Updated: Oct 18, 2019
As today is Wear it Pink day and I thought it would be the perfect time to do a follow on post to 'Me & My Lumps'.
I was so touched by all the messages I got from people that read the blog, thank you! Some of you may have followed my stories on the day of my appointment and know how it went but, for those of you who didn't, here is a quick recap!
I spent the morning of my appointment pampering myself with a full body massage and a gel manicure & pedicure. It was a great way to keep myself distracted for the appointment that evening.
When I got to my appointment I didn't feel too bad and I was quite proud of myself! I had the usual checks by the consultant which I detailed in my last post and it was decided I should have an ultra sound to determine how many lumps there were exactly.
The lady that does the ultra sound is lovely and I have met her a few times but the waiting room for it is horrific. Mainly because you are surrounded by other women who are also in their gowns waiting for the same thing. On this occasion there was a lady sitting next to me silently crying. When it was just the two of us left I asked her if she was ok. She explained she had mentioned to her husbands consultant that she had found a lump (he was there to get the all clear from another form of cancer). The consultant happened to be the same consultant as mine and checked the lump and asked her to come back the next day for an ultrasound. She was naturally beside herself with worry. I felt awful for her and then it turned into more panic for me. It brings the situation to life when you see what someone is going through.
It is these things that women have to go through even if the outcome is a positive one. It's the waiting, the unknown. It is for this reason my consultant asked me to trial something and document it on social media.
So how did this come about? Well I went for my follow up appointment two nights ago and very much expected it to be a tick box situation. It wasn't. My consultant told me that the lump that had shown up on the ultra sound I had last time was so deep that he was unable to feel it and therefore unable to confidently say that it was another fibroadenoma.
He went on to say that if a woman in her 30's presents a new lump then it must be looked at and make sure everything was ruled out. As mine was 'fuzzy' I would need another scan and if they feel it needs further investigation then I would need a core biopsy. I was totally shellshocked, this was 100% not what I was expecting.
Off to the dreaded ultrasound waiting room I went. It was very busy with a lot of women. My consultant then pulled me aside to say they were going to do a core biopsy regardless. I think he saw the look of panic on my face and told me not to worry and he was sure it was a fibroadenoma but he just needed to know for sure.
I once again got chatting to another lady waiting there and we shared stories of how we both felt about finding new lumps and having to go through all of this.
I had the ultrasound and the lump was still there. It was 1.5cm and down towards the breast bone so I required a local anaesthetic. They then use a special tool which goes right through the lump and extracts some tissue to be assessed. I will have the results of this next week.
As I was on my way out of the hospital my consultant saw me and asked if I had time for a chat. Now I will say that I am extremely lucky to have a fantastic consultant who I have known for a number of years. I know due to workloads some consultants simply would not have the time to spend with their patients like this however that does not mean they do not care.
My consultant asked how I was, I said I was ok...ish. I told him I had written a post on my blog about how I feel every time I find a lump and he asked to read it. He knows I suffer with anxiety and depression so had come up with an idea to see if I could reduce the times I needed to go through this process and in turn reduce my anxieties. He suggested that I check my breasts twice a month...even if it was with shaky hands! Once before and once after my period. He wanted me to do this for three months so I really got to know my breasts. What is a 'time of the month' lumpy area and what is something that is new and needs to be looked at.
Now if you read my last post you will know that I hate checking for lumps as I am scared of what I may find however my consultants idea is actually to put me back control and stop not just me, but lots of other women going thorough this unnecessary stress. It of course goes without saying that any new lump which feels different or is producing any other symptoms should be examined by the doctor.
So that is the challenge my consultant has set me and he has asked me to document it so I will! If you want to follow my journey please do. Perhaps you can join in with me and see what you can learn about your breasts in three months, even if you have never checked them before.
So with many deep breaths, shaky hands and sweaty palms I am accepting the challenge!