This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for quite some time. And what better time than than a few weeks before ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ begins. Just warning you now, this might be a bit of a long one, but I think talking about these things more does a lot of good, and if this helps anyone out there then I’ll be happy.
Only a small number of people know this about me, but about 1 1/2 years ago I was doing a quick breast check after reading about boobs in an article (I think it was from somewhere like cosmo?) and I found a lump.
Lucky for me, it ended up being labelled benign which means it’s cancer free and shouldn’t impact me. I recognise that I am incredibly lucky that my lump ended up being benign as not everyone is so lucky.
Let me take you back to when I found this lump, I think I was reading an article about why all boob shapes are beautiful (being a girl just wanting to like her body for what it is and all that.. still working on that now haha) when it occurred to me that I hadn’t checked my breasts recently.
So that was when I decided to give my boobs a once over. And that was when I found a pea sized lump towards the bottom left of my left breast. It was like the entire world had stopped when I felt it, then the panic set in. That was when I got my mum to see if they could feel it and that I wasn’t going mad for nothing.
Unfortunately they could feel it too, which meant the next day ringing up the doctors to get an appointment. Sadly my doctors are a bit short staffed without as much people as they probably need for the area I live in, so I had to wait a little while before I could get booked in, but I know that they’re doing everything they can in the current funding situation.
The day of my appointment came and off I went to the doctors absolutely terrified because in the time waiting for my appointment my anxious had wreaked havoc with my head and I had basically come to the conclusion that I was going to have to have surgery or it meant death. Some people may think it’s silly that this is what I was thinking, but that’s the reality of anxiety for you, it’s not rational and you can’t control it.
Once I went in for my appointment the doctor was so lovely and she calmed me right down; she asked me about what I’d felt, where and if I was in any pain. For the record, I’ve suffered with chronic chest pains for about 6 years in the left side of my chest reaching round my entire back and through my shoulder blades (I’ve been back and forth to the doctors for years about it with no avail), so I mentioned this in my appointment to see if this lump could be the cause of the pain if it had trapped a nerve or something, I didn’t know what it could be because I’m not a doctor and no amount of googling was helping me out.
I’ve recently found out the pain is actually coming from a few other conditions which I’ll talk about in another post, but I am okay and getting treatment so it’s now being managed. Right, back to talking about boobs!
After talking about what was going on, then came the examination. It was pretty nerve wracking getting my boobs out for a complete stranger, but it had to be done. She got me to show here where the lump was and then she felt my breasts for lumps. That was when she confirmed to me that I was right and that there is something there.
The doctor did then confirm to me that yes there is a lump, but the good news was that it was very small, around 8mm-1cm big, which meant it was probably benign which is great news. In order to just double check everything from my appointment, I was then given an appointment for an ultrasound so we could actually see what was going on.
The hospital appointment came round about two weeks after my doctors appointment which was pretty fast in my eyes. And I was glad because I just wanted to know what was happening and if I needed to start thinking about how I was going to potentially tackle the big C.
I brought my mum along with me to this appointment because 1.) We love doctor/hospital shows like 24hours in A&E and stuff like that, and 2.) She’s always there to support me in whatever way I need it. Going in for my ultrasound was pretty surreal, I walked into this dark room with 3 medical professionals in it, a load of equipment, a medical bed, 2 chairs and a curtain. My mum stayed with me for the entire thing, which helped a lot with the nerves.
So, I said hello to all of these very welcoming women in this dark room, took my top and bra off and laid down on the medical bed. It’s pretty weird having 3 women that you met 5 seconds ago staring at your boobs I’m not going to lie. The main doctor there did another examination on my breasts and then she put the coldest gel in my boobs I’ve ever felt haha. Then came the ultrasound machine, the doctor pushed it all over my boob until we came across a dark blob on the screen. My lump.
Here came the good bit for me. After a bit of moving around the blob the doctor came to the conclusion that my lump is definitely benign, and that I actually have something called a fibroadenoma. Fibroadenoma’s are a range of solid breast lesions that can feel hard, soft, smooth and rubbery, a bit like a pea, but they can be larger. Fibroadenoma’s are usually painless, but if they are causing significant pain they can sometimes be removed; you should also keep an eye on the lumps and go back to your GP if anything changes.
It’s pretty strange looking at an image of your boob on an ultrasound screen, especially because you only ever see ultrasounds happening to check on pregnancies.
So, once my ultrasound was done, I headed out with a leaflet about fibroadenomas and a huge sense of relief. I was and am incredibly lucky that my lump isn’t anything that serious.
At the beginning of this year, I thought my lump might had gotten bigger; but this was also around the time that I had lost a lot of weight, so I wasn’t sure if maybe I could just feel the lump more. So along came a second round of appointments to the doctors and hospital and lucky for me, nothing had changed other than myself losing weight.
This was great news for me as you can imagine. Some people aren’t as lucky as I am and I will be forever grateful that my lump is nothing serious. I’m still living with my lump at the moment, and it does cause some achiness now and again, but I know things could be so much worse.
What I want everyone to take away from this is to make sure you’re checking your breasts on a regular basis. You never realise how lucky you are until you have a scare like this. Even if you’re a man reading this, check your chest too, because men too can breast cancer. If you’re looking for some more information about what signs to look out for when checking your breasts, you can find that here! You can download a leaflet on what to look out for here!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed finding out a bit more about me and have found this useful; I know it’s been a bit long winded, but it’s an important issue that needs to be spoken about.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! And I also want to say a big thank you to all of my lovely readers for all of your support, and to celebrate my first 100 subscribers and say thank you to you all, stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of the month!!
So that’s it from me for today! Have a great week everyone! Love,