On boobs

It’s been a fun few days. I thought my left boob was trying to kill me.

(It wasn’t, you can read in peace).

When you turn 40, the doctors unleash a string of tests on you to check you’re okay. (This is a good thing, I am not complaining). Early in November, I had my first mammogram, which was a bit weird and uncomfortable but fine…and it came back clear. Then, last week, I had the delight of my three-yearly pap-smear (UK – just a regular smear) test. This includes a routine breast examination…and my doctor found a lump.

I’ll tell you something. When you hear the words ‘lump’ and ‘breast’ in one sentence from your doctor, your brain immediately goes ‘lump, breast, cancer, lose hair, might die’. Despite being rational about it in my head, my heart kind of freaked out.

I had a weekend between the consultation and being able to go for an ultrasound to check it out. That’s a long time to not think about dying. Luckily, I had the Dude’s birthday and then his party to distract me and we had a lovely time, but it was always there at the back of my mind.

Not a birthday photo but a very funny Pilgim photo anyway

On Monday, I went for the ultrasound. I went alone, which may not have been the wisest move as once I arrived in the dungeon (basement ultrasound department), I found myself incredibly nervous. First up was another mammogram and this one was considerably more painful. The radiographer took the pictures to the doctor on duty…and he asked for two more pictures. At that point, I thought something very rude in my head.
Two more painful pictures ensued.

Next up, the ultrasound. I was pretty scared now. The lady did some ultra sounding and then went to get the doctor (as is routine) and he came in. When he told me that it was all clear, I felt this enormous weight off my shoulders…and started crying on the poor man.

This blog post may not belong in a running blog…but it’s important to talk about. Did you know that when you check your boobs, you’re supposed to be laid down? A quick soapy prod in the shower isn’t what you need to do! I had no idea. This website has a good suggestion on how to check your girls.

Unimpressive, eh? But healthy!
Unimpressive, eh? But healthy!

So there you go. Officially, I don’t have anything to worry about but I’m still unnerved and I’ll tell you something, I’ll be much more vigilant in checking these days. Once my boobs have stopped hurting from the mammograms (next year, maybe!), I’ll be checking very thoroughly and regularly, and I’d be grateful if you checked yourselves as well. You don’t have to be old (even 40!) to get breast cancer and just being faced with the prospect was enough to make me incredibly grateful for pretty much everything in my life.

Perfect for Thanksgiving, eh?

I’m thankful for my healthy boobs. Even though they’re small, droopy and uneven, they’re not trying to kill me. Thank goodness.

33 Comments Add yours

  1. Glad you are okay. I just spent two years getting mammograms and ultrasounds as they watched my small fibrous breasts do nothing, of which I was very thankful but I truly understand what you went through. In August they gave me the clear to go back to once a year and I was sooooo happy. I think right about now my boobs feel better from being tortured, twisted and at times a little violated but for a good cause. No cancer. 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks so much for telling me this, it makes me feel better. I’m so glad your boobs are behaving themselves too despite the indignity of the manhandling!!! My doc is still certain she felt something so I’m still a little edgy but if I start checking more regularly, that should help. Hugs to you and your boobs too x

      1. I’m sure everything is fine. They looked inside you afterall it was not just the external feel. Hugs to you and your boobs too! Happy American Thanksgiving too.

      2. Cathryn says:

        Good point, that’s comforting. Happy Thanksgiving x

  2. dlubi says:

    So happy to hear all is well! I am so sorry you had to go through that, but really glad you received good care and are so proactive with your health. I know too well how scary that experience of many mammos and ultrasounds can be. I am high risk, so I have been going for screening for almost a decade…So far so good, but each visit is really nerve racking. please call if you want someone to chat with anytime about this! (Emailing phone number now!)

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks so much for sharing this, I appreciate it so much x

  3. Scott says:

    Great news, glad to hear all is well.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks for reading this very lady-centric post and also for commenting. I appreciate that so much.

