I thought the best place to begin with my blog would be with how this whole breast cancer thing started. I found my lump one random Monday evening (11th March). After discovering the little grape sized hard lump on my right boob just below the nipple, I probably felt my boob around 56 times that night. My husband had a feel, I had a feel and we both had nervous faces. So, to Google I went and discovered 90 % of all breast lumps were not breast cancer so that was pretty good odds but I was still quite worried.
The next day I make an emergency appointment at the doctors and have a big stupid panic about the fact that they, of course, only had a male doctor available. After a few stressed texts and a pep talk from a good friend, I’m lying on a GP bed with a racing heart. The lovely young male GP calls a nurse in to join us while he has a good feel of my boobs. It’s all pretty awkward especially when the nurse tries to take over from the GP but all in all, a whole lot better than I expected. So the GP could feel the lump and refers me to the Breast Clinic. He says I should get an appointment letter in about two weeks and they will do an Ultrasound. He reassures me I am young and healthy and likely it will be nothing to worry about.
I wait the 2 weeks feeling a bit nervous and nothing appears so I chase the GP. First I get told there is a consultant off and it could be 4 weeks longer, I’m fuming. I decide to write a complaint to the hospital as all the guidance online says you should be seen with a breast lump within 2 weeks and I discover statistically the biggest killer of 35-50 year old women is breast cancer. To make things even worse, a few days later I get another call from the GP receptionist to say I could be waiting up to 12 weeks!! My husband and I start freaking out and look in to getting the ultra sound done privately but at £180 it’s a bit of a push for us. Major stress!
Finally a few days later I get a call from a sister at the hospital with an appointment for the clinic on the 27th of April, 6 weeks after I first visited the hospital. It’s a one-stop clinic so they will do scans and any biopsies on the same day to save any delays. I spend the next few weeks researching ultrasounds of breast cancer and cysts to compare what the images look like, I want to be able to go in to the scan with an idea of what I’m seeing. I learn that round and even edges are good and normally cysts whereas bumpy, uneven shapes are bad and often cancer. My lump feels round and even but it’s pretty hard to tell. I literally think about it constantly and feel it several times a day, its so weird knowing you have something inside your body and not knowing what it is. Lots of things tick over in my brain, the chronic thrush I’ve been annoyed with for years, my crazy hormones and my coil, could they be linked?
This is one of the images I took a screen shot of.
Appointment day 27th April
Finally the day is here, it basically involves me having to bare my boobs to several different people, here’s a list of the processes in order:
- Consultant has a feel and sends me for an ultrasound
- Strip again for an Ultrasound, The image is definitely not nice and round I’m looking at a cloud shape! Bugger.
- Time for a mammogram, very uncomfortable.
- Core biopsy next using the Ultrasound as a guide. The anaesthetic means it’s not sore but pretty horrible as she takes 3 samples by inserting a long needle into my boob, which clicks as she takes each sample.
- Back to the consultant who gives me an appointment for a week later to get the results.
I leave convinced its cancer and spend the next excruciating week worrying constantly and looking at image upon image of scans on the Ipad. Everyone is telling me to think positive but the doctors told me it’s not a cyst which was the good option so its pretty clear to me.
Results day, May the 4th ….. May the force be with you???
I am so nervous I swear the doctor must be able to her my heart thumping in my chest.
“Audrey we have had the results and we found abnormal cells so I’m afraid its cancer!”
And the really weird thing is I kind of feel relieved, my heart slows down and I relax a little, the waiting and worry was so horrible, its just good to know what it is and move on with what we need to do now.
So May the force be with you…..nope more like may the cancer be with you!