The title of this post was inspired by blogger Susie who referred to her breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment as ‘my boobs are trying to kill me.‘
Mine thankfully aren’t, but up until about a few hours ago I wasn’t so sure. I didn’t tell many people at the time, but just before we went to Scotland I found a swelling on my left boob and near my armpit that was uncomfortable. There were no definitive lumps or bumps, but I check myself regularly enough to know that something wasn’t right. As we were going on holiday the next day there was little that could be done about it. After we got back, I immediately booked myself an appointment with the doctor, who agreed that it needed to be looked at, and she referred me to the Breast Unit. I’ve waited for two weeks (which was a good thing in one sense as it didn’t seem like the doctor felt there was an urgency needed), and this morning The Bloke and I went along to the hospital so I could get an ultrasound.
I got the all clear – the ultrasound showed that there was no sign of anything sinister, and the consultant said that, while she could see the swelling, she thinks I’ve been bruised by something and it’s taking a little while to heal. She couldn’t find any evidence of infection either, so I don’t need any antibiotics…
I got back into the waiting room and cried all over the very nervous Bloke (although he was desperately trying not to show it, bless him).
The thing is, the last three weeks have been some of the happiest times of my life. We had an incredible holiday in Scotland, got engaged, we’ve been out with friends, done blog reviews on lovely new restaurants and cocktail bars in the city, had an absolutely amazing time in London, with the cherry on top being The Bloggers Bash on Saturday, and all the while I’ve had a horrible nagging question in my mind throughout…
As I was planning some wedding ideas, I was wondering whether we’d have to postpone the ceremony if I needed treatment. At the bash, I was worrying whether I would be too ill to make next year’s. I imagined a potential phone call that I would have to make to my mum, to my sisters, my friends, and the pressure that The Bloke would have if he needed to look after me…
Silly, I know, but despite the fact that I knew deep down that everything was going to be ok, I couldn’t get rid of that tiny voice that was telling me that things were going far too well at the minute, and something was bound to go wrong soon. I’ve had a permanent slight feeling of sickness at the very pit of my stomach.
However, everything is fine, the sick feeling is gone, my whole body feels lighter, and in a strange way I’m sort of grateful that this happened – mainly because it has given me the wake up call that I needed. I’m 34, I’m overweight, my diet is atrocious and my exercise is sporadic. While nobody could accuse me of not living life to the full, particularly over the last year, I think I need to be a little less dismissive of my own health and well-being. It’s given me the smallest insight into what I could lose if I did ever become ill, and how those around me will be affected.
I also had my last cigarette today. I love smoking, but I think it’s got to the point where enough is enough. If anybody sees a mushroom cloud over Birmingham in the next few weeks just ignore it – that will be me, losing my temper as the nicotine leaves my system…
Incidentally, Susie has just celebrated three years cancer free – if you’re interested in reading about her journey you can find her here…
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks
I’ve been cancer free for a year now. It’s a wonderful feeling. I’m glad to hear your incident was a false alarm.
I can’t possibly imagine how scary that must have been, and congrats! A false alarm was scary enough! Thanks!
Listen to your inner voice it is very clever, now count your blessings, go be happy and treat your body well, it has a 24/7 job with never a days holiday.
Absolutely! I often forget that…
So glad everything is OK! Sending lots of bloggy love your way ❤ xxx
great news for you and The bloke!! ❤️
So glad you wrote this. I went through the same thing a few years ago with a mass on my ovary. It was so large and caused so many complications in my body that I was referred to an gynecological oncologist. Had surgery – all benign. No pre-cancerous cells. But I had to go to a cancer ward in a major hospital for post exams which showed me close up – what bullet I dodged. I was so so so lucky. So many people around me weren’t. Sometimes the best possible diagnosis can wake you up on how close you came to the worst diagnosis, and how to move on and take care of yourself.
Wow, what a scary thing you must have been through! So glad everything was ok… I think you’re totally right, it’s about looking at things from a different perspective…
Must have been awful having that hovering over you, glad you’re well and good luck with the lifestyle changes!
Thank you! It didn’t ruin anything, but it was a constant thought in the back of my mind… I’m not looking forward to the angry nicotine cravings though!
No sympathy from me on smoking haha!
I know – I think it’s going to be a lonely journey haha!
