So, I find my way to my local hospital and the Breast Clinic. I have to idea what to expect but the leaflet I got with the letter says I could be here for 4 hours. I'm armed with my kindle, a bottle of water and some wine gums.
I sit waiting & reading (bizarrely I'm reading The Cows by Dawn O Porter which is about cancer) and listening to waiting room chatter and a woman complaining about her appointment running late- what does she expect, this is a hospital, just have a bit of grace and dignity and be grateful.
Im eventually called through and fill in a form asking me about birth control (I'm 52 I can't remember when I stopped taking it), operations, family history, medication etc etc.
Next stop is the female consultant. She talks briefly about my medical history and then examines me. She finds a lump in my left breast which she gives a number 2 to. The lump I found she spends more time on. She says it seems odd, she gives this lump a number 3.
Bit more waiting and then I go for a mammogram. I had one in 2018 so know the score. It's uncomfortable but after having two children it's nothing.
Now more waiting. I can hear staff talking about what they're doing later, talking about a colleague, I eat my wine gums and try to concentrate on my book.
Next I find myself in a darkened room with a female nurse and doctor. This is the ultrasound. I've never got my boobs out so much. She starts on the left lump (number 2) and quickly dismissed it. The right lump (number 3) is her focus. She spends a lot of time on this one, she goes into my armpit too. I stupidly joke that at least when you have a pregnancy scan you can see a baby. I don't have a clue what she can see.
I detect a change to the atmosphere in the room. I have some biopsies taken. The lovely, kind & gentle nurse talks to me throughout. The biopsies hurt, it's not pleasant. I have a titanium marker put into the lump.
The nurse them gives me a gown and I sit on a chair waiting for a moment whilst we wait to see if the mammogram room is free. It's then, in that moment that I feel my throat constrict and my eyes prick with tears. This is serious, I can sense it. I go for a second mammogram to check the marker.
Now the final wait. It's 5.45pm. I've been here since 2.15pm.
I get taken into a room with comfy chairs and a box of tissues. This isn't a good sign. The nurse is lovely, so calm. She explains that from what the drs can see they think that the lump is cancerous. I burst into tears. She talks about stopping my HRT and uses words like oestrogen positive, then talks about lumpectomy- I have no idea what those words mean ( I do now). She tells me results back in 2 weeks or so.
How I get to my car and drive home is a blur. I cried the whole way.
I have cancer, this was not in the plan.