Posted on behalf of new user Nicola
I'm ashamed to say that I didn't self-examine before my diagnosis in April 2010. However, I do usually put moisturiser on after a shower and, one day, while doing this, I became aware of a swelling/thickening in my left breast. It wasn't what I would call a 'lump' as such. Probably because it turned out that my tumour was pretty big. When I looked in the mirror, the left breast was definitely fuller than the right one.
Shortly before this, three friends/acquaintances of mine had been affected by cancer (not breast), either personally, or their parents. This spurred me on to make a doctor's appointment as soon as possible. My GP examined me, confirmed that there was something suspicious there, and said that she would refer me to the breast clinic. She said there was a chance it could be a benign cyst but that it definitely required further investigation. From that point on, I can only commend the terrific service I received from the NHS. I had a mammogram, ultrasound scan and needle biopsy within two weeks, diagnosis a week after that, and I started chemo two weeks after that, followed by a mastectomy, radiotherapy and Herceptin.
Looking back, I wonder how long my tumour had been there and I'm kicking myself that I didn't notice it sooner. I didn't really fit the 'conventional' risk criteria, although I have since read that not having children can increase risk, just as having children can. So it seems we can't really win! That said, my cancer wasn't oestrogen-receptive, so maybe the children issue had nothing to do with it. In hindsight, I realise I had been excessively anxious (about various things, but mainly work-related) for some time before my diagnosis, and I'm convinced that this was a contributing factor.
PS Although that initial appointment with my GP was far from amusing, we could all do with some light relief at times, so I'll share this with you... I'm really squeamish and, as the GP was explaining that she was going to refer me to the breast clinic, I panicked and felt faint. Next thing I remember is coming round on the floor in the middle of a commotion in the GP's room. When I'd fainted, the GP had pressed an alert button to summon help to pick me up. She hadn't realised that this would trigger the fire alarm and, consequently, the entire health centre had been evacuated and everyone was waiting in the car park. Turns out, no-one was really sure how to turn the alarm off, cue much flapping among health centre staff. When I next saw my GP, she informed me that the whole episode had triggered a review of fire safety procedures and the implementation of weekly fire drills. *cringe*
i found mine purely by chance. it was about three days before xmas last year and i absent mindedly scractched my left boob and felt something lumpy, but it was more like a ligament, long and stringy, rather than a lump. then i felt the rest of the boob and i felt a whole area just above my nipple that was lumpy.
i went straight to my gp who referred me straight away. during the two week wait for my appointment i kept an eye on the lump and it actually got smaller, the big lumpy area and the 'ligament' disappeared, and it was just left with a small hard lump above the nipple. thats when i knew i was in trouble - i just 'knew' it was something sinister.
i also had shooting pains in that area, not all the time, but sometimes it would be really sore.
i did often check my breasts, in the shower a week after every period, because i have worked with two young women who got breast cancer and it scared the life out of me, but not religiously every month. if i had checked them every month i probably would have found it earlier. i just thank god that i found it by accident that day, or else who knows how long it would have been - i still may not have found it to this day.
im 37. after my diagnosis when i went back for my sn biopsy, i remember the ultrasound tech guy telling me how upset him and the other teccie guy were the day they saw my mammogram and ultrasound - they said they couldnt believe it becuase of my age and had to keeo checking. bless them.
now i just tell my frineds every time i see them to check their breasts every month.
I noticed my nipple inverted but felt no lump. I noticed on a Saturday and went to my GP on the Monday morning (he coudnt feel any lumps either). Was referred to breast clinic the following Monday, where after mammograms, scans and biopsy, I was told it was cancer.
I noticed a shading or bruise type colouring on my boob when I came out the shower... It was only notice able after a shower, I could feel a bit lumpy but wasn't sure because... And this is where the misunderstanding comes in.. It was just above the nipple and I thought the lumps were to the top of the breast toward the underarm... That's the lymph nodes.
I kept an eye on it and then one day it throbbed, so I made an appointment and I went from there. I have 2pm ps so mx and some l
LN involvement so chemo n rads too...