Wow, you are incredible brave to endure all in the midst of all the happiness and excitement! There’s much to be admired about you.:) Thank goodness that your doctor gave you the “okay.”
Thank you! I’m so glad all of that’s over now!
It much be an incredible weight off your shoulders! I can’t even imagine..
It’s been a bit scary, but I feel better now!
I’m so glad! 🙂
Glad everything turned out OK for you. Good luck with the stopping smoking. I loved smoking too. I gave up 3 years ago, you have all my sympathy you really do, its far from easy, don’t let the sometimes smug ex smokers tell you otherwise but definitely worth it in the end.
I’ve quit before, but I’ve gone back to it because I didn’t really want to quit. Now, I feel I have to, and feel good about it…
I’m so glad you’ve been given the all clear Suzie. I had a similar scare myself a couple of years back. I blogged about it at the time, and expressed very much the same fear/dread/what-ifs as you’ve done today. It’s an incredibly scary thing to go through… one minute I felt everything would be fine, the next minute I was sure it wouldn’t. Thankfully, I (like you) didn’t have to wait too long to be seen and also got the all clear.
I’m glad it’s all over for you now x
Thanks my lovely! Glad that’s over with!
Very glad to learn you do not have breast cancer, very very glad to know your friend is well.
Suzie, I too understand only too well, having been through a similar ‘waiting/dreading’ experience a few years ago – fortunately, like yours, it ended well. But it’s never a bad thing, to experience that moment of mass re-evaluation of your lifestyle, especially if you know there are things you need to change. Let the experience put the fire in your belly, to look critically at your habits, and ‘do the work’ to change what you want to change. I promise you, it’s worth it. Especially as you have a wonderful event ahead, to focus on. For what it’s worth, you masked your anxiety magnificently at the BB. Nobody would have known what you were dealing with inside. Very glad you are in good health.
Thanks Jools – needed a bit of a kick up the ass I think!
We all do, every now and again. Helps to remind us what’s really important in life.
I’m really glad to hear you’re alright but I know what you mean about the reality check. I’m about to turn 31 and I’ve just realised that my body is not getting any younger. If I don’t start taking care of myself now, I might not get the chance later
Absolutely! I have to start getting myself in shape!
First of all, an amazing post! Secondly, these are the wake-up calls we ALL need. Congrats for giving up smoking. That act alone is worth everything!
Thanks terri! I don’t want to, which always sounds ridiculous to a non-smoker, but i know I have to now so hopefully that may help!
So pleased to hear it’s nothing sinister! You must be so relieved, and the Bloke too. Very stressful xx
I’m so pleased that it was all clear, Suzie. As Rosie mentioned in her comment, your well-being is important as your body never gets a day off. Let that sparkly energy shine xxx
Thanks Shelley! I don’t think there will be much shining over the next few weeks as the nicotine wears off, but it will have subsided by the next bash haha!
Lol, I heard the rumble of thunder earlier – was that you? 😉
It’s a total storm here, so I can’t take all the credit for it haha!
And now for a big sigh of relief….WHEW!
Absolutely! Thanks Scott – how are things with you?
Hanging in there.
I need to catch up on your blog…
Not much there. I rarely post any more.
Sorry to hear that!
It’s alright. The fire just doesn’t burn any more.
There’s a few bloggers I know that have felt like that recently – glad to see that you’re still around on here though!
I’m glad everything was ok. I’m with you on the smoking, I so wish I could stop, I say all the time it will be my last, but the pressures of work and all that. Everyone swears by the e-cigs, but I dunno, I’m not too sure.
Sure if I go off them too we can have venting posts lol
It’s just sooooo good isn’t it Juls? After a crappy day a cig is always brilliant!
I’m so glad to hear it was a false alarm. Mine wasn’t, but I caught it at stage 1. Whew! Yep. They tried to kill me, alright.. Now that they are bionic, I’m enjoying my Wild Ride!
Thanks for the link up and mention!
Very welcome, and thanks for being my inspiration!
Great post Suzie and a difficult thing to share. So glad the news was good. Best of luck on the no fags – you can do it!
Glad all is well. As with so many others here, I also had a similar scare a couple of years ago. Happily all was fine. It does, as you say, really make you think about life and priorities. It’s difficult not to let the everyday grind get in the way of making sure you actually live your life, but it is so important to appreciate the good things. Thanks for the post – it was a reminder that I need to get off my backside and get back in the gym!
