Hello my fellow Badasses!
I wrote this post at the beginning of September and October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, which tied in nicely with what I wanted to talk about.
Life got in the way and so I’m sharing this now. Spoiler Alert – I’m ok.
This the first part of the story.
Today I had my first appointment and my first experience of a Breast Clinic.
To give you a little background I had been feeling pain in my breasts that was more than the usual pain you might have before or during your period. And uncomfortable as it was, I ignored it. Not very Badass of me I know but I convinced myself it was period related.
Problem is because my contraceptive pill has stopped my periods all together. I have no idea when I’m having what I like to call ‘my phantom period’. So it’s hard to say if the pain was connected to my cycle.
I became a bit concerned about how uncomfortable my breasts felt when I was in bed. I gave myself an exam and while I didn’t find a lump as such my breasts felt lumpy in places. So I made an appointment to see my doctor.
I’ll admit that I became good friends with Google. I must have read every website detailing all the symptoms and probabilities of developing breast cancer. Just dealing with the pain was worrying enough but I really did feel a bit overwhelmed, mostly because I couldn’t find much information on what I should expect from an appointment with a Breast Clinic. I didn’t really know what to expect other than a physical exam.
When I arrived for my appointment I had to fill in a form with my medical history and some family health history – which is its own nightmare for me. My Mum had some serious health problems but she was from a generation where you didn’t discuss that sort of thing. Until earlier this year I knew absolutely nothing about my birth mothers health. (We are estranged, she didn’t raise me).
But earlier this year I found out through a family member that my birth mother was recovering from breast cancer. So as I’m sure you can imagine, I was now hyper aware.
Anyway, after filling in a form (it’s a good idea to make a note of any medications you’re taking so you’re not put on the spot – brain fog is real!) I met the specialist.
The doctor was a man, which I don’t have a problem with but you can ask to see a woman. There was a nurse in the room with us who is a woman so if I’d felt uncomfortable she was there. They are both friendly and that helped put me at ease.
He asked me a few more questions regarding family health history and then I had a short physical exam to check for lumps. He also checked the glands in my armpits, which were just as tender as my breasts. I was surprised at how sore they were, I hadn’t noticed any pain there until they examined me.
Because my breasts were so tender that he decided I shouldn’t have a mammogram at the time. I didn’t know that was an option!
I now have to wait for an appointment by which time perhaps my breasts won’t be so sore. I was told to take painkillers before the mammogram and was assured that if the mammogram was too uncomfortable or painful they could do an ultrasound. I also didn’t know about that before hand.
The specialist wasn’t overly concerned which was a bit of a relief and he thinks my back and neck problems might be playing a role in the pain.
I have a tendency to rush through doctor and hospital appointments. Which means I often forget to ask questions or mention symptoms etc
All in all the appointment wasn’t bad but it did feel a bit rushed. I’m sharing my experience because there’s really not a lot of information out there in terms of what to expect.
I’ll post part two soon!