I frickin’ kid you not, just a few short weeks after normality started to regain its hold on my life after the cervical cancer scare drama, I find a lump in my left breast. It’s funny that I just randomly decided to have a smear and found problems (you can read about the initial diagnosis here and the follow-up treatment experience here) and then recently I randomly started to do regular breast checks and found a lump. I like to see this as karma’s way of taking care of me!
I think I mentioned in my previous posts that I have a strong history of cancer in my family with pretty much everyone having it – my mum, her two sisters and brother have all had it (and beat it) – and my dad also had it, although his one was slightly more self-inflicted from heavy smoking and drinking. Therefore I’ve always felt that it was a case of when I develop cancer, rather than if. Consequently I want to be able to find it the minute it kicks off and this of course makes me paranoid and anxious. But back to the lump.
I found the lump on the Friday evening (small, hard and tricky to pin down as it’s at a bit of a strange angle) and I went to see my GP on the Monday. He felt, due to my history, that I should have it investigated urgently, so a few days later I receive a phone call to arrange my appointment with the specialist within the 2 week time frame. My appointment was this morning and everything is fine – I had a breast check, then a scan and it’s an extremely sexy sounding glandular nodule, which is a huge relief and nothing to worry about at all.
I handled this drama a lot better than the last one; there was no funeral planning and only minimal worry about what would happen to Teddy if it’s terminal cancer. It’s so easy to get carried away with all the possibilities but after wasting and investing so much time, energy and fear into the last episode, I figured this time around I’m much better off waiting for concrete confirmation before getting too overly anxious; easier said than done, but I’m glad I’ve progressed!
Again, I feel like I can start living again, as even though I wasn’t as OTT as last time, there’s still a bit of worry that by making future plans I’m somehow tempting fate, so it’s nice to feel more settled. I learn from each experience and my advice to anyone who finds a lump is to try your very hardest to stay calm and avoid Google at all costs – remember that the forums are full of equally anxious worriers which are the last people you need to surround yourself with, so just try and wait and see whilst keeping in mind that our breasts are prone to lumps and bumps that rise and fall depending on our hormones. If you’re like me and find comfort in hard facts, nine out of ten breast lumps are non-cancerous, which is a very reassuring number. Try not to worry until you absolutely need to – keep yourself busy and stay away from the forums.