I wish I'd found it sooner or dealt with it right away but mostly I am grateful it's quite close to surface that it discoloured in the heat of the shower because the other one I wouldn't have found. X
Had sharp shooting pains in my boob for a few months. Woke me up at night sometimes. No lumps or bumps. GP didn't feel anything neither did the consultant at hospital. Only showed up on US. Mine is lobular- a bugger to detect. I only went to get checked as i lost a friend to BC aged 29 in 2003. I am only 37. i honestly think that if she hadn;t died i would not have gone as I though pain on its own wasn't a sign and I was too young to get it. x
I just thought I would bump up this thread and invite anyone on the forum who hasn't previously added their story to feel free to comment. It's an interesting thread, have a read.
I have my son's horse to thank , early Dec he "headed butted" my boob and it sent an electric shock type feeling to my arm , then felt lump but left it for a month as christmas new grandson was due and was going for hip replacment(now on hold for at least 6 months) am 54 by the way . so now love dear horse did'nt much like it before!!!
I was the same as Beccy, was showering and felt a lump in my left boob. FRom there on in it was like a whirlwind of biopsies etc.
I have to say despite the size of my lump 5cm by 4cm it didnt show up on a mammogram. (oh i'm 37 by the way and was diagnosed this Feb)
I'm also concerned by how many people since my diagnosis have admitted they dont know how to check their boobs!
In Feb 2011 I was happily showering away whilst my baby boy was laying on his mat kicking his legs and waving his arms when suddenly I came across a lump in my left breast. It was a hard lump that didnt move I ignored it and carried on showering but decided it should probably feel if it was still there I think I thought it was going to dissapear in the shower.....
It was a Saturday so met my friends for coffee they all said 'oh its probably a blocked milk duct, dont worry' I called my GP on Monday and luckily seen that day, my GP said 'I dont like to mess around with lumps so I will refer you straight away' The rest unfortunatly is history chemo, rads and Herceptin.
I really dont feel that there is enough exposure for younger people and cancer and agree the age for routine mammograms should be lowered regardless if BC runs in the family or not as in my case.
Best Wishes to all
Hi At the end of Jan I went to the dr's I was having bloodstained discharge from my left nipple. I'm 42 the doctor fast tract me to have a mammogram and ultra sound, during the ultra sound I needed to have a biopsy done. Went to see the consultant to be told I had widespread DCIS. Now I'm waiting to have a mx and LD reconstruction. Hopefully the op will be done in the next couple of weeks. Still trying to come to terms with it all.
Hugs to all
Like mfb I was 49 when diagnosed and am coming up to my year's anniversary on March 28th. Two years earlier I'd had a slight bloodstained nipple discharge but no other syptoms but my vigilant GP sent me to the breast care clinic where mammogram and ultrasounds came back as normal. Early last year I started experiencing pain and tenderness in both breasts and was tempted initially to put this down to hormonal changes due to imminent onset of the menopuse. However my rigth breast felt vaguely lumpy unlike the left one. My GP - the same one - examined me but could find no cause for alarm. She did refer me back to the clinic though to be on the safe side. Because my first experience hadn't thrown up anything to worry about I was completely blase about my appointment and actually felt like a time waster. It was only when the ultrasound doctor proceeded to undertake a core biopsy (breast and underarm) there and then that I began to suspect all might not be well. I then had to wait and see the consultant who informed me kindly but firmly that they'd found four suspicious lumps and was very likely looking at breast cancer surgery. Somehow I managed to drive home alone without losing the plot. My lovely other half was mortified that he hadn't accompanied me to the clinic but I'd put him off - joking that he'd be better off going for a pint than hanging around for hours surrounded by women in hospital gowns. I even texted him while waiting for mammogram apologising for time it was taking but suggesting that because I was ok my consultation had been bumped to the end of the list. Further biposies a week later revealed high grade DCIS with microinvasion but no node involvement, thankfully. I've since had an mx and immediate LD reconstruction and am due to have further corrective surgery in summer ( Yay - a nipple and uplift on other side) My care has been second to none, which has made a huge difference to my recovery - physically and emotionally. I feel very lucky not to have had to endure chemo or rads -and because my cancer wasn't hormone receptive I am not on any drugs either. I'd advise anyone out there with even the slightest concern to see their GP and to ask for a referral if it's not forthcoming. I'm now looking forward to being symmetrical again - although no one else can tell I'm 'wonky' when I'm dressed. Once I've recovered from the next op I am taking me, my new perky boobs and my wonderful bloke for a lovely holiday in Greece. Love and luck to you all. x
Hi I was 35yrs when I went to gp having had sore and swollen breasts for about 3mths which had started to cause me pain under my arms. The doc said it is def not cancer I hadn't thought it was either . After a bit of pushing ( as the pain was getting difficult to manage, I couldn't even cuddle my son or put bra on without pain) she said she'd write and ask consultant for advice on the pain and swelling and how to treat it. I was surprised to then get a ap for breast clinic, I was expecting to be told to take paracetamol and just ride it out, by this time the pain and swelling was easing and I almost didn't go, but my mum ,who had had bc, made me.
