A month ago I found a lump in my breast, I wasn’t checking I just kind of brushed past it while putting my vest on. I asked my husband to check, I don’t know why, I knew I hadn’t imagined it. I wouldn’t have been overly concerned in the past but in January 2013 someone very close to me, my auntie, was diagnosed with breast cancer and that changed everything.
She is someone I have always looked up to, especially in my teenage years, so I was utterly devastated by the news. She has always been strong and really I had no doubt that she would beat her breast cancer. She has beat it after Chemo and Radiotherapy but I don’t believe she will ever be the same. To the untrained eye she is back to her old self but I see I slight sadness in her eyes that wasn’t there before. It would be naive of us to think that after having cancer, facing death and enduring the horrendous side effects of the treatment, that everything can just go back to normal. She was a hostage of cancer and although she has been released, the fear is still there. The wounds on the inside can take a lot longer to heal than those on the outside but I really hope that eventually she can thoroughly heal.
So this is why I was a little bit more concerned, because it was all very fresh in my mind. I went to the doctor and was referred to the specialist breast unit. I got an appointment a few weeks later, it should have been quicker but there was an error with my referral which meant it took a bit longer than usual. My husband dropped me at the clinic and went off with our daughter so I was left alone with my thoughts.
I looked around at all the women in the packed waiting room and wondered what their stories were. Women of all different ages, reading, texting, chatting to a loved one next to them. I felt like I was one of the youngest in the room and that made me feel like the odds were in my favour. But, there is always that large part of me which is terribly morbid. I wondered how I would tell my loved ones, not how I would cope or whether I would survive. I was worried about them, my children, my husband, my family…..how would I tell them….in person…..on the phone?
My experience at the clinic was fantastic, they examined me and then carried out an ultrasound guided needle test where they take out a sample of the lump. They did it all at the one appointment which surprised me. The staff were lovely and the doctor said that she didn’t think it was anything serious and I just needed to come back a week later for the results. This put me at ease and I really didn’t have any anxiety about it at all. It turned out to be benign but I am having it removed at the beginning of January as it is uncomfortable and this means I don’t have to monitor it in the future.
I found my lump by accident but I will definitely be checking more regularly in the future as I hope you all do. If you don’t, go now, don’t be shy, have a good feel………