@IerynEtra - that is truly wonderful news, I’m so happy to read that and thank you for coming back to update us all. It’s really great for others who are waiting for news/test results to see that there are positive stories and not all changes are bad. I can really relate to you having to ask the radiographer 3 times to repeat the good news, I would be exactly the same. I’m sure your Mum was very relieved too.
I hope you can finally relax now. Time for a really special treat after all you’ve been through. And don’t forget to stay breast aware. Really big hugs to you. Evie xx
Everything is fine.
I had the mammogram, was stuttering as I tried to confirm my name and address, which is a stress response I get. First mammogram I've had and I struggled to understand the radiographer because of her accent so it took a bit longer than usual. I waited about 10 minutes for the ultrasound, explained about the dent and the three lumps, and was told that there are no lumps, that my mammogram was clear. She did a quick sweep with the ultrasound stick and that was that.
I had to confirm with her three times that everything was okay just in case I was hearing it wrong.
I was upset in a good way for about five minutes then went numb, no idea how long that's going to last.
I want to thank those that replied to me here, you've been really kind and being able to pour out some of my emotions during this time has been helpful, so thank you.
I received a letter today, a copy of that which has been sent to the family history clinic. I got the location of the lumps wrong, I figured I had because I was so stressed, so it's nice to have it in writing.
It said I have chronic bilateral inverted nipples, which is an odd way to say that this is normal for me. You associate the word chronic with some kind of illness but I've had inverting nipples since I was a child.
The letter says;
"On examination there is a skin indentation in the lower part of the right breast extending from outer region to inner region with a small non-tender lump palpable at 6 o'clock just below the nipple. In the left breast there are 2 lumps palpable, 1 in upper outer quadrant and another in the lower outer quadrant left breast which is soft mobile and non-tender. Both axillae and supraclavicular regions are normal."
I still can't feel anything unusual myself, but I've only ever examined my own breasts so I literally don't know what I'm looking for. I've read that concerning lumps are rock or seed like and I can't feel anything like that. It also says the lumps are non-tender but actually those areas, along with a couple of others, are tender, which is also normal for me. The specialist didn't ask if those areas hurt and I don't tend to outwardly react to pain, even when I broke my wrist I barely made a sound.
I've read that breast cancer doesn't usually come with pain until/unless it begins pressing on the surrounding tissue.
My doctor prescribed me diazepam (valium). He was only willing to give me 10 doses so I've saved most of them to take one a day leading up to the appointment and 2 on the day of it. I don't know if it's going to be able to prevent me from having a panic attack during the mammogram, especially as I can't take anyone with me because of the virus.
Knowing what will happen and when would help, but that's not possible. With the ultrasounds I've had before (2000 and 2012) they could tell me at that time if anything was concerning, which it wasn't. With a mammogram I may find out then and there or I may have to wait. They may refer me for an ultrasound they may not. The ultrasound may be on the day or I may have to go back at a later date. If the ultrasound finds something I'll need a biopsy which may be on the day or it may not. It may be an ultrasound guided biopsy or it could be an MRI guided. There are so many possibilities and I'll never get to know which one will happen until it happens. For someone with an anxiety disorder this is maddening.
@IerynEtra - good that you spoke to your friend and your GP, and came back on here with your update. I think sometimes medical staff aren’t sure how much patients want to know - I was very much in the camp of wanting to know everything, and I probably drove my team mad with all my questions, but I know others prefer to just be treated and not ask questions, trusting in their team to do the best for them. There is no right way, just the best way for you - so if you prefer to have the full picture there is nothing wrong in asking questions.
Although I’m not medical, I do know there are lots of other explanations for lumps or breast changes. Try to keep that in mind while you wait for your mammogram on the 12th. Please feel free to ask me or others if you have any questions or concerns about mammograms, or anything else you think of. We’re right here if you need to talk and will be there virtually holding your hand on the 12th and during the time leading up to it. Evie xx
I spoke to the doctor on Friday and he agreed to give me a short course of diazepam. He also told me that the nurse who originally examined me at the GP surgery put on my notes that she found suspected fibrous tissue. This was news to me as she said she didn't feel anything.