It's a one stop clinic. I had mamo and then was sent for ultrasound which focused on one breast, then I heard the radiologist giving assistant measurements, at this point I thought I might be in a bit of trouble but not much. The doc said there and then that it was sinister he then did a biopsy. I asked if he would bet his mortgage on it he said yes and that the boob had to go. The sore boobs were nothing to do with the cancer as it was both boobs not just the one. If it hadn't been for a paranoid mum I would be in a lot more trouble than I was as it had already started to spread into the nodes. So one boob down, chemo rads done, now 5yrs clear,oh and a 2yr old daughter to put a smile back on my face.
I found my lump on holiday in the South of France. We had only been there five days but decided to return straight away. Those two days of driving through France were the longest days of my life. Referred to breast clinic and seen 6 days later. Result grade 3, 1.5cm cancer.
Estroegen positive. Unfortunately no clear margins from two lumpectomies (and a bit more cancer found in 2nd) so ended up having a mastectomy. Borderline for chemo, but decided to go for it, last one (6 FEC) next Tuesday, following with rads and hormone treatment. So glad we decided to return straight away. I'd actually been called back two years earlier after my first mammogram and had gone through biopsies of the calcification in exacty the same place which hospital said were completely harmless and told me not to worry and that they didn't need to see me until my next mammogram in 3 years. Hmmmmm.
Hi and apologies in advance if I've already posted on this thread, don't think I have tho must be the chemo foggy brain.
3 months after my 43rd birthday in Feb 2011 and I'd just embarked on a new art project painting the night sky including nebulae also was drawing and painting Glastonbury Torr in silhouette (please stay with me on this will explain later) so whilst working on my computer I realized I kept itching my right breast it became constant just would not stop, so chatted with my best friend and she said I should got to GP to get it checked out, saw GP who said she thought it was a cyst as it was moving, she referred me to the breast clinic but I had to wait 2 weeks for the appointment during that time she gave me some penicillin to treat the cyst, 2 weeks later the itching has stopped but now my boob looks very very poorly inverted nipple, lymph glands swollen, and breast larger and more solid looking ( I only had very small boobs) glulp!
Went to the breast clinic where the Dr examined me then had a mammo, followed by biopsy followed by the worst news possible I had breast cancer I could see it on the ultrasound screen I asked the Dr who performed the biopsy "is that a cyst" she said no and showed me the now shrunken cyst that had sat on top of my 6cm lump masking and hiding it, sneaky sneaky cancer, could not stop crying and thinking I was going to die, they sent me for CT and bone scans good news the bone scans came back clear bad news the CT scan showed multiple mets to both of my lungs wallop!! On hearing this new news I was not as upset as finding out first of all maybe I had gotten used to it, it did just keep going bad news after bad news, started chemo by the end of March had surgery mx and lymph node clearance in September and finished 3 weeks of rads at the end of Jan this year all in its been a full on nightmare and very very quick.
Going back to the painting project I started to perceive that I had been shown signs that I had subconsciously been trying to warn or tell myself something was wrong the painting on my easel was of a nebulae but now looked like a massive lump so I cut out the canvas and burnt it on the fire (this was very therapeutic) also Glastonbury Torr viewed in silhouette format looks just like a breast, I was gob smacked at this revelation and feel my spiritual beliefs have helped me through this, the cancer in my breast is long gone but her children are playing on my lungs and I want them gone, they are now tiny and stable as of Oct last years ct scan, I am so grateful for that here's hoping they will disappear with Herceptin/Tamoxifen which I am told I will be on forever. I have completely changed my diet and lifestyle and will do anything I can to fight this.
