It is positive. I have breast cancer

After the mammograms and ultra sounds and biopsy the results came back on 12 February – I have a grade 2 invasive ductal carcinoma. In plain words, breast cancer

Because I have private health insurance I could make an appointment with a private Breast Surgeon, which I had 2 days ago. He was calming and reassuring and I actually felt much better for the fist time since I received the diagnosis.

He is also very understanding, and although he made sure I knew it is not an emergency, I am booked in for a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy for Monday, 29 February

I have been positive this far, in the sense that I tell people not to worry and that it is nothing big and not to worry. But to be honest, I am not that positive within my self. When I get a headache my first reaction is ‘it has spread’; the same with a sore knee, a nose bleed, a cough – suddenly it feels as if my body is falling apart. It is hard to be positive within myself and my thoughts and I am so scared

I am also exhausted. Came home early from work today because I am really, really tired. Slept for about 4 hours and woke up still feeling tired. Things are getting to me and I feel emotional. And I don’t want to be strong for others anymore, I want to be able to show people I am scared, that I need support, that I am a wreck and just want to cry and cry and cry. And get this out of my body!!!!!!

 

 

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2016 – Is it going to be a good one?

2016 started with a bang, and I am afraid, not with sewing. I am smocking and doing cross-stitch. Although I have sorted my blocks for my blue quilt to work out which fabric combinations would be best for the last 7 blocks

But after today I am wondering this year might be a ‘health-issue’ year. I hope not. During the holiday I went for my 2-yearly mammogram. A couple of weeks later, on Friday (5 Feb, actually), I received an unexpected phone call at school. It was from a nurse at the Breast Screening clinic, asking if I could come in today (Tuesday) for further scans, to see the doctor and a possible biopsy

I tried not to stress about it during the weekend, but it was on the back of my mind the whole time. Told myself everything will be ok as there is anyway no history of breast cancer in my family. Also checked my left breast and couldn’t feel anything different

Reported to the hospital this morning, with my ipad (they told me I’ll be waiting a lot between appointments), some muesli bars and a calmness. Arriving at the hospital breast screening section started with me realising there were actually two waiting rooms – one for those arriving for their regular screens and one for the ‘call-backs’. In the call-back waiting room there are coffee and tea available, as well as biscuits which one of the ladies brought in. There were quite a few ladies waiting to be seen, most of them with husbands and support people. I was on my own. A friend offered to accompany me but I didn’t want her to spend a day in a waiting room. And I felt okay on my own

Then the fun started – first of all to see a nurse who explained they saw a small unknown something in my left breast. Small. And she was sure nothing to worry about. She also explained what to expect during the morning

First another mammogram of the left breast, focusing on the specific area where they saw something. It hurt, like no mammogram hurt me before, as they applied a lot of pressure to focus on the growth. Then back to the waiting room

Then called back for another try as one of the x rays didn’t come out clear enough – the painful one. Back to the waiting room

Next an ultra sound. With this I could see the growth – apparently about 7mm big, a baby pea. My other breast was also examined. Then also told they were going to do a biopsy and I had to sign the forms. Told to take a walk, have some coffee and something to eat, as the biopsy would be done in about 1 hour and 15 minutes

After coffee I went back to the waiting room. Of all the ladies I saw during the morning in the waiting room there were two of us left. Both of us were waiting for the biopsy. She was called in first. When she came out I tried to read her face, she just mouthed to me ‘good luck’. That scared me a bit and I wished I had someone with me

Then my turn. I have to say the staff at the breast screening clinic were amazing and explained everything in detail. I never thought I had no idea what was going on or what was going to happen

I was given local anaesthetic and then the process started. They explained I would feel a sting, nothing else, and when they take the samples there will be a loud bang, but I shouldn’t feel anything. I relaxed. The needle went in and I couldn’t feel a thing. Then the countdown – 3..2..1 – and a bang……..and the worst pain I have ever felt in my whole life. It felt to me as if my whole chest exploded. I told them ‘that’s it, I am done, no more’. It was hurting so much inside my breast, it was so sore I couldn’t even cry

More local anaesthetic, two more jabs actually and the second sample – NO PAIN AT ALL!!!!!!!! Thank goodness. That allowed me to relax for number three, which was painless as well

Came home and then my body reacted a little but – I was cold and trembling all over. Struggled to send a txt to my daughter to tell her everything was ok. I took a couple of panadols and went to bed. Woke up hours later feeling much better. I always want to sleep after a scare 🙂

I have an appointment this Friday, to get the results. They explained to me what will happen next if it is cancer and I googled it. But, although I feel nervous, after the nap this afternoon I feel calm again. Back to school tomorrow and simply wait for the results

Is this going to be a cancer scare or the real thing? I will I handle it? I have a lot of what ifs – but feel calm and relaxed. Although I imagine there will be a sleepless night Thursday and a stressful wait on Friday for the results