It's only today, after speaking about it with a friend, that I've realised that neither the nurse who first saw me nor the specialist at the hospital who referred me for a mammogram have really communicated with me. The former kept information from me and the latter barely said anything. All I was told at the hospital was that she found 3 lumps and couldn't tell if it was my normal breast tissue or not, then she said she'd fast track me for a mammogram/ultrasound/biopsy. She didn't explain what other things the lumps could be. She didn't mention fibroids, cysts or fat necrosis. Nothing. She didn't tell me what mammograms were like nor how they were performed despite confirming that I'd only ever had ultrasound scans. I had to rely on Dr. Google!
What happened to informed consent? I know I have mental health issues but no one is my carer, I look after my own affairs, there has never been a suggestion that I need conservatorship or am incapable of managing my health.
Maybe they're worried that if I hear it might be fibroids that I won't go ahead with full testing, and they want me to have that because of my family history, but that's not in any way their choice. I cannot fathom why it took a regular GP to talk to me about this stuff.
I have been given an appointment for a mammogram on the 12th. I feel a bit better at least knowing when the appointment will be. The tranquiliser seems to be preventing the panic attacks, at least for now
@IerynEtra - thank you for replying on here. I must apologise if I pushed you to pick up the phone, I should have been more gentle and suggested an email. Whatever way works best for you is the right way, and I hope emailing the nurses can help you.
Please do stay in touch, if it helps of course, and feel free to offload or just ask for hugs any time. The waiting time is horrible and if any of us can do anything to help you, do ask. Evie xx
Dear @IerynEtra, I am sorry you are experiencing this.
It's ok if you don't feel like talking to someone now.
We know it can be hard to open up and speak. However often the hardest thing is finding the courage to pick up the phone - once you're speaking to someone, it may feel so much easier, and you may wish you'd done it sooner.
You did well to email. Our nursing team will reply to you as soon as they can.
We are sending you our warmest thoughts, and we hope the festive season is kind to you x
I don't feel comfortable talking to someone but I have emailed. I'm on anti depressants and have been for a long, long time but I just cannot get anyone to give me therapy. The local mental health team say I'm not bad enough, the self referral service says my needs were too complex. They don't care that I'm drowning in my thoughts because I haven't yet hospitalised myself through self injury or a suicide attempt.
Thank you for your advice though.
@IerynEtra - yes please do follow Jaybro’s suggestion and call the nurses tomorrow. You are carrying guilt and all kinds of unhealthy thoughts, and need to talk it through with someone. You are letting your mind run way ahead - although of course I understand why given your sister’s diagnosis. Please please also stay in touch on here, it’s a safe non judgemental place, a place where everyone just “gets it” without explanation. You can confide totally anonymously.
A couple of thoughts to start with. First of all, try to give yourself some of the kindness you would give to a friend, instead of beating yourself up about things that aren’t/weren’t your fault. When I had some counselling my counsellor suggested I try thinking how I would advise a friend in my situation - and I found that a helpful and interesting exercise. We are usually much harder on ourselves than we ever would be to a friend.
If you look on this site and Cancer Research they have lots of advice about eating and food, why don’t you have a look - but don’t start general random googling as you will find all kinds of non proven theories. I’m not medical so not for me to give dietary advice, but I try to choose healthy options when I can and don’t beat myself up when I have a cake/treat/whatever. My oncologist is very much of the “everything in moderation” camp.
Sending hugs, Evie xx
Sweetheart (I can’t think of another way to open this, sorry) you need help immediately. Please ring the nurses’ helpline tomorrow before the dry Christmas period sets it. I’ve used them three times and I can honestly say they’ve been wonderful. They may not remove some of the embedded ideas you have but just speaking to someone can make all the difference, especially someone who understands women and breast cancer. Otherwise, you’re choosing a very unhappy and possibly unnecessary route to go down.