I need to get my running gear out again and start doing something productive… I think the couch has been far too comfortable!!
I’m relieved as well that your boobs aren’t trying to kill you. But keep checking for the rest of your life! You never now. And great for you quitting smoking! That’s the best thing you can do. Keep your happy life on a roll!
Thanks Phil – I’m relieved too haha!
Bearing in mind that someone on the Bash committee (I suspect Geoff) came up with BOOBs as an acronym for some fictitious anti-Bash organisation, I was expecting this to be very tongue in cheek. Imagine my surprise…
Anyway, great that all is well, Suzie – and even greater (is that a word in this context?) that the experience has had a positive effect on you. It can seem harsh to say so, but sometimes these experiences are needed. I think I’ve said it to you before, but pain (shorthand for the shitty stuff that hits us) is a great motivator. It sounds like you’re going to take this and use it. If nothing else, I need you to be at the next Bash to take my photo.
I agree – I needed a bit of a kick up the ass and even though it’s been stressful, it’s been a little bit of a wake up call.
I love Susie and watched via social media, her nightmare unfold! Thank goodness she is a fighter and is cancer-free. I’ve had a scare with a benign lump and boy does your mind go all kinds of scary places. Congratulations on your engagement and thank goodness all is clear for you.
Thank you! I started following her blog during her op – so many people had tweeted out about it I wanted to see who she was!
I’m glad you’re alright – I can’t imagine what you felt like but it’s always a reminder to never take the everyday for granted!
Thanks! Yeah it was certainly a little bit of a wake up call! Not something I want to go through again in a hurry!
None is do. I hope something good for you comes from it 😃
So glad you got the all clear Suzie (I had a similar scare myself around 4 months ago) and congratulations on getting engaged! Xx
So glad you’re ok my lovely – ‘scare’ is certainly the right word for it isn’t it!
It really puts things into perspective also, as you mentioned. ✌🏽️💖
❤ glad you're ok. but you know I think that already ❤
Of course! Thanks Sacha x
So glad to hear all is well. It is a stressful situation waiting… Best of luck with quitting smoking. 💖
Thanks Sarah! I’ll certainly keep everyone updated!!
Phew – what a relief but as you said – every cloud has a silver lining if this is putting you on a new path to looking after you health and wellbeing before you really are ‘bitten’. Well done you for taking that last cigarette and I wish you a smooth transition to a lung clear life! x
Thank you Wendy! It would be slightly easier if I didn’t enjoy smoking so much haha! However, I never want to be in that situation ever again!
No you’re right – you definitely don’t! It’s amazing how we abuse our bodies – it took the diagnosis of diabetes a couple of months ago for me to actually take the action necessary to start improving my health – why do we leave it until we are ill (or think we may be)! Thank goodness we’re realising now though – better late than never!!! xx
You’re so right Wendy! Sorry about your diagnosis too!
I’m actually looking at it now as the best thing that could have happened as I was on a ‘self destruct’ mission working very long hours etc. and now I’m having a temporary but ‘extended’ period off work to focus on improving my health so every cloud really does have a silver lining… x
I’m really inspired by your positive attitude!
Ah – thanks Suzie – what a lovely thing to say! x
Very welcome and absolutely true!
I went through something similar in February this year. The ultrasound revealed a cyst so thankfully I was fine but it made me feel sick to my stomach how stressed and worried I was beforehand. Glad you’re ok x
Please forgive the late reply! I’m so sorry about what you experienced and thank goodness everything was fine!!
So glad to hear you are okay. I have been there, had things drained and have had to schedule a surgeons’ appointment. It is very frightening, but you have so much to live for and I am relieved for you. So sorry this has taken so long to respond… my days are now 15 or 16 hours long non stop, taking care of hubby. I am exhausted and reading your words is a like a vacation to me. ❤ Cathi
Hope you’re ok my lovely? So sorry you’re going through all this…
It’s those vows you are about to say… in sickness and health (an clumsiness and falling)… I am exhausted, but okay. This is just a season and hopefully, I will be able to get fodder to write about. Thanks for being you.
Thanks my lovely!
We advocate for changes in breast screening protocols. Really enjoyed your piece of writing.