Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Every three years in England, the health service asks ladies of a certain age to submit to a mammogram experience.. This is usually quite an invasive and not a very nice experience as they have to squeeze your breasts to be able to xray them between pieces of glass. It means awkward angles and can be quite pinching and painful. So, when I got this invitation at the beginning of May, despite being in a close area where it was easy to park and be done, I was very very loath to go and attend, remembering all the other painful visits. However, I did go, and a week later a letter asking me for further tests arrived. I was quite surprised as I had never been asked back before, but the letter also said it was only one in ten people that there was cause for anxiety. Having been reassured by that fact, I was due to be seen the following week. However I then contracted Shingles and the thought of my breasts being manhandled and squeezed was not appealing, so I made the arrangement to go again last week when the shingles had almost gone. I was in some trepidation, but found the clinic and car parks easily and went to my meeting. I was ushered into a darkened room with a screen showing a cluster of white spots on my left breast, just under the nipple area. The took many xrays, scans and photos and then several pieces of my breast were taken for biopsy, and I left with an arrangement to return to discuss the biopsy this morning. We were together in the office with the surgeon specialist who told me that I now showed that I had pre cancerous cells, but the cluster were not at this moment active.. However there would be a time when they would break through and then invade the rest of my body and would become proper breast cancer. The option I had, was a full Mastectomy, or a cut and dive in to extract the bad cells and hopefully manage to clean up the area and prevent any spreading. I chose the cutting, which will only take about half an hour to do.. then afterwards I have to have radiotherapy for every day for three weeks to make absolutely sure that all is clear and safe. My husband is in a state of shock, because he really believed that we would be back home quickly with no worries.. Now, I have had an operation date set,.it will be after my trip to Canada, because I would not be good to fly after an operation.. and so on July 7th I will face the knife. Its a funny thing really, because I knew that something was up, despite the fact that there was no lump or discolouration, or dimpling, or anything to show that cancer was trying to rear its horrible head.. This is obviously why these Mammo tests are so important, so if any of you reading this, are in two minds about going and getting it done, please do not wait and hesitate, the main thing in my brain is that, if I had not gone, I would not be in a good position to deal with it, and it might be a completely different outcome I would be facing... So PLEASE do attend all these appointments, they may very well save your life!!!