It’s been a stressful few days. All caused by my own anxious mind. That and the Internet.
You see, I found a lump in my left breast last week. One I hadn’t felt before. It was hard but tiny, like half a pea. Or a seed. And so I Googled my symptoms, even though I know you should NEVER do that, because I am compulsive and I can’t help myself, can I? And it came up that cancerous lumps can feel just like lemon seeds. Well, that was all I needed to send myself into a cycle of doom.
So I booked a doctor’s appointment last Friday and after showing my GP the lump I hoped she would tell me it was nothing and I should just relax. But she didn’t. I have a history of cancer in the family, I’m nearly 40, and so she suggested my first mammogram and an ultrasound, just to be sure. Well I had my mammogram today and it was not nearly as sore as I imagined. Uncomfortable yes, and a bit weird, having your flesh squashed flat between two pieces of plastic like that. But the technician lady was lovely and kind, and explained everything really well. After all the indignities us women suffer for our health, I found a mammogram to be particularly mild, actually.
The doctor person who did the ultrasound after that took a look around and then showed me on the screen what I’d been feeling: small cysts in my breasts. “But they’re so hard!” I said, “they don’t feel like fluid!”. He assured me that they were in fact, fluid-filled, and completely nothing to worry about. I even had a little cry. Because I had spent the whole weekend trying to control my mind and calm it, but had failed miserably.
So there was huge relief felt, but also gratitude that this was how it turned out for me, this time round. It made me think of all the women who have not been told what I was told yesterday, and who have had to deal with much more stressful news. And then I felt stupid for making such a big deal of it in my head. But human nature is what it is I suppose.
There are a few morals to this story:
- Don’t search the internet without having proper facts (try not to make assumptions).
- CHECK YOUR LEMONS. Check your breasts yourself once a month – my GP told me that it’s best to do it in the middle of your cycle, as hormones just before and during your period can make your breasts even lumpier.
- Go and see a doctor about absolutely anything, if you are at all worried (they won’t think you’re silly, so just do it).
- And if you’ve been thinking of booking that first mammogram, speak to your GP about it and get their advice – it’s not sore at all and can really put your mind at ease.
Know Your Lemons is a non-profit organisation that is based on very powerful image of lemons in a box, which can help with early identification of breast cancer. Take a look.