Scared Silly!

Hi everyone,
After just terrifying myself, by reading some articles on lumps and bumps with a Google search, I decided a more positive course of action was called for, and so searched for a forum instead, and here I am.

Around this time last week, I found a lump in my left boob.
I don’t know how long it has been there - I don’t check my breasts regularly or properly - so it was purely by chance that I felt it.
It is very noticeable though, and to me it seems big, so think it wouldn’t have escaped my attention for too long.

Like said, the lump is big and is on the inner side of my leftie.
After a couple days of denial, I went to the GP’s on Wednesday morning.
My doctor had no trouble in feeling it, and I swear I even saw her eyebrows raise, as if she was thinking “Yikes!” when she felt it.

I asked her, “Is it bad?”, and she just said that I needed to go and get it checked-out.
She made an on-line referral to the hospital, and told me to wait a few hours, and then ring for an appointment.
She then said, " If they don’t give you an appointment that is within the next two weeks, call me back and tell me"…
This call for urgency, just made me think more so, that this is indeed bad!

Anyway, I have my appointment this coming Wednesday morning ( and will it please just hurry up and get here already!)

I have spoken to a lady at work, who had a lump ( which turned out to benign ) and she told me she had to wait for her results for almost a week after, to arrive in the post, and that I wouldn’t find out anything at my screening appointment.
This being the case, I was going to go alone, as I’m not afraid of the testing, just the results.
However, after just reading through a few posts, should I be taking someone with me? Did she have to wait for postal results because she got an ‘All clear’? Are they likely to tell me there and then, if the news isn’t so rosy?

I don’t have any family, and although I have acquaintances here, my friends live far away.
I’m suddenly feeling very alone :frowning:
( I’m 42, with no partner or kids. Not that I’m unhappy about that. My life is good, and I’m happy. Just wish my loved ones were nearer, right now!)

Flitting between moments of calm and despair, right now!
I know I should wait until I know something for sure, but panic keeps setting in… How will I cope with illness alone? How will I afford illness alone? - I’m not exactly flush right now, anyway!
Am I going to lose my lovely hair? Am I going to lose my lovely boob?

Hugs to everyone out there. I need one for sure, so am guessing you do too!

Dear Oplelia, Take a deep breath…try to be calm…almost impossible I know. But your GPO did the right thing and has referred you to the specialists who know more about lumps and bumps than she does.
The waiting for tests and results is the hardest part and we know just what you are going through. Most lumps are not cancer but it is wise to check out.
Try to take one day at a time and we will be here to support you whatever happens. Keep posting on here to tell us how you are doing. There will be more replies coming along soon. BUT do not Google again it just mucks up your mind! Hug for you, Val

Hi Ophelia

As well as the support you receive from the other users if you think it might be helpful just to talk to someone during this worrying time please don’t hesitate give the BCC helpline a call. Here you can share your feelings and concerns with a trained member of staff who will be able to offer you emotional support as well as practical information. The lines are open today until 2pm and Monday to Friday 9 to 5pm.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

Hi Ophelia (brill name!)

First things first - well done for going to your GP and geeting this checked out. Those of us on here all know how much courage that takes. The two week rapid referral is a UK wide thing for any lumps and bumps GPs don’t feel able to make a ‘call’ on (a few people yet longer referrals) so don’t read too much into that.

How it will work at your clinic appointment will depend on the specific hospital, as they vary. Here’s what happened for me, at a hopsital that does a ‘one stop shop’ where you receive a diagnosis by the time you leave.

I arrived and was seen by a consultant who before he even examined or took my history asked if I had come alone - he’s a wise man, my surgeon. I had indeed gone alone - I am single, had only lived here less than a year blah blah. He exmained me and sent me off for a mammogram. When I came back within a few minutes (so it seemed) I was called for an ultrasound. I was then called back to see the surgeon, who came in plus a breast nurse, so I kind of knewe something was up. He said it was ‘almost certainly cancer’ and did a fine needle apsiration (FNA) and took two core biopsies. They gave me local anaesthetic for these, so not painful though I was sore afterwards for a few days. An hour later I was called back for the FNA results, which confirmed it was cancer, and the surgeon outlined his recommended treatment plan, telling me I would need to come back to his next clinic for the results of the core biopsies and what he termed a ‘legal disagnosis’. I then had a good long session with the breast nurse who wnet over everything again for me. Both surgeon and BCN were adamant I must take someone with me when I went for the formal results.