  4. Glad to hear the news is all good.

  5. Julie says:

    Every woman’s worst nightmare going through that! Glad to hear you’re ok! Stay strong x

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you. I am very grateful for the all clear.

  6. Layla says:

    What a nerve-wracking weekend that must have been! And then the various medical people — I think I would have started crying as soon as they asked for more pictures. I’m so glad you’re okay!!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks 🙂 I did freak out when they asked for more pictures, I thought that was pretty much it! I’m a bit weepy tonight (the champagne’s not helping). Hugely relieved but also thinking of people whose diagnosis was not as perky. My world could be looking very different. Thanks for the lovely comment.

  7. Rachel says:

    So very glad you got good news about your ‘girls’! I went to the docs 7 yrs ago with lumps expecting ‘it’s nothing’ but ended up in LGI in a cold sweat having the same tests. I left the hospital overjoyed to have cysts and aware not all the ladies I’d been sat with would be so lucky. I was told to look for any changes, thanks for the timely reminder to keep checking Cat x

    1. Cathryn says:

      I wasn’t able to meet the eyes of the other ladies around the department. I knew not all of us would go home happy. SO glad you’re okay too.

  8. Erin says:

    Typing while pumping (boob stuff for days!) buuuuuut so happy to read that all is well. I gotta start that mammo stuff earlier because both my mom and grandma had breast cancer (interestingly enough, not because of a genetic mutation — sheer coincidence). Crazy to think how different this could have transpired for you in the absence of technology and modern medicine. Glad you’re ok! Hang in there!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks!! Yes, do get on the mammogram stuff. It’s not much fun (I’m still hurting 24 hours later) but worthwhile. Not jealous of the pumping.

  9. bt says:

    Very very glad to know that all is well!

  10. I’m glad everything is fine. It may not be the regular running blog post but, really, I do like you speak about that kind of things. It’s important and it’s nice to read about it in a “norma” kind of way instead of trying to find out on the internet, just like that.

  11. Paulette says:

    This is so scary – really glad to hear everything is ok. I needed the reminder on doing my own exams too, had no idea about the laying down part.

    1. Cathryn says:

      ME NEITHER!!!! Thanks for helping me feel like I wasn’t the only one!

  12. Ah, who needs that kind of stress! I’m glad you are okay. I’ve had health scares in the past, and even if I was okay in the end, the stress itself could have made me sick! Thank you for sharing and reminding us to be attentive to our bodies.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you so much. Yes it was a bit stressful!! I hadn’t realized how stressed I was until I was told it was all okay and then I couldn’t stop crying for a bit. Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Bean says:

    Ahhh how scary. So sad you had to go through that. I am glad all is well. Boobs are such a pain.

  14. Nic J says:

    Glad all is ok! I know how scary it can be. What I’d probably throw in as my two penn’orth is “know what is normal”. We’re all different, and the key (and this is the same for the chaps and their tackle as well) – know what they should feel like, and then look out for anything that isn’t that; isn’t normal. That may not be flagged when lying down. Mine wasn’t. The GP couldn’t find anything when I was lying down but Keith found it almost instantly while I was stood up. And it’s not just lumps – puckering, wrinkling, staining, unusual pigmentation – Grandma’s was a puckering of skin in a patch. So check yourself regularly and get to know your ‘girls’. The more we know, the sooner we notice what’s normal and what’s not, get it fixed, and the sooner we can have good news stories like this! xx

    1. Cathryn says:

      Good helpful stuff, thank you!

  15. Angela says:

    AHHHH I am so, so sorry you had to go through that!!! How horrible. So glad to hear all is well (in spite of all the smooshing/picture taking). My aunt had a scare a few years ago and I know it was a terrible few days for her. Hugs!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you! Glad it worked out well for me and your aunt. x

  16. Caitlin says:

    I’m way behind on my blog reading but I just wanted to pop in to say I’m so glad to hear that bump was nothing! Thanks for the reminder about being vigilant when it comes to our boobs!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s