INTRO

Hold onto your hats, it's going to be a bumpy ride! Thank you for stopping by and joining me for a while. I've recently been juggling (as all mums do) more balls than I am comfy with, and just when I felt like a professional juggler - BAM!! I get hit with this - BREAST CANCER!! I'm hoping that writing this blog will serve as some sort of therapy for me, to get me through this 'rough patch' ahead.... if it's interesting, entertaining, thought provoking or helpful to anyone else out there then that's an added bonus. If you like what you read, please visit again or click the "join" button below, and feel free to spread the word.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Oh Bollocks - more like it!!!

Today is the day I have had the worst news anyone, at my age, with 2 lovely children can have - in my opinion.  Why is life SO shit?!   please excuse this post if its a bit angry and rather rambling.   That's because a) I have just been told I have Grade 3 breast cancer and b) I have downed a large glass of red wine at 4 p.m.
So back in early January I noticed my left boob had a strange dent in it, literally like someone had poked it hard and the skin had stayed there.  Weird.  I checked myself for lumps and found nothing, so thought oh well, maybe it will disappear, which of course it didnt!   I am blessed (or not) with a January birthday so I just got on with my life, celebrating, working, being Mum, until one day in a text exchange with MBF (My Best Friend) she said she was going to the Docs the next day to get her nipple checked out as it had changed. So I thought, 'oh bugger yes I should get myself checked out'. That night I examined my boob again and found a lump.  A nasty, hard, non moving lump.   It is quite deep set into my chest, so was tricky to locate as my boobs are a decent size (E cup).   I remember laying there that night, close to tears, thinking OH SHIT this is something horrible.   I have had lumpy boobs most of my adult life and it 2003 I found a lump which was diagnosed as a cyst and the fluid was drained there and then - no drama - all sorted.    But I knew that this time it was different.
So first thing the next morning I rang to get a Doctors appointment and when the Doctor examined me she new it was dodgey right away.    She sent a fax direct from her computer, I accidentally read the heading on the screen.  It said  "URGENT - BREAST CANCER (blah blah - I didn't need to read any more!)".     A cold feeling of dread started to creep into my gut.

So the following week I went to the local hospital "One Stop Breast Clinic".  It sounds far too jolly and like somewhere you can pick up a pint of milk doesnt it?!   After a 50 minute wait, I called in to see the consultant.   Reassuringly he had my notes for previous visit with the cyst in 2003.  He asked me lots of questions and then proceeded to examine me.  It is a slightly surreal experience having a man stand back, appraising your naked chest while you sit up straight on a hospital couch with your hands on your hips, and then of course he asks you lie back and proceeds to examine your breasts, in a professional manner of course, but I must admit thinking "I bet he enjoys his job!"   The consultant, I'm gonna call him Sam (cos that's his name), took a while, but then found the lump.  He said in his opinion it felt quite soft and he wasn't actually "suspicious" at all about it.   However as I had the dent in my breast, and the lump felt biggish, I should go have a mammogram and a core biospy right then, and then come back to see him in the afternoon.     I really cannot explain just how painful the mammogram was! OMG! as they say.  I have been through childbirth twice, and I have to say the pain from this mammogram did compare and it made me cry!   I guess I was lacking in the adrenaline you get during childbirth pain but I recommend they have some gas n air on hand in the mammogram room in future - especially for young-ish patients like myself with relatively pert bossoms.    As you get older and your boobs become deflated, I hope and pray that it becomes less painful!   I shall find this out however before my boobs have had the chance to deflate. :(

After a morning of tests the Doctor told us (me and DH) to come back at 4.30 pm for the results, although the biospy results would not be known for another 5 working (long) days.  So we went off and with the children in school and nothing else to do, opted to cheer ourselves up with a pub lunch.  I enjoyed a large glass of pinot grigio and a steak pie, whilst my lovely man had gammon, egg and chips washed down with a beer - perfect.  We chatted and joked about what could be ahead of us, wondering really why we needed to go back the same day when the biopsy results wouldn't come through for another week, so surely they couldn't tell us much.    We really felt that they couldn't give us any definite diagnosis so soon.   Boy, were we wrong!

So, we dutifully returned to the clinic at 4.30 p.m and were soon seen by the Consultant, I had a bad feeling.   Just before we were called in I said to DH "maybe they DO know, and they WILL be giving us bad news"...... I am glad I had that gut feeling, it prepared me in the nick of time.  We entered the room, there was the Consultant and nurse who we saw earlier in the day, and there was a 3rd person in the room.     A lady dressed is smart but casual civilian clothes, a name badge on her cardigan and a very sympathetic smile upon her face.   We soon found out that she was the Macmillan Nurse.  That says it all really doesn't it.  Sam quickly cut to the chase and showing us the pictures of my mammogram, pointed out the offending area and simply said "I'm sorry but you do have a breast cancer lump".   Obviously he did say more than that, but I didn't really hear anything else.    I remember him saying so we need to operate to remove the lump, I can do this for you and at a later stage, if necessary, I can refill your boob with fat from your tummy if you wish.  He then got his diary out, flicking through the coming pages, settled on a date and said if I cancel this person (crosses through their entry) then I can operate on you on Weds 15th Feb.   And all I could think was - phew, glad its not Valentine's Day!!!!

Of course, I was also thinking "NOOOOOO!   HE SAYS ITS BREAST CANCER!!! THIS CANNOT BE TRUE!"    DH and I were truly shocked and actually thought Sam The Man had probably got it wrong - even though he is the expert.    But he said that he could tell it was cancerous because of the size and shape of it.  He didn't need to wait for the core biopsy results to confirm this diagnosis.  Those results would confirm what Grade it is and whether it is likely to spread or not.

So we left that little room and the Macmillan Nurse took us into another little room where she was very nice, sympathetic, gave us some more information, I even got an A5 handbook to take home and digest in my own time.   Then we were out of there, numbly walking to the car, thinking about what to tell the children (nothing, we must protect our little babies from this horror at all costs) and how to go home and tell my own mum, who had been drafted in to look after the kids whilst we were out, that this was the start....of a very bumpy ride.

3 comments:

  1. sweet Cath, what a totally crappy day for you. Remember that throughout your bumpy ride we'll be there to pump your tires, align your wheels and cheer you on to the finish line, you and your pert 38 year old boobs. love you Gill xox

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    1. thanks Gill, there may well be some spare tyres involved judging by the rate I am eating chocolate and cake!! So good to speak to you today. xxxx

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  2. I think chocolate and wine is how I would deal with this diagnosis too - not sure there'd be any of the weight loss people talk about! I just discovered you through the LAB showcase - I will follow your journey and keep my fingers crossed for you x

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