So if you have an unusual itch DO get it checked out, and take heed to your subconscious be vigilant for signs and trust your instincts.
Sending you all big hugs
love and light
I found my lump just by chance, it was a Fri night March 2011 & i'd gone to bed early I snuggled down & something made me check my left breast i'd had no pain or anything, something just made me check(sounds wierd now) & there it was the lump my heart sank,I checked the otherside but that felt normal. I got my hubby to check n he agreed but said not to worry just go see my GP.All weekend I couldnt stop worrying, I kept checking to see if it was still there (it was).Went to my GP & she didnt seem worried she said it felt like inflammitry tissue but she would refer me, she had to check the age they would do mams she thought it was only from 35 (as I was only 32)but thankfully it was 30 so off she sent me.My grandma had BC but was in her 60s.
I had mams, a scan, A FNA & then she hit me with it, we have to wait for results but im pretty sure you have BC, oh my god I just couldnt take the words in luckily I took my great friend with me.Once the doc had finished with me the BCN took me into a side room & that was when I fell to pieces all I could think about was my 2 little girls & that I was going to die!!
That was the darkest time of my life the ist time I had ever had to think about my own mortality.
Thankfully I had a mx & my lymph glands came back clear so I had chemo which finished Dec & Herceptin & started Tamoxifen Jan this year & i'm waiting to have me reconstruction sx 16th March.
I often think what if i'd not found the lump & tell myself how lucky i am.I defo think they need to bring the age down for routine mams because its happening to so many young women
Totally by chance and thanks to my GP to whom I will always be grateful. He had no obvious reason to refer me but decided to play safe. Oh, and thanks to the node in my opposite armpit.
Early November 2010 I had a cyst/infected follicle in my left armpit that was a bit sore and rubbing on work shirt seam. This went on for a several days so thought I would maybe need some antibiotics. Normally I wouldn't have bothered to take time out from work but as I knew I was being made redundant in a couple of weeks time went ahead and made an appointment. During consultation GP asked if I did checks which I did. Not religiously as I had Mirena coil and so no periods (had that fitted as a last resort before hysterectomy became only option). Told him that no lumps but got a dip by my nipple in my right breast when I raised my shoulder...yes, sounds odd but nothing visible normally just seemed to cave in on certain movement. GP said to come back following week to see how node was and he would have a nurse present to do an exam.
Almost cancelled as node had cleared up but forgot so went ahead with the appointment. GP could not feel anything but decided that it was better to be safe than sorry even though he was convinced there was nothing to worry about.
Appointment came through for mammogram on Friday 10th December and I went along on my own, convinced it would be fine and not wanting hubby to mess up his work days. Mammo, followed by US followed by FNA and I knew something was wrong.
Had my 49th birthday on the Sunday with results on 15th!
Diagnosed with Grade 2 18mm Invasive Lobular and Ductal, plus a bit of DCIS. ER+ 8/8 & PR+ 7/8, HER2 Neg. SNB 6th Jan 2011 with clear results so followed by Mx plus free flap DIEP on 27th Jan. Pre-op evaluation was that no additional treatment likley as mixed cancer tends to behave more like Ductal. Post op biopsy showed ILC was the dominent so borderline chemo and therefore my choice. I opted for the chemo and had 4*Epi and 4*CMF (12 doses in total). Now on Tamoxifen as borderline menopausal with expectation to move to Arimidex in a couple of years.
During my ops I received an invite for a screening mammo as my area is gradually reducing the age and I had just turned 49 by then.
My 50th birthday in December 2011 was quiet but lovely, spent with hubby and son and then folloiwng weekend a meal when our daughter came home from Uni for Christmas.
I am 52yrs had routine mammogram 2yrs ago which was clear, felt sore under armpit thought i had caught myself when shaving but then realised breast felt strange, had a feel in shower and found thickened area the rest is history. Grade 2 invasive ductal cancer (2cm) + 3 lymph nodes now 2 weeks post mx + anc i have no idea how long it has been there and have wondered did routine mammogram miss it.
