mighty good man. I sleep better at night knowing he is with you 🙂

  26. I know I’m late but I’m so sorry about this I feel terrible. My thoughts and good vibes are with you. I am really sorry to hear this, Dr. So.

    • Thank you, Master P. As the fine gentlemen from Monty Python says, “Always look on the bright side of life.” I am optimistic that everything is going to be fine.

      The real tragedy here is my lumpectomy is currently scheduled for Sept. 9, which is the premiere of “Glee.” I guess that’s why I pay the big bucks for a DVR …

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