The Wait is endless

I found a lump in early Jan this year 2022.   They saw me the next week but only to confirm that the Dr also felt the lump  Next was trying to get into the mammogram…   what a hoop that was to jump into if I had been patient I would still not have that done I asked to be put on a cancel list and also to see if any of the other 5 clinics within driving distance had an opening. They did get me in though at the end of January and the lump has been deemed suspicious but…   the marker They put in from 4 years ago was in or near the lump with means this lump is a bigger lump from the one I thought of as a dot from a few years ago (and had a biopsy).  They recommend I see a surgeon and I do feel that first week as I waited for them to call me back someone dropped the ball as the Dr to confirm that they felt a lump had messaged me on the portal that all was well and it was just the lump from a few years back No one else contacted me until I started messaging via the portal questions on who next to see.

Long story short I am still waiting and wondering if this lump is not just suspicious but something to freak out about.  My mom and my husband are certainly freaked out about this as it is the size of the pad of my finger and hard.   I of course keep googling when I can’t sleep (tonight I seem to have started early 11pm vs the normal 2am).   I have compared my mammogram image with benign and cancerous lumps via my internet and the me it looks like it could still go either way.

To make matters worse the biopsy a few years ago the surgeo n was rude to me and did not understand why someone under 40 would have had their breasts checked.   I had an aunt die at the age of 52, 25 years ago as such all of us cousins do try and stay on top of checking in with the Dr’s. I am now dreading chatting with the medical folks because at this mammogram appointment the radiologist decided to sternly ask me why I had mammogram before 40 and then why I didn’t get checked in the past 2 years (honestly covid and time got away from me).   Perhaps I am too sensitive on this topic.   I feel numb, really numb and at the same time like I have a bad cloud hanging over me .

And with all of that I also have not wanted to admit that this could be cancer.   I keep thinking perhaps at the surgeon appointment the might just say the marker is there and we just keep a watch on the lump as it was NOT cancer a few years ago.  This lump does not hurt, is not doing anything overly concerning other wise they would have had me in by now (I hope).   

Anyone else think this wait is endless and that they may just be crazy during the wait?  As I schedule things after the surgeon appointment I keep wondering which week I will have to change and will it be hard to reschedule it.   And as I think about it or look at more information on breast cancer I start to talk myself in circles that lead no where and have no real answers.   The wait seems endless and I have another 9 days before the surgeon appointment where she will hopefully tell me something or at least a plan.

Hi Sharps

Yes, the wait feels endless. We have a different system in the NHS. That doesn’t mean there’s no waiting, but the transitions are smoother.

First thing you know you have to do is stop Googling. I know it’s your body and you’re entitled to know what’s going on but there are no filters in Google to allow for emotions and jumping to conclusions, and attempts at self-diagnosis can only end in more distress. Have you found the entries that say that the vast majority of breast lumps turn out to be benign (things like fibroadenomas and cysts)? The fact is, no one can say you have cancer until you have had the right tests and only an expert can do those. The fact that none of the specialists you’ve seen so far has immediately referred you to oncology is a good sign, surely?

I’m sorry to hear about your aunt but please don’t assume there is a genetic link. My mum had breast cancer twice, different type each time. I had two aunts living with breast cancer and one who died of it as well as a cousin with early-detected breast cancer. I had two tumours, both different. Add that to a soup and you’d assume there was a familial link. There wasn’t. My cancers were nothing to do with genes. I don’t think I’m the exception either.

I can’t reassure you about the waiting because we are in different systems but I can advise you to spend your time googling about dealing with your emotional turmoil and reducing your stress levels. There are excellent videos on YouTube that you can just plug into and relax, no matter what’s spinning in your head. My favourites are by Progressive Hypnosis but it’s trial and error to find one you like. That is a way better use of your waiting time than trying to sort it out for yourself. If you don’t fancy meditation, go running, do whatever you normally do that makes you feel good but focus on it so you get a break from all the what ifs.

All I can advise, apart from avoiding Dr Google, is patience. You’ll need it in buckets if you do get a bc diagnosis so practise ways of feeling comfortable in empty time, stop worrying about future schedules as you’ve no idea what lies ahead, stop prodding that poor lump or it will start getting painful and … stop making assumptions based on emotional thinking. You may be right, you may be wrong. In the UK, statistically, you’ll be wrong but who knows?

I do hope it turns out well for you.

Jan x