It started with and itch - 'who ever thought it would come to this'


(Credit: The cradle rocks)

To begin my blog, I thought it best to explain how my breast cancer story started.

I first became aware of my lump in the wee small hours of Tuesday, 17 August 2021. I had stayed up late watching television when I felt an itch on my right boob.

Absently scratching then consciously alert, I could feel a definite swelling beneath the outer edge of my nipple. It was about an inch long, half an inch wide and shaped like a mint Humbug.

Although surprised, I wasn’t overly concerned because nine years earlier, I had developed a cyst in the same breast and just assumed this was another.

Breast cysts

As far as I understand, breast cysts are benign (non-cancerous) lumps that develop naturally with age and are often due to hormonal changes. They range in size, and are generally just harmless capsules filled with a yellowish fluid called keratin.

This was explained to me back in 2012 by a consultant breast surgeon who had aspirated my cyst with a fine needle syringe.

Yet something in the back of my head niggled. Something about the consultant also saying that cysts tend to move when manipulated. This lump, however, felt firmly attached.

Despite it being past two in the morning, I woke my husband, William, and asked him to have a feel. He did, and all I remember him saying was “Jeeze.”

A few days later, I managed to get an appointment at my GP surgery and was examined by a young, female doctor who briskly kneaded my breasts as if they were dough.

She said, “I don’t have X-ray eyes to see what that is,” so made an urgent referral to the breast clinic at my local NHS hospital.

At the time, I just thought this was normal for people with breast cysts. But as you’ll find out in my next post, it was because she suspected I had breast cancer.  DOH!

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