For my first proper post of 2017 I was going to post some cute pictures I took of puppies playing in the snow, but stupidly stressful things happened which I decided to talk about instead because it’s all I think to talk about right now.
On Wednesday I was in the shower, doing the usual washing of the hair etc and I did what every person should do and that is the monthly breast check for any oddities. Well, I found an oddity. This oddity was a solid lump in my left breast.
So I carried on showering, and it was only when I was shaving my legs (“possibly” for the first time in a month) did the panic set in. As any person who shaves knows, shaving is a dangerous business, and it’s even more so when your hands are shaking with anxiety driven adrenaline. I carried on like everything was normal, with a few extra cuts than before, and then I told my mum what I had found.
Now in 2013 my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and, while she was incredibly lucky in the fact that she’s cancer-free now and everything is fine, the paranoia that it might happen again is strong in both of us. So when I told her it was off to see me doctor later the same day.
The doctor wasn’t my usual one so it was a bit awkward getting my boobs out for her, but you do what you’ve got to do when you’re a hypochondriac with a long family history of cancer. In that appointment I also found out that the lump was actually quite sore. I think I was too numb from shock to realise that before.
The doctor told me that while it’s probably due to hormones, as my period had only ended a couple days beforehand, but because of my family history I should go and get an ultrasound of the area. I got an appointment for the ultrasound for Friday, so I had a day of tense waiting to do.
I was thinking of this situation like Schrödinger’s cat: I didn’t know whether the cat in the box with the poison was dead or alive, so it was both dead and alive before I looked inside the box. Meaning, since I didn’t know whether the lump in my breast was the evil demon of cancer, or just something benign, I thought of it as both harmless and deadly until I was told otherwise by professionals.
On Friday the ultrasound came around and I was freaking the f**k out! It was made a lot worse due to the fact that this was the exact same thing my mum went through with her cancer and when she went to get her scans done and she ended up getting a surprise biopsy while they were at it. I didn’t want that! I’m bloody petrified of needles!
It turns out I had nothing to worry about at all. All that happened was the doctor put cold gel on my breasts, scanned them, and found absolutely nothing. Nothing. At all.
I had two responses to this, the first one being sweet, beautiful relief. And the second, irritation. I panicked, cried, and nervous ate for that! The doctor said it was probably hormonal, so that means I went through all that merde for nothing!
That night I consumed chocolate and Baileys, lactose intolerance be damned!
So, you may be wondering if there’s a moral to this story, and there is:
Check your breasts regularly, but, if you find something, don’t panic! There’s a 90% chance it’s something relatively harmless. Just get it checked out by a doctor, and only start panicking when you actually know there is something seriously wrong.
Also have some sort of support system to go through the trauma with you, because it helps to know you’re not the only one spending three days stuck on the verge of a panic attack (which is something I’ve got to thank them for, so thank you parents, Joe, Jess, and Jamie!).