Cancer has reared its ugly head far too many times in our family. We lost my father in law to oesophagal cancer when he was 62, my grandparents, aunties and my mum have all had this vile disease affect them. A big worry for me is that breast cancer is running through the generations of our family and it’s always in the back of mind – what if I’m next? and will my breast screening confirm the inevitable?
My nan lost her battle to breast cancer so when my mom discovered she had it after a mammogram revealed a lump, she was terrified to say the least. But with amazing support and great aftercare, she won her battle! She came to stay with us after her surgery and whilst she had her treatment afterwards. She then went on to have a single mastectomy which she coped with tremendously.
Now I am what you would call a more fuller breasted woman! I have big boobs. Because I am constantly aware of the chances that I could contract this too, I check my boobs as much as I can, including armpits and up to my collarbone.
A few weeks back now I was doing my check up after my shower when I felt a lump. It is was really quite sore to touch so it really caught my attention. My heart started to thump, you know what it’s like, I always presume the worst and get all worked up. I’m also a bugger for googling my symptoms and we all know that ends up with you thinking that you have several life-threatening illnesses!
Having An Ultrasound
Not chancing anything, I booked myself an appointment with the GP (when I could actually get an appointment) and my hospital appointment was literally 1 week after. The staff at the breast clinic were so lovely. They know you are going to be filled with fear, it’s only natural! And they are so reassuring and supportive.
My appointment started off with an examination from my consultant. He marked a couple of areas on my boob where he wanted the tests to be taken out. As I am under 40 (only just mind) I was put forward for an ultrasound. I was asked to wait back in the waiting room where I would be called for the scan.
There were several others waiting in the room and we all chatted and supported one another. After all, we were all in the same boat and sh!@ting ourselves of what might be. I even came away with a telephone number of one of the other ladies so we will be keeping in touch. There was also a young lad waiting to be seen, as men can also get breast cancer.
I was called into the ultrasound room in no time. The breast care nurses who worked on that section were so lovely and really made me feel at ease. I was asked to strip off from the waist up and lie down on the bed. The nurse then got me into position comfortably by propping a support cushion just behind my right side. They apply gel to the area, just as they would when you have a baby scan and the lights are then dimmed. In my case, there was a pretty forest projection on the ceiling to focus on whilst they did what they needed to do. It took all about 15 minutes and my scan was done.
I got dressed and was sent back to the waiting room and sat there until the consultant called me back in to discuss my results. I was so relieved to learn that the lump wasn’t showing any cause for concern. It turned out to be a mild infection. I honestly could have cried, I was so happy.
Sadly I know that this is not the case for everyone, just as it wasn’t for my mum when she had her results. So please do check your boobs ladies and if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, get booked into your GP and ask to be referred to your local breast clinic for a checkup. I didn’t have a mammogram but my mum did and she said that although this can feel a little uncomfortable, it is over in a matter of minutes.
If in doubt, get it checked out!