Now, that’s pretty much the ‘worst case’ for a first appointment. Something like 90% of breast lumps are benign. If it is a cyst they may well be able to drain it there and then, job done. If it is a benign lump they may leave it where it is and monoitor it. If it is cancer they will move very swiftly to set up the best treatment plan for YOU. I really hope you are in the 90% but if you are unlucky enough to have to join us, you’ll get lots of support.

Try not to think too far ahead… whatever comes your way you will cope with. Before this I had really long hair and really dreaded losing it, had never been properly ill and was scared silly. But I chose to take it one step at a time… and it all became very doable.

Try to avoid Google, stick the the main BCC site, MacMillan or Cancer Research UK and remember in our little world, there is no such thing as a silly question. I’d try to avoid reading too many threads just yet, but do come back with your questions.

take care, and please, do something really nice this weekend, you so deserve a treat.

BIG HUG &lt;&lt;<hug></hug>

Hi Ophelia,

My experience was very similar to Revcat although after a recall from a routine mammogram rather tha me finding a lump. By the end of the recall appointment I had had a mammogram, ultrasound and core biopsy. Then the doctor sat me down with a nurse present and my OH and gently told me she thought it was likely to be cancer.

My mum had a recall which turned out to be nothing and was told on the day too.

If you do have someone who can go along with you I would take them as it canbe difficult to take everything in yourself. If not then I suggest you take a notebook and try and write down what they say.

Definitly try and take one day at a time, loads of support is available on here if you need it.


Hi Orphelia

Like you I found my lump as part of my daily bath routine, and know that it didn’t seem to be there the day before, even though it proved to be 3.8cm in size. I did ask the surgeon why this was, and he said that many women say the same thing.I contacted my GP who say me the same day and referred me to my local hospital’s ‘Rapid Response’ team who have to see referrals within 2 weeks. I think that this ‘2 weeks’ response time is standard if your GP thinks there is a possibility that it is breast cancer so be pleased that your GP has acted so promptly on your behalf.

I was given an ultra-sound and a mammogram and a biopsy was taken and I returned a week later for the results. I suppose I should have realised that, because a BCN was also in the room with the consultant, the news wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I was told what operation I needed and that, if I wanted immediate reconstruction, I would need to meet with the surgeon to discuss my options. From finding my lump to having my mx with immediate reconstruction was just 5 weeks.

You may not always be told at your screening appointment, for very often they wait for the results of the biopsy before giving you your results. I am very surprised that your friend received an ‘All Clear’ through the post as I would still have wanted a consultation to find out what the lump was even if it was not breast cancer, as I am sure you would.

The waiting is the worst bit of all, but try to remain positive. I have come to the conclusion that, if time was of the essence you would be in theatre without delay, so try and console yourself with this thought. I also found it helpful to think that at least I had found my lump, and that something could be done about it rather than be ignorant about it. Try to find positives in your situation as they are there even if everything seems rather negative at the moment.

Try not to worry about coping or money or even losing your hair at the moment. Try to take one step at a time and cross these bridges if, and, when you come to them. You might be worrying needlessly, but if the diagnosis is the one you don’t want you may find that you surprise yourself with the fact that you will find an inner strength and cope with whatever lies ahead. But at the moment, hard as it is, try and concentrate on what you know rather than worry about what you don’t know.

You will receive the very best of treatment I am sure, and there are 50,000 more women in the UK alone each year who share your possible diagnosis. Take comfort from the fact that you will not be alone and a lot of these women are on this website suppporting you, and others like you with your treatment if it should come to it. One of them is me so join hands and follow me as I am now 9 months further down the line than you, following a mx with reconstruction, 3 FEC and 3 Docetaxels, 15 rads and herceptin.

