3 years ago today I was diagnosed with my primary breast cancer.
And do you know why I was diagnosed with breast cancer?
It wasn’t me checking my boobs – there was no feeling anything on the first. No annual mammogram. No change in appearance.
No. What there was was this guy. Flash
I was diagnosed with breast cancer because this little beast here decided to use me as a climbing frame whilst trying to lick me to death one Saturday morning.
Whilst he was climbing up my body, he stood on my chest. Right between my boobs. Just where my underwire finished. And it hurt. It really hurt. Because there was a lump.
Initially, I put it down to the spoils of a physio session, they’d cracked my back too hard and had made my ribs move. That had to be what it was. (Yes, I am aware now that the body does not work in that way!)
It was just a really small, but really painful lump. One that once it’d been pointed out to me though I couldn’t ignore. Mostly because it kept growing, and kept being painful! It sat right under my underwire, so every bra I wore irritated it. Every time I moved it would catch in some way or another. After the physio had confirmed it was nothing to do with him, I assumed 1. because it was painful, and because 99% of the things you read on the internet say a painful lump isn’t cancerous, and 2. because I have a history with cysts – I assumed it was a cyst.
And eventually about a month later, after it had tripled in size, I finally went to the GP, assuming they would drain it and I’d go on my way. Right there and then, the GP told me was nothing to worry about because it was painful, but he’d refer me to the breast clinic. The normal referral path for anyone in the UK with a lump is 14 days, but somehow that GP put me a 12-week breast clinic referral. Luckily however my work has Bupa and my boss, probably annoyed by me fidgetting, told me to just go and get scanned at the local hospital……..
I don’t need to tell you that the lump turned out to be cancer, do I?
And so, 3 years ago today I sat in a room with a surgeon, and a wonderful nurse, a nurse who I still see every 3 weeks, and got the news we knew was coming but hope we’d not hear!
The news that changed our lives.
The news that brought about what I thought was the hardest year of my life, that included mamograms, biopsies, a lumpectomy, IVF, 6 rounds of chemo, 23 sessions of radiotherapy………8 months of believing I was cancer-free, before being diagnosed again with my secondary cancer.
My metastatic cancer diagnosis was something that was a long time coming really. Maybe something I haven’t really spoken about here. Not really. Maybe that is a more detailed post for a later time!
But there you go. A long post about how my dog diagnosed me with cancer!