“Do you have your husband with you?” the doctor said.
“No.” I said and thought should I have?
This conversation happened as I was taken to a room to have a fine needle and a core biopsy on my left breast.
2 days before going on our recent trip to Europe I found a lump the size of a small grape whilst having a shower. Mild panic set in but at the same time I didn’t get too stressed about it as I have always had issues with my breasts.
I didn’t tell my husband what I had found and we went on our holiday as planned. I would touch the breast and the lump every now and then to check to see if it had changed.
When I returned home and went to work, I made an appointment with my GP; she could feel it and guessed it was around 2cms long.
She also said that 80% of lumps are nothing, and that knowing my history it was more likely a cyst, but we should get it checked out. I am 53 years old and on HRT, better to be safe than sorry.
So I made an appointment with the Sydney Breast Clinic as I have been there before and they have my records.
I arrived at my time of 8.30am. These appointments can take a couple of hours and as I was busy at work I got the earliest one as possible. Now this place is not cheap; $900 before you walk in the door and then depending on what “extras” you may have it can get more expensive. But it is pretty much a one stop shop and you don’t have to waste your time traipsing over town going to different places for different appointments.
I was called in after about half an hour of getting there and had a mammogram first. I hate having these. I have small breasts and they bloody hurt but I suck it up.
Next, back out to the waiting room, another half an hour and then I see a doctor, who is lovely. Nothing is showing on the mammogram but she too can feel the lump so off I go for an ultrasound.
The Sonographer comes in all chirpy and said that nothing was found on the mammogram so all good. She then positions me and spends about 45 minutes scanning both my breasts. After wiping all the gel off me, back to the waiting room.
The doctor calls me in again.
“Ok, we have found something a bit worrying and would like to do a fine needle and core biopsy. Can you come back around 1pm? We have a pathologist who comes in and we can run some tests.”
“Yes I can come back. I just work down the road so will go back there and come back.”.
“Good.” she says.
I tell the receptionist that I am leaving and will be back at 1pm. I also ring my husband and update him and I am getting scared at this point.
I go back to work and do some work for a couple of hours. I tell my colleague and manager that I have to go back as they want to do a biopsy and that I probably won’t be back for the afternoon.
This is where this story starts.
After having the biopsies, which bloody hurt by the way, again I find myself in the waiting room. There are a lot of girly magazines in this place; ones that I haven’t read in years.
Dr Johnson calls me in. I am shaking slightly by now.
“We have done the tests and unfortunately we have found cancer cells.”
I start to cry, the doctor hands me a box of tissues and says I am allowed to; this is big news.
She goes on to say that they will need to get the full results before they can know anything more and I make an appointment for Thursday at 4pm.
“Bring your husband.” she says.
We chat a bit more and I then I say goodbye. I pay my $1500 and leave. I go down the lift and call Hubbie; I have breast cancer.