I was in bed with flu and just put my hand on my chest and there it was.It was just before christmas so left it for a month. Had 2 periods and it was still there. Went to the GP about something else and said nothing!! I thought I was imagining things. I had to go back in 2 weeks , and thats when I said "by the way" I have a lump. I was referred under the 2 week rule, was seen 1 week later, end of the day on a Monday. The scanner had gone home! but did have a biopsy. I was diagnosed on Feb 14th, with Lobular BC I was 46yrs old.
Went on to have Lobectomy, then mastectomy and reconstruction, then a prothesis. 3 operations.
Good old flu!!!
I knew when I went to the doctors, so no suprise, but when the reality hit, it hit hard.
Lots of good reasons to be breast aware
There seem to be a lot of new ladies on the forum now. I used to post daily (who am I kidding? More like hourly...!) but things thankfully move on. However, it would be really interesting to read more about how younger ladies, before the age of routine screening mammograms , found their lumps and how their medical professionals responded. Are younger women out there proactively checking themselves or are we mainly finding our lumps and symptoms by chance? Are the medical professionals taking us seriously or fobbing us off? Please add your experience to the thread and, if you haven't read this thread before and have a few minutes spare, have a read as there are some really interesting stories that people have shared previously.
Thanks in advance,
Early October I noticed a yellow staining in my bra. Thought "that's odd", chucked bra in wash and carried on. A week later notice discharge again - clear yellow fluid, which seemed to ooze a bit after a shower, ( felt like a let down reflex.) Got to Oct half term, felt a bit fluey, and had a sore breast - felt just like a blocked duct when breast feeding. Did a quick breast check and found a hard, inflammed area - though perhaps I had an infection due to being hit by Tennis ball / a hard 8 year old's head ! Waited till end of half term and went to GP who looked at breasts, touched hard area lightly, ummed and aahed, and gave me antibiotics and appointment 10 days later for review. 10 days later slight discharge but feeling better, breast less hard. Further 2 weeks of double strength antibiotics prescribed. 10 days into this lying in bed on Sunday morning thought I would check how things were, ( had been checking upright in shower,) and found a hard lump which felt like a marble in my breast near nipple. Thought this won't go with a couple more days antibiotics. On final day went to see different GP in the practice, ( original one off sick,) who referred me straight to breast clinic. Appointment 10 days later (9th Dec)- mammogram and ultrasound, told that they were 90% sure it was a cancer.So they did a biopsy. Back a week later for results - area of DCIS behind nipple plus a tumour estimated at 16mm. But even just before surgery it was almost impossible to feel the tumour unless I lay flat and put my arm above my head. Upright it just disappeared into the breast tissue. Had minor breast discomfort pretty much all the time after 1st visit to GP, and breasts felt fuller as well, ( almost like early pregnancy.)
I had a scary soft lump appear on the left side of my neck in March 2010 which was painful, but disappeared within a day or two. This soft lump then reappeared in June 2010 but was not painful, and as I work in a hospital , one of the doctors looked at it and pressed my shoulder and he described it as a ' thickening' and said i need a scan.
The scan was all normal and the sonographer almost accused me of wasting his time because he couldnt even see a lump (even tho I still could!) and he said it was probably a muscular problem.
So I was relieved and began to live my life again! (age 38)
In July 2010, I changed from several years on the combined contraceptive pill , to a progesterone only pill.
I started to feel very fatigued and achy in my joints within weeks, My energy levels fell and my skin was spotty and blotchy.
In October 2010 I found a lump in my left breast, my wrist just happened to graze over it and i could feel it hard without having to press down.
I saw my lovely GP and was referred to the hospital, and was diagnosed on 23/11/10 following a scan/mammo/core biopsy.
My surgeon and oncologist both say that the neck lump and breast lump are unrelated.
Ive heard somewhere that breast cancer can reveal itself after a period of stress, and i was certainly stressed in june 2010 whilst waiting for my neck to be scanned, and i had my first ever panic attack during this time.
