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The waiting game

I found a lump in my breast.  A small one but it was new.  A trip to the doctors back in April was reassuring.  “Come back if it grows” he said.  It grew, and it grew quite abit.  This took me back to the GP in August.  Then a referral to the breast clinic for a mammogram and ultrasound.

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I went home.  That night I thought about dying.  Worst case scenario planning.  Leaving my boys.  Losing my breasts (I wouldn’t have cared too much about that I was more scared about it having spread). My hair falling out with chemotherapy.  Suddenly I felt like I was totally out of control of my own body.

I rang the doctor the following morning to ask how long it would be until I was seen.  One month at the most.  Were they kidding?  I needed to know now, like that day, that minute.  I called a friend and guess where she had been the day before?  A private scan at Harley Street for a lump that she had found.  She was okay she said, but she couldn’t cope with the wait and had paid to go private.  I decided to wait.  It was very expensive and Mmy reasoning was that if there was a problem we would consider going private at that point.

Ten days later and I rang the GP again.  Why hadn’t I got a appointment yet? “Oops sorry,”he said; “I never sent the letter, I am just too busy and it slipped through the net.” At least he was honest and I appreciated that but I explained that I was pretty anxious about the possibilities.

The next day the breast care centre rang me.  I would be seen in two weeks. I felt back in control. I would find out in two weeks if there was reason to worry and I decided to try not to worry until then.  I was pretty calm from then on, although every day as I dressed and undressed I felt the lump.

The morning that I went I felt sick.  It was like nothing I had felt before.  I would either walk out relieved and elated or with a life change.  The centre was really impressive.  A purpose built building in the grounds of Worthing Hospital.  The huge glass windows in the waiting room looked out over some trees in a park.  Each woman in that waiting room had a lump, we were awaiting to find out our futures.  No-one spoke.

The nurse called me in to see the consultant.  I couldn’t even answer to my own name as I thought I may cry with nerves. The consultant was very thorough and gentle with his questioning. Yes, there was a thickening and he said I needed a mammogram and ultrasound. I had to take a seat in the waiting room, they would do the tests there and then and I would leave with the results that morning.

I had the tests and then sat to wait to see the consultant for the results.  Looking around the waiting room I was doing my statistics.  Surely at least two of us must have had cancerous lumps, who would it be.  One lady came out crying, she had leaflets in her hand, her friend hugged her.

I was called in.  “Good news” he said. ‘It’s just tissue that has grown into a lump, there is no problem with it.   Take some Evening Primrose Oil for three months and it should go.”

I could have hugged him.  I raced out of the room, text my sister and husband and literally skipped to my car. I felt like I had been given a new life, a second chance in some way.  I was seriously relieved.

Always get lumps checked out, I dismissed mine for a while before going to the Doctor.  Luckily for me it was nothing but it could have been.  I have a few close friends who have had breast cancer, they are okay thank goodness but others are not so lucky. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  See the link for signs to look out for.

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