Good Morning Jan - and thank you very much for your reply 🙂
I am so sorry that you are dealing with this - and the fact that you have taken the time to help me is deeply appreciated. Your calm, measured response is exactly what I needed. It's such a balancing act between being aware of changes and letting my imagination conjure up areas of concern. I struggled with anxiety well before diagnosis and it certainly goes into overdrive now.
For what ever it's worth, I send you all my best wishes that you long continue to be stable and feeling okay. The pandemic has certainly had consequences that most people never even have to consider, it's all such a depressing mess really! But please know that, in replying to my nervous vent, you have made a very positive difference today:-)
Love - Cat
You’re welcome to vent away. Nothing like a good vent and it’s surprising where it may lead. I hope you get more useful responses than mine.
It’s not long till you have your mammogram but it’s still going to be a long wait. However, hopefully you’ll be in good hands. Meantime, I’d say focus on dealing with your imagination which is in overdrive and the anxiety about the results. Do you meditate or practise something like mindfulness? I use Progressive Hypnosis’s videos on YouTube - there’s one called Cure Anxiety. It helped me.
To answer your key question, I would say that you should see your GP if there are any changes anywhere in your body that you can’t explain away. When I was discharged by my least popular oncologist, she said to look out for any changes. I asked what that meant - just any lumps or bumps and the area of your scar, she said. 18 months later, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer (over a year later than it could have been spotted, owing to Covid restrictions). My tumour is behind my nose and protruding into the eye socket!! Even my oncologist has never experienced this before. So much for lumps and bumps along the scar line!
I dismissed the early signs (who would bother a GP at the peak of a pandemic over a red eyelid?), then they failed to examine me when I asked… a long, exasperating story. However, my treatment is working, I feel ok and I’m stable. So I guess I’m saying that you re not wasting anyone’s time and that consultant was out of order to suggest you were. He was however right that you should understand the map of your breasts so you are more certain when or if you ever notice a change. But once you’ve had breast cancer, it can crop up anywhere if it hasn’t been caught by primary treatment and more people should know this. Bowel changes, pain in the right side, aching discomfort in the same spot… something or nothing. But if it’s not checked out, Stage 4 can’t be ruled out can it. You don’t want a Stage 4 diagnosis. Quite the opposite - you are avoiding it!
If anything anywhere in your body feels persistently different, even if it’s not painful, then you consult your GP. You can justify it by your history of breast cancer and your knowledge that a recurrence might not be in the breast so you’ve come for reassurance. It’s sensible.
Fingers crossed for a happy outcome - and remember to work on that anxiety meantime!
I am having a little freak out and just need to put my fear down in writing & try to get some clarity really.
I was diagnosed in April 2015 - left breast, grade 2, no lymph node involvement so WLE, radiotherapy 23 sessions and no chemotherapy. I found my lump just after my 45th Birthday. I also have a family history of breast/ovarian (maternal grandmother deceased at 54 and mother deceased at 65), I tested BRCA negative but had a hysterectomy following an elevation of CA125 in April 2019.
So, about 3 weeks ago I felt a lump in the right breast. I am overweight and my right breast always has a lumpy texture, bit like frogspawn 🙂 but this feels tougher and more substantial, though not 'spiky' like my cancerous lump. My husband can't even feel it so I am worried I am just being uber paranoid. Still, I thought about contacting my GP but, as I usually hear about my annual 'family history high risk' mammogram in May & attend for it in July, I thought I'd just wait for the letter on that. I didn't get my letter until last week but mammogram is 4/7/2022. Pretty good then.
Except I cant stop fixating on it and am losing my damn mind! I wish I'd gone to the GP instead of waiting! But last year I had a bad experience with a local breast consultant when I found a tiny gristly lump in my left armpit. He basically told me I was wasting his time and to get better at knowing my breasts. So this time I thought I'd just wait for the mammogram.
So, I am in a pickle really. Anyone got any advice for the future - should I always just contact my GP or was it a sensible approach (I don't think it was!)
Thanks for reading my vent!