I had a mammogramme on monday & i feel dismissed and scared

I have been having a green/sludge coloured discharge from my right nipple for about 3 months, it doesn’t smell, but i decided to visit my gp as it wasn’t going away.

He decided upon anti-biotics, then if it hadn’t cleared up in two weeks, to return.
I did but he was on annual leave so I saw one of the partners who found a lump about the size of a nut.

I am about 2 stone overweight, and a wee bit lumpy anyway, but this lump, albeit small actually feels different, and aches when poked (and i do feel poked!)

I was referred for mammogramm/ultrasound which I went to on monday, (after a nightmare 3 week wait due to postal strike etc, in which like so many of you on these boards, I have gone from a positive carefree happy mum to a demented wreck)

Anyway monday comes, and the breast screening centre is packed with dozens of other varyingly worried looking ladies.

I feel i am blowing my ‘condition’ out of proportion when i look at these ladies, and try to face the oncoming with a smile and a deep breath.

Now like most women I hate being naked in front of anyone but after getting the gown on and getting ‘herded’ around the building carrying my clothes in a shopping basket we arrive a a very brightly lit room.

The nurse tells me to take off the gown.

I do, standing there like a spare part trying not to blush, ( I wouldn’t even stand in a room this brightly lit in front of my husband)

she then asks me to sign a disclaimer to state that i’m not pregnant.

Fare enough.

Then she has me stand at the machine and lowers it to my level, well i say my level, I am on tiptoes, she has me hoik the right breast away then squashes the left one into the clamp. The whole breast feels well jammed in and she clicks away,
Then she goes for the picture of the left armpit, I am like a ballet dancer twisted on one foot arm in the air, but again it feels like a good connection and the whole underarm feels done.
The right side is a different story, (which is the one with the trouble) again with the balancing act, but it does not feel as clamped in as the other, and when it comes to the pit there is a total difference, at no point was the lump in the clamp or over the xray plate.
.
I felt my confidence drain away and i lacked the guts to point out to this completely stresses out nurse that the proceedure felt totally different.

I went back out and waited to be seen by the dr, by which time i convinced myself that they do this 100s of times a day and i was just being silly.

Again i see the dr, who gives the breast a quick going over, asks me to point at the lump, (i am laying down and it is easier to point out when i am upright) i try my best, but he hardly touches it, and manages to hurt me.
(the lump is in what could be described as the 11 o’clock position and slightly around the side)

He then asks me to squeeze the nipple to produce the dishcharge which i do, then he takes a slide of it.

Then he says take a seat.

I take a seat and without even looking at me he says your mammogram is clear, discharge and lumps are normal. I will let you know if there is anything unusual on the slide test within 2 weeks

I thank him, I don’t know whether to laugh or hug him or hit him.

He says thankyou, goodbye.

there thats it

So why am I still not sleeping, why is this nipple still oozing gunk onto my bra, and why does this peanut in my armpit feel like a hot coal making sure i can’t forget its there, or am I an attention seeker of the most horrific order?

I would be greatful to hear of any other experiences, so that i can tell myself to be greatful that i have the all clear, and accept that i am leaky and lumpy and think myself lucky.

I am 36, and bra size 36 d

sorry this whinge is so long, I have tried to make it brief and have left loads out

thankyou

Hi mumoffour,

I’m so sorry you have been through this, and have had to wait due to postal strikes etc.

I’m sure other women on this site will be able to guide and advise you better than me, but I wanted to ask if you had an ultrasound as well? Is the lump in your breast or your armpit? If it is in your armpit then it could well be an infection oozing from the nipple, the results from the slide in two weeks and then hopefully antibiotics. If the lump is in your breast then I suggest you go back to your GP and explain that the mamogram did not include that part of your breast. I would then insist on an utrasound and biopsy. Most lumps are fine but you want to be 100% sure.

I personally had a mommogram prior to my ultrasound and my two (small) lumps were missed on the mammogram but were very obvious on the ultrasound.

I hope you have the courage to explain to your doctor all that you have just posted.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

A xx

hello there mumoffour

firstly, welcome to the forums - you will get loads of support on here and there is always someone to whinge at.

I must admit that your description of a mammogram had me in fits, just perfect! Except where I am the machine is in a little room with just the technician and the patient - they even lock the door so you know nobody will come in. Getting to know them quite well now.

You are, i think, gong to have to wait for the result of the test. But, i would get some bra pads to protect your clothes. You do not say whether you go back to the clinic or your GP but, depending on the results, i’d maybe ask for an ultra sound scan to be sure. Mammograms on younger women aren’t always so clear - you have denser breast tissue.

have a hug though - and hopefully soon you’ll be breathig a huge sigh of relief and waving us all a fond farewell

Thankyou so much for getting back to me, you have really eased my mind, at least i know i’m not just wallowing.

I was not given an ultrasound, and the lump is kind of where armpit meets breast.

They haven’t told me to go back, they just said they would write to me with the slide results.

It looks as if i’ll have to go back to the gp and re-state my case, thankyou all again
love and hugs
Edel

Dear Edel

Sorry to hear of the shabby treatment you have received, it really shouldn’t be like that.

