About 2 months ago, I found a lump in my right breast. After a little wait, I had my appointment at the breast clinic today to get it checked by a specialist.
The doctors there were the most lovely women I’ve ever encountered; they all chose to specialise in breast care and you could see that they were maternal towards all of their patients.
The first doctor I saw (Dr Wendy) did a thorough check of both sides and I had a sudden urge to tell her my previous fears; how I was worried that one of the lumps had grown, how I had been to a doctor a couple of years ago thinking I could feel other lumps, but how she thought it was scar tissue and told me not to worry.
Dr Wendy ordered an ultrasound of both breasts, just to make sure.
The radiographer was a lovely woman with a lilting Irish accent that just made me feel calm. She apologised for how hard she was having to press, answered my questions as she was clicking random buttons. She checked the right side, moving like a clock. Shadow, click, save. Move around, shadow, click, save. Move around, shadow, click, save. Three lumps on the right side.
Once she had covered the whole breast, she turned on a function that checks if lumps have their own blood supply (I asked a lot of questions!), and took measurements of the lumps. The one I initially felt looked like it had grown, but only by a millimetre so they couldn’t be sure.
She moved to the left side and checked over my scar from my surgery when I was 17. She kept going over and over it, trying to see through the scar tissue. She made noises and pursed her lips, trying to work out what she was seeing.
She made a screenshot and clicked some buttons. When I asked if it was a lump, she nodded and it felt as if the lump had jumped from the screen into my throat. As it dissolved, a tear fell from my eye into my hair.
She moved over the breast, stopped, clicked a button and cocked her head to the side. As I looked at the screen, I was reminded of a skull. 2 deep shadows where the eyes should be and a black shadow below.
“Is that the same one?” I asked. She shook her head. “So that’s a second lump?” She nodded.
Two lumps in the left breast that had only been checked because I mentioned it in an off-chance that she would have a feel and confirm there was nothing there. It wasn’t scar tissue.
Dr Wendy ordered a biopsy of the biggest lump on the right side and said that if the results came back as anything other than a fibroadenoma, they’d biopsy the other lumps to see what they were.
As I lay on my back, a Xray doctor scanning to find the lump to biopsy it, I couldn’t hold it together anymore. I stared at the ceiling, blinked really hard, even tried to think about the book I was reading, but I couldn’t stop the lump in my throat from dissolving. The nurse stood next to me and held my hand.
“It’ll be ok, are you ok sweetie?” That really did it. I started to cry and I felt so scared and alone.
I was doing this alone.
My family was on the other side of the world. Yes, I had made some great people that I’m happy to call friends, but mum went through it with me the first time and I needed her with me.
I go back for my results on Wednesday 26th July so I’ll undoubtedly do another post then, but for now, thank you for joining me on this emotional rollercoaster.