I was driving home from work after a parent's evening on 10/11/11 and had been suffering from a sore back/shoulder for a week or so. I rubbed across the top of my breast on the way to the shoulder and found my lump - was shocked - had self-examined a couple of moths before and it hadn't been there. Made appt with doc for nrxt evening. He assured me that it was nothing (mainly because 37, never smoked, don't drink, breast fed both children for 13 months, no fanily history, no weight issues so very low risk!!!) but said he would send me for mammogram just to put my mind at rest. He tried to dissuade me from using my private medical insurance and said i would get an appt for mammogram in about 4-6 weeks but I decided to go private. Had app on 25 nov, consultant immediately suspicious of lump - had mammogram, US and biopsy all within less than an hour!! results back on 30 nov - strike day!! Told BC but no evidence in node - WLE and SN removed on 9th dec - results back 15th dec - stage 1 and grade 3 so now starting chemo on lucky fri 13th jan then radio!!
Thank god for my sore shoulder - completely unrelated BTW!!
Routine mammogram when I got to 50.
I had absolutely no idea, couldn't feel lump, nor could the doctor.
To think I almost didn't go for the mammogram because of the publicity at the time about whether they are worthwhile.
I sat on the edge of my bed on sunday 6/11/11 and got dressed, ready to go church, looked down on me and suddenly noticed one of my nipples looked flat and pulled in a bit. I wondered and touched my breast and felt, it just didn't look different it also felt very different. I couldn't feel a lump but the whole breast felt hard and solid. I remember going to the bathroom to brush my teeth and starting to shake and thinking what on earth is going on!! After church I went into google "hardening of breast" and up came breast cancer. Next morning I phoned GP and got an app within 45 minutes. She also said she couldn't feel a lump (neither breast nor armpit) and described it as a fullness and said because it's onesided and nipple has changed I need a mammogramm and a biopsy, but also not to worry. That day I could hardly concentrate at work and in the evening i was on hubby's lap crying saying I'm so scared. A lady on a forum (nothing health related) wrote she had fluid filled cysts and it felt like that. This calmed me down considerably. Anyway kept phoning the breast clinic to see if my referral from the GP has come through and to see when my app is. One whole week later they had app for me for 2.5 weeks later (1/12/11), I didn't want to wait that long and got myself a private app within two days. As the surgeon examined me I asked him what he thought and he said, he is afraid but he thinks it's cancer. I just was so shocked. Had a mammogramm and ultrasound and four days later 5 core biopsies and two days later a talk with the surgeon again re results. Chemo was nine days later than. The affected area is 5 x 7.5 cm big, no lump was felt as the tumour is scattered they say, it's in my nodes as well. Had a CT scan which was clear except a 5mm lesion in one of my vertebras and because of that I had a bone scan which was not conclusive. Onc says it's "probably not a met" but can't 100% rule it out.
Love from Christine xx
i found my lump in the bath 10th October 2011, called my boyfriend up to see if he could also feel it. he couldn't.
i called my gp surgery the next day and they offered me an appointment for the following week and i accepted the appointment thinking it wasn't a big worry. then sat it in work it was all i could think of so i rang back and asked what they class as an emergency appointment, when i explained the receptionist booked me in that afternoon 11th October 2011. my gp couldn't find my lump. he sent me off for a blood tests as i was complaining something wasn't right with me. once he'd examined me and assumed me it was nothing to worry about i relaxed. i had had some pain in that breast over the last month or so but put it down to that 'time of the month'.
i had my blood test on 14th October 2011 and on 21st October 2011 my gp called me with the results he was more than pleased with all blood test results and i was happy to leave it at that as i'd forgotten all about my lump but he insisted he wanted to see me again and that i book in to see him to discuss everything in more detail but he was off on leave and i was busy so it was 1st November 2011 before i saw him again. he then asked me how i felt about my breast and the lump. i told him i was fine now he'd reassured me and i wasn't worried, i'd had no pain since but i was convinced the lump was still there, i could still feel it. he examined me but again he couldn't find anything so told me he would refer me into the breast clinic to assure me there was nothing sinister going on. i almost told him not to bother but something inside me thought i should go just incase.
i work at the hospital in the appointments centre so knew i'd be seen within 2 weeks as that is our policy for any breast referral. he told me he was referring me for me and that he didn't wasn't worried atall. his referral letter confirmed that.
