A pain under her arm and in her breast had Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Brandi Glanville, 40, imagining the worst. “I have implants so I thought maybe it started leaking or burst,” she says. And thoughts of cancer can always be scary.
“I didn’t know why I was having the pain, but it started to be worrisome because I had it for months,” says Glanville. “I can be neurotic about health because I have so many health issues in my family. I’m a mom first and foremost, so I have to take care of myself in order to care for my kids.”
The reality star who says she does routine monthly self-exams of her breasts became especially concerned when the pain woke her up at night. Unable to pinpoint the reason for the pain, Glanville, who thought she had a pulled a muscle, finally gave in and went to the doctor.
“I was in pain for over six months and just felt like something was off in my body,” she says.
Then things got worse.
“Suddenly a lump appeared overnight, between my armpit and the top of my boob. I also started having chest pains and the chills.”
Glanville says she feared the worst.
“I had it in my head that I was dying. I Googled “lump” and where it was, and came up with having two weeks to live. In my head, I pictured cancer taking over all of my insides; I was anxious and nervous. It’s a horrible feeling not having an answer for why you feel so sick.
Glanville’s obstetrician sent her for a mammography and a sonogram. “The good news was they ruled out cancer. But I left the doctor’s office still feeling like crap and without an answer as to why.”
Thinking perhaps she had an infection, the doctor put Glanville on antibiotics. That triggered a frightening allergic reaction and sent Glanville to the emergency room. “I had to put my pride aside because I’ve never called 911 for myself. But I couldn’t feel my feet, hands or legs, and my hands were swelling. I couldn’t breathe and thought I was having a heart attack,” says Glanville.
She was treated in the hospital with fluids and medicine to combat the reaction, but still didn’t have an answer to what was causing the pain and lump in her breast.
A trip to a breast surgeon in early December and a biopsy finally led to the diagnosis of a tumor in her breast that was benign but infected.
“That infected tissue was making me sick. It was a rare type of benign PASH (pseudo-angiomatous stromal hyperplasia) tumor that can happen without a reason. The tumor was the size of a golf ball and would continue to grow unless it was removed,” she says. “I have dense breast tissue, which may be a cause for the lump.”
Glanville had a lumpectomy on December 12th. “That wound up being more than we expected because the doctor said the lump was twice the size he expected it to be. To remove all of it, he had to take fat from under my arm to do a graft so as to not leave a dent in my breast,” she says.
Thankfully, Glanville says she feels great now. “I’m still swollen, black and blue, but I feel great just because I don’t have pain or feel sick anymore.”
“When I found out what this was, I swore I’d change my lifestyle,” says Glanville. “I do eat a lot of fast food because I spend a lot of time in my car. As a result, I have high cholesterol and eat things I shouldn’t, but I vowed to change that.”
In addition to making over her diet, Glanville says the experience reaffirmed her passion to exercise.
“I work out 3 times a week, often doing Pilates. I know I need it [exercise] in my life. It’s therapeutic—it’s not good to be sitting around,” she says.
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