So here's the deal. I am so lucky. First of all, the area that I felt in mid October that prompted me to go in and be checked was not my actual tumor. Yes, that's right. What I thought was a suspicious lump was just fibrous tissue. If I had not been aware and gone in, who knows where I would have been.
Also, the type of cancer I was finally diagnosed with, Lobular Carcinoma, accounts for only 15% of all invasive breast cancers. Of those 15%, 95% are women over the age of 55. Quite unusual for me to get this particular kind. This may sound unlucky, but, usually this type of cancer tends to have multiple tumor sites and unless you're having regular mammograms (which I wasn't because I was under the standard age guideline), you don't find palpable tumors until they're more than 5cm in size. So the fact that I only had one tumor site and it was only 1.8cm big, means I caught it very early.
I am so fortunate that I went in when I did. Given that it was already in one of my lymph nodes, if I had waited until I turned 40 to have my regular mammogram, who knows how far it could have progressed before it was diagnosed. Do your self exams and get your mammograms! It's all about catching it early!