Take along pen and paper to your appointment and either ask write down any notes about waht you are told. If you are by yourself you can always ask the Breast Care Nurse if one is present to make notes for you. Make sure that you ask them to explain or expand on anything that you don’t understand too. You will be assigned a Breast Care Nurse too who will be there to support you through your treatment too so make good use of them - they are a wonderful support. Mine told me told me that they will see me through this, and they will. Together we will beat this as you will too.

Don’t forget to that there is a help-line attached to this website so use it as that is what it is there for.

Lots of hugs

Mazzalou xx

Hello Ophelia
My experience (nine months ago) was very similar to the other stories. I was recalled after a routine mamogram and after repeat mammo, ultrasound and biopsy I was told it was almost certainly cancer. that was confirmed a week later after the biopsy. I had surgey a few weeks later to remove both the tumour and some lymph nodes for testing. I was fortunate in that it hadn’t spread and didn’t have to have chemo, only a couple of weeks of radiotherapy and five years of letrozole.

I am self-employed - when I work I get paid, and when I don’t, I don’t. So that was a very big worry for me. I was in fact able to get on with most of my work and only missed a few days (less than advised by the hospital, but emotionally I found it better to work anyways). I was lucky in that my clients were very supportive. I coped by working, but then going to bed really early (especially after the radiotherapy) and really chilling at weekends. I let the housework hang (just having a blitz on my bedroom right now!).

As everyone says, try to take each day at a time, and tackle each hurdle as it comes along. Altho I don’t post a great deal I found this forum an invaluable resource for support. Let us know how you get on! And Revcat, as always, gives sensible advice in saying don’t try to read too many threads at once.

Hi Ophelia (what a beautiful name by the way). So sorry that you’re in limbo at the moment, it’s a horrible place to be, but try not to scare yourself too much, it may turn out to be nothing. However if it is BC then consider yourself lucky - if you’re going to get cancer then get BC as it’s one of the most easily treated and has one of the greatest succes rates of all cancers. I should know as I was first disgnosed 12 years ago and then again 7 years ago but I am absolutely fine now. I know you’re scared but you will find tons of help and support here & we will see you through whatever the outcome is.

Sending you lots of positive and calm thoughts.

Love lbx157

Thanks so much, ladies!

I’m a lot calmer this afternoon. I’m usually so ‘together’ and there isn’t much that tries my nerve, but after the stupid mistake of the Google search… Wow,this is a whole different ball game, isn’t it!
Won’t be doing that again, I can assure you! lol

I did read a few other posts on this site ( but will now stick to one section at a time, as needs call for ) and in those posts I saw that some girls were 18 and 19 years old. That was a reality check, and so I’m quitting my moaning ( for now lol )

Thanks for all the information & advice about the hospital appointment.
I’ll be going to Kettering, Northants, if anyone has any specific info about there?
I will certainly now try and take someone with me.

I think what added to my panic, is that I have had so little medical problems - I haven’t been to the docs for 10 years! So lucky, I know - this is really being thrown in at the deep end.

Anyway, thank you all so much. I’m so glad that I signed up here, and it’s so nice to ‘meet’ you all.
I’m feeling pretty fine now, actually. Going to read, relax and maybe have a big G&T…

Big group hug, and love to all. Thank you!

Hi Ophelia

Fingers crossed it’s all ok for you and that it turns out to be nothing serious.
I am 40 and nearly 2 years down the line and have just had my reconstruction.You mentioned Kettering,I am from Northants too and I had my treatment at Northampton General Hospital as they have a large Oncology centre there.I am not sure if Kettering has or not but should it turn out to be cancer and you get sent to NGH for treatment I cannot speak highly enough of all the staff there.
Everyone is so lovely and you really do feel looked after.
If you have any questions please feel free to PM me.
Good luck,will be thinking of you.

Thanks Tracy ( that is the sweetest profile pic!)

All your advice & help is so much appreciated. Can’t thank you all enough, for taking the time on this forum to help others.
Bless you all!

