I thought i would let you know my experience.
I had a 3 yearly routine mammogram and a couple of weeks later I was recalled to have it checked again at Peterborough hospital. I went on Tuesday 9th Sept and also had ultrasound and biopsy, got the results on Friday - 6mm tumour grade 2 not aggressive, oestrogen receptive - and was on the operating table on Wednesday 17th. They also removed 2 lymph nodes. Went back for the results yesterday, 26th Sept. All tumour removed with clear margins and the lymph nodes were also clear. What a relief! I start Tamoxifen today and have to go to Addenbrookes for 3-4 weeks of radiotherapy.
The speed with which the hospital worked was phenomenal and whenever I hear about the NHS failing I can only say for me they were superb. The breast care nurse has also been really good. When we got the initial diagnosis she wrote down everything the consultant told us. As she said, when we left that room we wouldn’t remember anything he had said so to have it written down was a great help.
I have been in a whirl for the last 2 weeks on the proverbial rollercoaster but had read as much as possible. Fortunately my husband is a great one for researching on the internet so everything we were told by the hospital he went away and studied so we were fully clued up about what to expect. Having said that it doesn’t help when you hear the word ‘cancer’ and have to go home and tell 3 sons that is what you have. Your mind goes into overdrive and you start imagining pains, lumps etc which can, to you, mean that cancer has spread everywhere.
I found it helped to talk and tell as many people as possible as the more I talked about it the more I was able to accept it. Also the fact that I had no time between diagnosis and operation to really think abut what was happening as there was so much to do with pre-ops, injections etc. I also had read quite a lot of posts on this site but until now did not feel able to contribute.
I even found on the day before the operation, only 4 days after being told I had cancer, when I was in the hospital waiting room prior to having injections for the op, that I was laughing and joking with another breast cancer patient about what we were having done.
It still seems very surreal, probably because of the speed things moved at, but I thank god for breast screening and for the keen eye of those people who study the xrays. One doctor told me that if I had had the mammogram 6 months earlier then it most probably would not have been spotted and it would then have been another 3 years unless I had felt anything before it would have been found.
I know that compared to many on this site I have been really lucky, both with the finding and treatment of the cancer, and the sort and size of the cancer, but the initial shock I would think is the same. I have the support of all my friends and family, and above all my husband who has kept me going thru’ the last 2 weeks.
Good luck to everybody on this site and just hope that my experience can help somebody else in the same circumstances.