The words you don’t want to hear

 I found a lump just before lockdown in an area where I have a cyst. Gave it a couple of weeks due the madness that was happening with Covid 19. I made contact with my GP who referred me to Breast clinic. Mammogram, scan, biopsy, tagging and then the words the lump is likely to be cancer. I was alone as my husband was unable to come inside the clinic due to being vulnerable himself. Strangely I had a feeling they would say those words to me.

Thursday last week I met the consultant who confirmed I had stage 1 grade 3 oestrogen negative, terminology is daunting. MRI scan this Monday as my breasts are dense and they want to check that this is the only lump. No signs off swelling in the lymph nodes I believe in the armpits. I will then go back to see consultant this Friday unless they have picked up something else on MRI, then it will be Thursday for more biopsy. If MRI confirms the one lump I am booked for a possible lumpectomy the following Thursday. He briefly said that my treatment will be chemo and radiotherapy. I have sobbed, laughed and held my husband tightly. I never know what each day will bring regarding my mood, I try to think positive and then the worst thoughts enter my mind usually at night. I go to bed tired and then my mind is thinking cancer, treatment, bras, hair loss, my two little granddaughters. I know I am not alone but my fear is that my Grandmother died at 52 and her sister at 67 I’m 56. A friend recently said to me who had cancer, some call it a journey, I called it my mission to fight and survive. I like that statement my mission to fight and survive and my journey will be in my beautiful campervan. MRI is my next hurdle and trying to sleep.

Hi TrayC

For insomnia, try YouTube - Progressive Hypnosis’ Manifest Healing has seen me through the whole experience, alongside various things by Michael Sealey and occasional binaural beats from Good Vibes.

Yes, the language is terrifying. It’s specialist language that has a different meaning to them - we hear ‘aggressive’ and are terrified. Whatever you do, don’t Google. Nothing is tailored to your unique diagnosis and the resulting generalisations can be terrifying. Personally I find the whole language around cancer seems counter-productive. Words like battle and fight, even brave and positive, have very subtle effects on some people who feel they fall short of the mark - but we all find our own way through.

All the best with the MRI and I hope the results are good so you can have a simpler ride on the breast cancer rollercoaster (you’ve already described it in your emotional responses). Be prepared for anything x