So my next appointment comes around (16/6/21). I'm told I can take someone with me. My mum, whose finally realized that this is serious decides to join me. Previously she was in denial, saying I needed to be positive but she wasn't in the room when the nurse told me. I'm happy to eat my words, but mum....I've probably got cancer. Over the past two weeks I've gently delved into the world of breast cancer and what it means. I've joined forums and spoke to close friends. I've steered clear of Goggle preferring to hear about real people and what they have gone through. I now know a bit more about the terminology and what may come.
We arrive a bit early and just sit waiting, miles apart because of Covid. We go into the consultants room and there's a breast care nurse there too. The doctor starts talking calmly and slowly. She tells me my lump is 55mm, its cancerous. She thinks its stage 2 but that's provisional. She tells me it's oestrogen positive and HER2 borderline and that will probably mean I need to take Herceptin for 5 years or possibly longer.
She asks me if I know someone whose had breast cancer as I seem calm and seem to know what she's talking about. I just say I like to read and find things out. It's how I cope.
She then goes on to talk about needing an MRI to find out more. If it's just the one lump it will be a lumpectomy (although my lump is quite big) and then radiotherapy. If its spread and more than one it will be chemo (that word terrifies me) and mastectomy (that word terrifies me too). I take it all in, my mum makes notes.
She then examines me, looks at the fatty tissue under my arms. She chats a bit more about pre-ops and surgery in August but after the MRI there will be more waiting as the plastic surgeon will need to decide whether a lumpectomy is possible.
We go into a side room with the nurse and as predicted my mum starts crying and I end up comforting her. I think I was further down the line in the acceptance route than she was. The nurse returns with a bag full of literature and a special cancer book just for me. She explains I will get free prescriptions. I can have financial support if need be. Talks me through briefly again what the doctor says.
We leave and drive home. Now I have to tell my 2 boys, they're adults but they are still my boys.