Thursday 3 September 2015

The Diagnosis

After a worrying week or so I made my way back to the breast clinic for my core biopsy results. I had been nervous all week. But I had spoken to so many friends and colleagues who had breast lumps or new people who had lumps, all of which where benign, I felt confident that my lump would be a Fibroadenoma. It matched the criteria perfectly. I had a niggle in the back of my mind that it could be cancer but that's all it was a niggle in the back of my mind that would soon be squashed once I got my results.

Unfortunately that was not the case.

I sat on the bed in the examining room with Michele. I was then joined by Kath and a doctor I hadn't seen before, Dr T. The doctor quickly introduced herself made a little joke...something about me meeting so many different doctors I probably can't remember them all...she sat down and moved her chair right up to me so are knees where touching. She reached out and held my hand. Well this can't be good news. 

I'm sorry but we have found a breast cancer.

This was like an out of body experience. I couldn't take the words in. I could feel Michele grab my other hand and rub my back but I couldn't look at him yet. I started to cry. That embarrassed cry that British people do because they hate to cry in public. I started fanning my eyes in disgust! I wasn't meant to have cancer. I'm only 27 for fuck sake!! It was like I was in a bad dream and I was going to wake up from it at any moment. But I didn't wake up.

'Am I going to die?' I asked. I wonder how many people ask that question after their diagnosis? I reckon it's a pretty high percentage. 'Can I still drink wine?' That was my second question. Don't judge me.

I'll give you a few minutes the Dr said. I nipped to the toilet. I've always had a nervous bladder and now seemed like a good a time as any to go for a piss break. 

When I came back Kath started to tell me a little more about my cancer. 'Its treatable just remember that'. I clutched on to those words. I knew I needed to keep positive to get through this. She started telling me a little more about my cancer. I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. One of the most common breast cancers and its a grade 3. This type of breast cancer is graded 1-3. Grade 3 means the cells are 'most changed'. 

I didn't know at this point about the cancer being HER+ and oestrogen+. The next step was a mamagram. I hadn't had one previously due to my age (mamagrams often aren't used on the young due to beast density) But this was just a formality. 'A tick in the box' Kath said. 

If you have ever had a mamagram before you will know how unpleasant they can be. 'Can you take any more?' the nurse said as she pushed the plastic plates against my boobs. 'Yep' I grimaced. I've got cancer now i need to man up! Squish 'em as hard as you can! 

After the mamagram I was quickly sent to the ultrasound room. Familiar Mr Ultrasound greeted me and I laid on the bed. He started prodding my right breast. Hmm pretty sure my tumours in my left breast. As he jabbed at my right breast I politely asked lovely mamagram nurse if there was also something wrong with my right breast. 'I don't think so' chirps up Mr Ultrasound. Oh good glad we're all on the same page.

Once I'm back in the safety of the examining room Kath and Dr S explain that a calcification had been found on my right breast during the mamagram. They think it's nothing to worry about but I need an MRI scan to find out what's going on with my right breast and get a bit more of a detailed picture of what's going on in the left. 

It's just one thing after another with breast cancer isn't it?! 

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