I'm not old enough?
After I found my lump I was told not to worry and if I am honest I didn’t really...my overriding thought was ‘I’m not old enough’ and this kept me relaxed and calm. Every day I would touch the lump again to check if it was still there.
What does a breast cancer lump feel like?
People often ask me what does a breast cancer lump feel like… the only way to describe it is as a small bead like lump to the left of my nipple. This being said, everyone’s lumps and bumps are different so if there is any abnormality for you please do get it checked!
I visited the GP a couple of times. As I’d just had a baby, apparently it was quite normal to have blocked milk ducts and it was nothing the doctor hadn’t seen before. Due to a family history of breast cancer, I still felt uneasy and insisted upon a referral to a specialist consultant.
What is a breast cancer biopsy?
I was reassured by the specialist, but they sent me for a biopsy to be cautious. I had heard this word many times before, but I didn’t know what to expect. A biopsy is a quick test to remove tissue and fluid from the suspicious area in question, using a syringe. The cells are subsequently examined under a microscope and tested further to determine the presence, or not, of cancerous cells. The process wasn’t pleasant and hurt a little, but nothing I couldn’t handle. They put a plaster on and told me to take it easy. I returned home and didn’t think much more of it!
Breast cancer diagnosis
I remember the next Thursday evening so vividly, the day of my follow-up appointment. I left my son with my friend as my husband had rugby training. The weather was a little strange, post-storm, and my phone was playing up. My mum came to my appointment with me for company. I didn’t even feel as if I needed any moral support as I was fully reassured it was nothing. We entered the waiting room and there were a few older women. I whispered to my Mum, ‘someone's life is about to change, I saw in a magazine that apparently one woman in three gets breast cancer!’ Of course this wouldn’t be me.
I walked into the room as the care-free person I once was. Little did I know that my life was about to shatter around me. The doctor looked me in the eye and said, ‘I’m so sorry but it's cancer’. At that moment my world just stopped. I was sitting in this room, the doctor was talking, I could see his lips moving but I had no idea what he was saying. I was watching this play out on a muted tv. It genuinely felt like an out of body experience.
What is a mammogram?
Once he had finished speaking I was taken down a long corridor to have a mammogram. This is an X-ray of the breast, used to look for early signs of breast cancer, often before any lump can be felt. I had the mammogram and was told I had to go back tomorrow for numerous tests. I just remember nodding the whole time. I don't think any of the information actually went into my head.
The beginning of my breast cancer journey
When I arrived home, there were a few people around - two of my two girlfriends, my Auntie and Mickey (my husband). I just remember sitting slumped on the door step with hands over my eyes. I felt dirty, I have no idea why but the feeling was intense, and it was horrible. This evening was the start of a long and tough journey. It was terrifying, overwhelming, devastating – so many emotions were fighting round in my head. But one thing that I did know for sure - I wasn't going to give up. I knew it was now time to fight for my baby boy!