I have a stubborn bump on my eye that won’t go away. It’s been there for almost two months but I just couldn’t seem to pick up the phone to make another appointment to sit in another waiting room to see another doctor.
Finally last week I went to see my primary care doctor about it. She looked at my eye and asked how long the bump had been there. I told her two months and she said I should have come seen her sooner, because now what she thought was a stye had hardened and I might need to have surgery to remove it. I knew that I should have visited her earlier, but the stye showed up as I was having my ovaries removed and I just couldn’t deal with one more thing.
After looking at my eye, my doctor told me that I should go see an ophthalmologist, since the stye had been there for two month. She gave me a referral, a prescription for erythromycin and I left the office.
I got into my car and immediately started crying. I know it’s just a stye. It’s really no big deal, right? But when I heard the word ‘surgery’, I immediately flashed back to my mastectomy. It was like PTSD. Something as simple as having a stye removed sent shivers down my spine and made me flashback to being in the hospital going under the knife. 2014 was supposed to be a surgery-free year. WTF!
So today I went to see the ophthalmologist. She was actually a wonderful woman who was very smart and caring. I sat down and she told me that what I have is not a stye, but actually a chalazion, which is a small lump on the eye. She said they’re most often caused by stress. She asked if I was experiencing any stress. I just laughed.
You mean the stress of having breast cancer? Or the stress of having a mastectomy? Or the stress of going through chemo? Or the stress of radiation? Or the stress of having my ovaries removed? That kind of stress?
Then she told me she was an 11-year breast cancer survivor. So she understood. She went through the same thing. Then she said, “there is life after breast cancer.” I smiled. I knew I’d have a good cry about that one later, in the privacy of my own home.
She gave me a prescription for steroid drops that she thinks will help make the lump go away. She said we could do surgery to remove the chalazion, but we should try the drops first, unless I wanted to do the surgery. I said, no thank you, I’ve had enough surgeries.
Fingers crossed that the drops work and I’m done with what is hopefully just a minor annoyance.