Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cancer opposed to all my other tales..this one is true, it's October 19, 2006 and this morning I was told I had breast cancer and would have to have a mastectomy, not the best news in the world from my point of view. I've decided to write down my feelings and stuff on here...probably no one will read it, but it's kinda cathartic so what the hell.

I found the lump 3 weeks ago, on the bottom of my boob and made an appointment to go and see the doc...she pulled me about, jiggling my boobs and feeling my armpit (thank god I'd shaved them the night before) and told me she was going to make an appointment at the hospital for me (for the benefit of any american readers, we have in England, the National Health Service, which we pay for through taxes..basically health care is free). The appointment duly came and I got myself over to the hospital...after waiting for a while I was ushered into a room and told to take off my shirt and bra. The radiologist then asked if I minded a girl watching...she was thinking about becoming a radiologist herself so I said no, I don't mind....I like to encourage learning.

I was confronted by this large machine that looks a bit like a transformer (robot in disguise) and the radiologist got my boob and flopped it on the machine, pulled and pushed it about until she as satisfied it was where it was supposed to be and then squished it between 2 plates...contrary to what I've heard, it wasn't painful (although this may have had something to do with the fact I'm quite big boobed), just a little uncomfortable. X-rays duely taken, I was ushered back into the waiting area, the nurse telling me that the x-rays were developed immediately and the specialist would look at them there and then. After about 20 minutes, I was called again and this time told I was going to have an ultrasound scan (same thing they use for pregnant women.)

This is when I knew something wasn't right, but I stripped again and this time I could see the lump for looked huge, but of course it wasn't that big and the nurse took more photos, (isn't technology wonderful). Again I was told to get dressed and wait which I duly did. After another 20 minutes or so, the specialist came in and, looking suitably grave (I guess it wouldn't do for him to have a big grin on his face) he told me that he wanted to do a biopsy, explaining what was involved. He gave me a local, then produced this big needle that looked about the size of one of the guns on the Death Star. He stuck it in my boob and I heard 2 pain though.

He said that these would be sent away for tests but after looking at the x-rays, ultrasound and having felt the mass himself...he was pretty sure it was cancer. I think I already knew but I went numb. A word of advice...if you are going to hospital for any tests...make sure you take someone with you. I was given an appointment for friday and sent on my way.

I went home and cried but then pulled myself together, I didn't want to tell anyone else until my hubby came home so I busied myself not thinking about it. When he came home I told him and we both just looked at each other for a second and then he hugged me. At this point I went completely to pieces and had another good cry, as did he. I then phoned my mum and told her the news. I texted my oldest son and asked him to ring me when he got home but unfortunately he got the text whilst he was still at work so I was forced to tell him. Not the ideal way to find out your mum has possible cancer....poor kid. I told my youngest son when he got back from work and he took the news pretty stoically.

Friday came and accompanied by my mum and my hubby, we went back to the hospital to be told it was definitely cancer and that the team of specialists who had looked at it thought it was better to have a mastectomy as just having a lumpectomy may not catch it all and there was a chance it could flare up again, he then informed me that after the breast was removed it would be 4 to 6 weeks before they decided whether or not I needed any other treatment (hormone, chemo or radiotherapy). He was very sympathetic and gentle, my mother asking questions that hubby and I wouldn't even have thought of.

So this is where I am at the moment, next friday I have to go and have bloodwork done and anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks from now I will be considerably lobsided. I'll try and keep this post going, but honestly it depends on my moods, yesterday I was just about convinced I would die, today I'm a little better, I'm not sleeping well, but that's to be expected, I can cope ok during the day, but at night, when it's all quiet it hits me. I don't want to start taking sleeping pills just yet so I'm hoping my brain will eventually accept what is happening and shut up.

That it for now, before I go, let me just say, I'm not looking for sympathy, it's not my style, but to any ladies who read this, please, I beg you, check your boobs regularly, and to any men out there, nag your ladies to check their it yourself, but please...check them.


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