Take care. The number is top right and no, they won’t think you’re wasting their time!
My mum burst into tears today when I went out shopping. Came back to find her freaking out. Turns out that my sister was diagnosed with BC in the January. If I get diagnosed it'll be the same month.
I don't know how to deal with that, I feel so guilty.
My sister had four kids, three of them have cut me off and I'm terrified of them finding out because they'll be delighted by the news, they'll say it's judgement, punishment for me, and I can't help but think they're right.
All I can think is I need to start preparing for my death. I need to start cataloguing everything I own and organising it so it's easier for others to deal with when I'm dead, and I don't want to buy anything for myself or accept any gifts anymore because it'll just add to the burden. I feel I need to figure out how my mum will be taken care of once I go, and what will happen to my cats.
I'm now terrified of eating because of all the scare stories over the years about how certain foods empower cancer. I know there is no evidence of it but it's still there, in my head.
@IerynEtra - I would also like to welcome you to the forum and send you a big hug. I’m very sorry to read your story, and would like to echo Jaybro’s very wise, sensible words and advice.
We are all here for you so please feel free to chat anytime while you are waiting for your mammogram. The waiting time can be very hard and it’s a time when our minds can run away with us. Try to take one day at a time and also remember the very wise advice from a book I have that “fears are not facts”. Sending strength as you wait and hope it turns out to be benign. Evie xx
First of all, I’m so sorry you find yourself here, but you certainly have come to the right place for reassurance and advice from people who’ve been though it. I’m sorry too for your loss. It must have been very hard for you.
There is sometimes a familial link in breast cancer but I come from a huge family on both sides and there was no familial link established, despite my mum having breast cancer twice over 20 years (full recovery both times), losing three aunts to breast cancer and having at least two cousins having had it. So my first piece of advice is not to jump to conclusions. You are not your sister and you may be one of the 60-90% of women referred who find their lumps are benign.
Obviously you know what to expect as you saw your sister going through it. But don’t ‘expect’ until the breast consultant utters that dreaded word cancer or results show you have it. There are plenty of other explanations. Use this waiting time to focus on your emotions, reducing your anxiety levels because nothing can prepare you for the tsunami of emotions that come in this situation. Go running, bake, practise your mindfulness…do what makes you feel good. Not to take your mind of it (well nigh impossible) but to manage the negative feelings. I regularly use YouTube videos by Progressive Hypnosis. I defy anyone not to drift off to Cure Anxiety!
This may sound harsh but you are not responsible for your mum’s emotions. You assume she will have to go through the same again with you but most people recover from breast cancer. If it’s caught early there is an over 90% success rate! I can understand your feelings. Much as I miss my mum, I have frequently thought thank god she’s not here, so I’m being a bit hypocritical maybe but, if your mum is like mine, she’d want to know and want to support you through it.
If it is breast cancer, you will find there are different kinds, sometimes within the same breast. I had two lumps, one ductal, one lobular, one hormone-responsive, one not, and loads of differences within that. But I’m still here. Almost everyone using these forums is going through treatment or has finished it. Breast cancer doesn’t necessarily mean suffering and death. Keep that in mind while you wait for your mammogram and its results. (And do stay off Google; we’ve almost all found it multiplies the stress factor by dozens. If there’s something you need to know, the breast care nurses at the number above are brilliant. Give them a ring for some reassurance). I wish you all the best for a good outcome.
So I (40,F) noticed a dent under my right breast, saw the GP who referred me because my grandmother and sister died of breast cancer. I've just come back from seeing the specialist and she could feel three lumps, two on the right and one on the left. She's putting me in for a mammogram and making it urgent as otherwise it can be a 10 week wait.
I'm now having a panic attack.
I don't want to do this. I've seen this. I've seen what this does. My sister died in the next room in this very house, my mum watched. I don't want her to have to watch another child die from the same freaking thing!