so then i booked myself in to see one of our breast consultants on 11th November 2011 who examined me and found the lump straight away (what a relief, i was starting to think it was all in my head), she assured me she wasn't worried and wanted me to go for an ultrasound just to be sure. ultrasound confirmed the lump, again the lady said it didn't look suspicious but they would do a biopsy just to make sure. in came the consultant radiologist who did an ultrasound guided cope biopsy there and then. he had a look and also told me he would be very shocked should he see me back in clinic with bad news. then i went back up to see the breast consultant with the ultrasound and she told me once again she was not worried atall but would see me with the results in 2-3 weeks.
i received a copy letter of what she had sent to my gp in which she said she wasn't worried and i would most likely be discharged from clinic at my next appointment after recieveing my results.
i'd booked my results appointment for 3 weeks time on 2nd December 2011 but wasn't happy to wait 3 weeks as by this stage my lump was starting to bother me. i sleep on that side (my lump was in the left breast on side, tucked away) and it was getting uncomfortable, i don't know if it was just in my head or not but it was irritating me more and more and i was very aware of it's presence.
as i work at the appointment centre i was on a mission checking all the time for cancellations on the clinic the week before. luckily for me 2 slots became free and i booked myself into one. i called the BCN's before i changed it to ensure my results would be back in time as the appointment would be a waste if not. the lady told me to go ahead as they were expecting my results back anytime. so i'd rebooked in for 25th November 2011 just 20 mins before i was due to finish work. earlier that day one of the BCN's called the office to speak to me, i knew what this meant - BAD NEWS. she wanted me to come to clinic earlier that day although i kinda put this off as my Mum (coming from Manchester) and my boyfriend were coming to the appointment with me and it was a bit short notice for them. i considered going alone but i knew i wouldn't be able to take it all in so told her i would attend at my original time later that day.
everyone in work tried to convince me she knew i was staff and didn't want me sat in work worrying all day but i just KNEW. i don't know how i got through that afternoon at work! what the consultant had described my lump as to the gp in that copy letter was something that moved, my lump never moved. not once. you know when you just KNOW and that call from the BCN confirmed it in my mind.
i had a bit of a wait to see the Consultant and that was also another sign, they like to see the bad news patients towards the end of clinic so they have more time with you and they took me straight in to see the consultant, whereas before they tried to make me see the registrar. the way she was going round the houses and how the room was full of people it was just so blatently obvious looking back what she was going to tell me but it never registered at the time. even though i was expecting it it was still so surreal. maybe i'd gone into denial or just blanked out what happened earlier in the day. she then sent me up for an ultrasound and mammogram to confirm it was just the one lump and that my other breast was clear. thankfully it was.
she asked me how would i feel if she was to book me in for the op on the 30th November 2011 - just 5 days later. as cool as a cumcumber i got my diary out to see what i had planned for that date - you know like it wasn't such a big thing. don't think i'd quite realised what she was saying to me. i then told her i wouldn't be able to do that date as that was the day of the strikes and we had been told we couldn't have that day off, we couldn't book it, we couldn't ring in sick - we HAD to be in work. it just wasn't real. i've no idea how my boyfriend managed to drive us home in one piece, he couldn't see for the constant stream of tears.
telling my friends was the hardest thing i've ever done. my best friend was away on holiday, due back the following evening and had just got engaged to her boyfriend and he aunty had not long since passed of the same thing, she was really stuggling so i absolutly dreaded teling her. i didn't want to ruin her happy news but i had to make sure she heard it from me and noone else. of course i waited until she was back on home soil but i felt so awful.
My mother and boyfriend were inconsolable as they were also convinced it would be nothing. i will never ever forget that appointment 😞
so far i've had my WLE & SNB on 30th November 2011 - saw my BCN on 9th Decemeber 2011 with results of op - grade 3, triple negatice, 18mm tumour successfully removed, margins and nodes clear & no signs of spread thanksfully.
saw Oncologist on 15th December who confirmed i would need chemo aswell as radio, couldn't believe it. i think she said it was because of my age and the grade 3.
currently waiting to start chemo on 10th Jan 2012, 6 cycles of TAC minus the C for 18 weeks then will start 3 weeks of Rads once all the chemo is done and dusted.
sorry to go on.