October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take the time to learn more about detecting breast cancer early.
It is now a year since I was diagnosed with early breast cancer. A year since my GP called me not ten minutes after I got home from having an ultrasound to tell me I needed a biopsy.
Eighteen months before this my sister was diagnosed with early breast cancer at 39 (no, it’s not genetic – just really bad luck). I thought for sure she’d taken one for the team. Surely lightening wouldn’t strike twice, right?
After her diagnosis my mother and I were put onto yearly mammogram and ultrasound screening. I had this done in the May. The technicians performing my scans made me feel as though I was wasting their time. I felt like telling them this wasn’t my idea! Those scans showed nothing of concern.
I then found a hard, pea sized lump on the far left of my right boob near my chest wall. I left it for a while then had my GP check it the next time I saw her in the August. She thought it was a cyst and I agreed, seeing as I’d had many benign fibroadenomas and cysts over the years. I was handed an ultrasound referral and told to have it done in a few months if it didn’t go away.
The referral languished at the bottom of my handbag for a while, then in October when we went out for dinner to celebrate my 40th birthday, I asked my sister to feel it, as you do, and said “What do you reckon?”
She looked at me with a flash of concern over her face and said, “I reckon you should book that scan.”
All along I have been reminded how lucky I am. I have the “good” cancer. Detected early, treatable. I have the cancer that everyone throws money at. Yay me. I get it. I am lucky. So many others are not, I don’t for one second begin to compare my experience to anyone else’s.