Tracy, that’s reassuring to know that about Northampton General, and I’ve also been told that the breast clinic, in the relatively new treatment centre in Kettering, is wonderful.

I’m in really good spirit, right now. I can’t change whatever the outcome of Wednesday is, so just going to get on with it!

love & Hugs

Criteria for my area, and i think it’s national: if you are over 40 and the GP can feel the lump, you *will* be referred to breast specialist, and you are entitled to be seen within two weeks, full-stop.

So don’t be alamred by the GP response: with all this mammograms and screening, so that many lumps are now detected when they are very small (in those who are invited and attend for screening) it may be the first she has actually felt. I know my GP was quite impressed she could feel my lump so definitively. And then having the protocol, it made it much eaiser for her to know what to do - Pass me on to an expert quick!! But that doesn’t mean it’s cancer, so don’t panic. I think the art of GP’ing lies in separating out the malingerers and hypochondriacs who are fit as a fiddle but convinced they are dying, from those who think they are fine, well almost fine, maybe a little worried, but are actually in serious need of attention. And everything in-between!

My one-stop diagnostic clinic experience was similar to Mazzalou’s: a conveyor-belt tour of the hospital departments consisting of: doctor chat + poke + fine needle aspiration; mammogram; ultrasound; return chat with Consultant doctor + sidekick + two Breast-care nurses (Yes, a room full of senior people does set the alarm bells ringing!); all within two hours; with for me, a very frustrating “Probably” result and a punch biopsy (OUCH - that’s no place to punch a lady!!), “but we need to see you again in a week for this biopsy pathology result”. Nearly everyone should go home from the one-stop shop with a proper clearcut answer, I was just unlucky with an atypical tumour that needed the extra test. I went alone both times, but the extra week did give me a chance to be a bit more prepared, although I was climbing the curtains all week till I had that definitive diagnosis. It also meant that the doctors had a bit longer to discuss me behind my back and plan the treatment for this less typical lump at my less than typical age, bearing in mind that like you, I live alone and that needed to be considered. I didn’t have any family around, daughter had literally just gone off to college. But I found I had more friends than I thought. And they were wonderful.

Praying all goes well for you on Wednesday.

Hope you got on ok today and it’s nothing to worry about.

Hi ladies,

Phew…Lucky me!

After mammogram & ultra sound, I was told my lump was a cyst. A very big cyst!
They were surprised I didn’t have any pain, cos it really was a monster.
It had obviously been there sometime, before I found it. There’s a strong lesson for me there!

Anyway, they drained it there and then, and then gave me an ‘All clear’

Experience at the Breast clinic was wonderful. Was there almost 4 hours, which they were extremely apologetic for, and a nurse even made me a coffee to warm me up.

I can’t praise the people there enough. Truly excellent

Thank you ladies for all your help, advice and well wishes.
I did mention at the clinic, what a help this site had been to me.

Thank you! xXXx

HUZZAH, HALLELUJAH, and other exclamations of delight.

I am so glad you had a positive experience of the breast clinic.

Cysts can evidently grow very quickly, so don’t beat yourself up for not finding it earlier, just glad that’s all it is and it’s gone.

Try to stay breast aware for the future… and in the nicest possible way, I hope we don’t see you back here.


Fantastic! As delightful as you sound, I’m so pleased you won’t have to hang around here.

We like good news! Big smiles and hugs.

That’s fantastic news!What a relief.
Definately go and celebrate!

Thanks gals!

This experience has made me far more Breast aware, and taught me the reality, of “Yes, it could easily be you”

I promised myself last week, that if I got a “pass” this time round, I would realise my luck, and quit smoking after 25 years.
I think I had a delayed reaction of nerves this afternoon, as I couldn’t stop shaking, and so had a few ciggies, but tomorrow is a brand new day, and I’m going to start it as a non-smoker.

Again, I’d like to thank you ladies.
I send you all again my love and very best wishes.
I would love to help someone, like you all helped me, so I shall keep looking in, and maybe I can reassure someone myself xXx

That’s great news, I am really pleased for you.

Brillant!! Always great to see a good news story on here :slight_smile:
delghted 4u x