I would say go back to your gp and tell them that you feel that the tests weren’t extensive enough and that you thought the doctor barely looked at you.

You should not have to put up with this.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Cecelia. x

Edel,

Please go back. You need to get a definitave answer. I was sent packing by the first GP I saw with a lump under my arm. I am convinced he never even found it when he examined me, even though to me it felt like a golf ball. It was only because of my on-going worry, and pressure from my parter and mum that I went back to my own GP (First one I saw was in the same practice, but my GP was on hols that week) and this time when she examined me I guided her hand, and made sure she felt it. Your lump may well be totally benign, and I hope it is, but you need to be sure.

Good luck

Shannon

Thankyou ladies, I have an appointment wednesday with the 2nd gp I saw, and i feel much more equipped to deal with her, (will be taking notes of your advice with me) I feel more confident that i am not just wasting time, even if it IS nothing to worry over there is still a problem that should not be ignored.
Hopefully the results from the slide will be back then too so i’ll know more about that side of things.

Thankyou so much for kind responses, I really feel like I am not just wallowing, and my guilt is gone
I’ll let you know how I get on,
All my best wishes to you all
Edel x

mumoffour,
good to hear that you’ve made a decision.
hugs

Hello everyone, here is a bit of an update, I have not had much to report, safe to say that the wheels ‘seem’ to be dragging very slowly here!

The slide cultures of the discharge came back clear, but just to be on the safe side my GP prescribed another course of anti biotics, as she decided i had an infection of the lymph nodes, which are enlaged (hence the lumps), and told me to go back in 6 weeks, so last week I went back and she was a little horrified to find that they are a still enlarged, and I have now had this cough for at least 3 months.

She is sending me for a biopsy on tuesday.

I just wanted to thank you all for encouraging me to go back, even though this has been going on a bit, ( i know 3 months doesn’t seem long but my god it seems to have been forever to me as i’m sure you all will appreciate!)

I feel a bit better armed to face the consultant from the first post, and I won’t be dismissed as some halfwit hysteric.

Thankyou all

Much love and hugs to you all
Edel
xxxxxxxx

Glad to hear things are improving. Astonished you did not receive an ultrasound - mammograms are not a clear sign for anyone under 50 as the breast tissue is often too thick.
Sympathise with your experience. I had an awful experience at my local breast cancer clinic - the doctor had not even read the notes and lost the ultra sound results - despite the fact I had secondary cancer. He was completely out of his depth because my case was relatively unusual (secondary cells found straight away with no sign of a primary growth). He was also deeply insensitive and kept saying you know you have cancer don’t you. I went back to my GP and asked to be referred to the Royal Marsden - who have been amazing.
PS You should not have to wait three weeks for a mammogram, postal strike or not. You are supposed to be seen within two weeks. The problem I found in general hospitals (not the marsden ) is you have to badger people a lot - I had to phone the local hospital a number of times myself to find out what the hell was going on- at a time you are feeling very vulnerable.
Good luck

Hi Vikki,

I have heard many wonderful things about the marsden!

I had to phone 4 times to get my initial appointment through, and the GP i saw on monday (who is the 3rd now) was also astonished that I didn’t receive an ultra sound, I told her that I had read here that m’grams are ineffectual for women under 40 and she agree’d entirely, I received my appointment for tuesday yesterday, which was a standard letter stating that I should attend the breast screening centre for ‘tests and investigations eg m’gram/ultrasound of the breast’
They don’t even go to the effort of calling you in for the thing you have been referred for!!!

I was wondering if your local screening centre doctor was the same one i had LOL!!!

It is such a shame, kind words and taking people seriously really does cost nothing, especially when you are in your position!

warmest wishes to you Vikki

Edel x

Hi mumoffour, sorry you’re being dealt with so badly - the worry is bad enough without all that. Just hang in there. Do you have anyone who could go with you to appointments and support you when you have to make phone calls etc? It’s really hard trying to be assertive about yourself, but easier to do it for someone else.

xx

p.s. loved your description of the mammogram!

very best of luck Edel, …D…x

Hi Cryst, yes my bossy friend is coming with me, she also came last time, and was taken aback by the dr’s attitude, but had thought, like me, that the mammogram would show everything up so never asked questions, we are much better preparde this time!

I have also made notes from this site of questions that i need to ask.

I just wanted everyone out there, who are also doubting themselves, not to give up and to stand up to the dismissive and down right rude sections of the medical profession,(and I know that the majority are wonderful) we women know our bodies, and know when things are amiss. Being told that new lumps/pains/discharge are normal is not helpful, especially when they have appeared spontaniously.

x

thanks D
xx

Hi mumofour, I really sympathise with you over the way you’ve been treated.I had to wait an agonising month for my mammogram, and then as it was pre Christmas an awful lot of bulls–t and farting about and misdiagnosing before I eventually started having any treatment - 2 months after going to my GP with a lump! Glad things are improving with you and hope all goes well.Take care…and be assertive!

Love from Joyce x