I had an appointment at the breast clinic this morning. Not a routine one, I might add, but one that was rushed through. I was told not to worry, but how do you not worry? How do you stay calm and not consider what would happen to your child, your pets, your business if you were suddenly no longer here? I had 2 hours to kill. I stopped pacing the bedroom and looked at my face in the mirror. I didn't look like a woman with cancer, but what does a woman with cancer look like? After all, until you are told that you have it, you don't have it, but you do have it if you get my gist, but just don't know it yet. I looked again at my healthy looking face and experimented with a smile. I could have breast cancer this very moment and not know it.
It all started last May when I found a small pea-sized lump above my breat tissue. Who knows how long it had been there before I noticed it, but not wishing to make it real, not wishing to be neurotic, not wanting to jump to conclusions, I left it to its own devices for a few weeks. It was only when I mentioned it to a friend and she told me the only way to remove my stress was to face it and do it anyway that I took it for a visit to my doctor. He was immediately unimpressed and declared it to be a cyst, not on the breast tissue, and that it would eventually disappear or not depending on its attitude.
Last month I took my pneumonia, then an illness with no name, to the doctor to be identified, and while I was feeling that I was about to die anyway he brought up the subject of the cyst once more and checked it out again. Surprised that it was still there he assured me that there was no cause for alarm but that he wanted a second opinion and fast. Would you start to worry at around that stage?
So here I am, glad to be allowed to live, singing the praises of an amazing NHS breast surgery unit and the incredibly sensitive, friendly and efficient staff there and learning to love my little lump which turned out to be nothing but a fatty deposit, described by the consultant as something similar to a zit! I could have it removed, but I think I'll keep it.