Check your boobs

This post isn’t about IBD although I have to say lately I have been really suffering with my diet and allergies to food and Billy is changing shape and causing me issues. Which you can read about in my recent post.

Recently we went away for my 48th birthday down to our favourite place in Cornwall, Polzeath, finally able to celebrate after two years of UK Covid restrictions. The weather was beautiful, sunshine & Cornish beer, absolute heaven. My husband and I celebrated and we had so much fun, we are now newbie boarders. I am body boarding and am progressing well, boarding with a stoma isn’t an issue and I am loving being in the water.

Whilst I was chilling out in the camper I felt a lump in my left breast, my initial reaction was, it is probably nothing however we both agreed it was definitely something that I needed to get checked out ASAP.

If you have read my About Me page you will know that I ignored my IBD for quite some time, but I was 15 years old. Older and wiser and with so much information available I knew this could potentially affect my health.

As soon as we were home I went to see my local GP who referred me to the Breast Cancer Clinic at our local hospital. I had a call within a week, I visited the GP on the Tuesday and was in the hospital for an appointment the following Wednesday.

I have to admit my attitude, of it’s probably nothing soon began to wane and I started to worry and had a few sleepless nights. Even though you feel its going to be fine theres always that little tiny doubt. I thought about the implications of me being unwell again, and how it would affect us. Would we be able to cope, would I have to have surgery and treatment.

It is natural to think Breast Cancer, most people know a person who has had Breast Cancer or surgery for a lump. Once you feel a lump you can’t unfeel it, it played on our minds, my husband & I are a great team I have always got his support and his strength behind me. He brings me up when I am down and we face everything together. I am so thankful that I have him in my life.

I went along to my appointment, I did read up about what to expect at my appointment, the NHS websites are extremely informative. (A link to the NHS is at the bottom of the page) I was examined by the Consultant an X marked the spot of the lump. I was sent off for a mammogram and an ultrasound. Everything was done there and then, no coming back home & waiting for scan appointments, thank goodness, that just prolongs the worry, the staff are lovely and make you feel at ease.

I am not going to lie I was fairly calm until I went in for my consultation. The doctor said you have an interesting medical history and an impressive scar. The other ladies thought my tattoos were awesome. Anyway I digress, a mammogram is an X-ray of your breasts. The only way I can say it is, it is not a pleasant scan but don’t be put off. Medical science really has advanced and these types of scans are vital for detecting any changes and abnormalities.

The Ultrasound was the scan that brought up the results, I was able to physically see what was inside. They found I have a few cysts in the breast I am happy to say although there are a few they are harmless. The lump that I went in to get checked was very noticeable on the scan with several little dots inside.

This was the part when I did panic the specialist spent at least 20 minutes scanning me. She was almost certain that they were proteins in a larger cyst & nothing more sinister. To ensure that her diagnosis was correct she performed an aspiration of the lump and removed proteins. The relief to be told they were cysts was overwhelming. The specialist said I had done the right thing to get it checked straight away.

I will always be checking now, that was a big scare for me and my husband. I admire all these people that are faced with this situation and don’t receive the news that I did. They are so brave and strong and fighters.

If you feel a lump please get it checked, the majority of the time these lumps are just Cysts. Women and Men get lumps, don’t ignore a lump visit your GP and get checked out.

Once again I can’t thank the NHS enough for their care and dedication that they give to the public. We are extremely lucky in the UK that we have a service that we can depend on and that will always look after us. They have fixed me up so many times and I will always be grateful.

Please check your breasts regularly the details below will help you to perform a good examination. Always get your mammogram scan done when it’s due as well as your regular cervical smear test.

Look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit, and up to your collarbone. You may find it easiest to do this in the shower or bath, by running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit. You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with your arms by your side and also with them raised.

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