Monday 16 April 2018

So I found another lump...

These past few days have been hard. I've been in a lot of pain because I'm having issues with my expander and my scar tissue.

That however is the least of my worries. I have a new lump. A lump in my 'good' breast. I tried not to panic, but that's easier said than done, life after cancer is hard - especially since losing Dad within weeks of his diagnosis - it makes you realise just how fragile life can be. Every lump, every bump, every twinge, every freckle, every pain, every single out of the ordinary thing sends me in to a panic.

I'd hoped... imagined... that after getting my 'no evidence of disease' status that I'd be euphoric, I'd move on with my life, go back to 'normal' - whatever that may be. Sadly not, I'm stuck, I'm still in pain, I'm feeling low and the anxiety that 'IT' is coming back is surely going to send me insane.

So was lying in bed on Wednesday doing my usual boob check and something had changed. There's a new lump - in the 9 o'clock position on my right boob. There's something else too - like a thickening inside my boob across that right hand side.

I panic.

So I call the breast nurse team. As usual when I call, I'm greeted by a voicemail message. The message says if you leave a message before 3pm they will call you back the same day. It's lunchtime. I was out of breath and clearly upset on the phone as I rattled off my concerns.

Then I wait.

I know the breast nurse team are really busy so I don't want to call again but I'm so anxious and really need some reassurance. Sadly the clock reached 6pm and I knew they definitely weren't calling back that day.

Thursday morning I'm woken to my mobile ringing. I'd hardly slept a wink with worry and knew the 'PRIVATE NUMBER' on the screen would be my nurse. She'd got my message. She tells me not to worry, I have an appointment with my surgeon anyway on 3rd May so they will just check it out then. Groggy and half asleep I agree and say my goodbyes. Then I realise that that is 3 whole weeks away!!

I had an appointment with the nurse at my GP surgery on Friday morning so I decide to mention it to her. She agrees to have a feel and immediately she is concerned too. Not only can she feel the lump and the thickening, my lymphnodes are swollen in my armpits and my groin too. She tells me to call my breast team and insist on an investigation asap.

I call the breast nurse line, one of the team answer. My usual nurse isn't available but I've met the nurse that answered and I explain whats just happened. I tell her I'll actually be at the breast clinic at 2pm anyway for my post op physio session and would be really grateful if she could have a feel and hopefully put my mind at ease. She tells me that's fine and to ask for her once I've finished my session.

Thank god.

Physio was horrendous. Agony in fact. I explain to my physio about the new lump and surprisingly she basically repeats the conversation I had on the phone 2 days ago. Don't worry, your seeing Mr M on the 3rd May anyway so he'll check it out then.

I tell her that I was told the nurse would see me after the session but she said, there's no one here, you'll have to just wait now until you're back in May. What the hell?!

I leave the consultation room, heart pounding and feeling sick. As I walk out I see a friendly face, a lady called Allison that had her operation the same day as me. I explain my anxiety at finding this new lump. The physio calls me back in to fill out a survey on my progress and while I'm gone Allison asks at the reception desk if one of the breast nurses is free to see me.

When I come back out, Allison tells me there is someone free. Thank god. So I head to reception and ask for myself. She heads through to the back to ask, I see the nurse there that I spoke to on the phone, the one who told me she would see me. The reception then returns telling me that I already have an appointment on 3rd. For Gods sake! She said if I'm still worried I can call back Monday. If I'm still worried?! Oh why would I be? Let's just forget that cancer has already stolen one boob and carry on as normal even though I could have something horrendous growing inside me!

So here I am, 2.30am in the morning, unable to sleep because in my head it's back. Fantastic.

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