Fear in the genes!

My family history of breast cancer is not a great one, my maternal side have numerous cases in just one generation.

My maternal grandmother died from ductal breast cancer that had spread to far by the time she had gone to the doctor. My mother thankfully had early screening and one of these scans picked up her ductal breast cancer – after a lot of treatment and a double mastectomy she now has her all clear. And three of my mum’s sisters have had cancerous lumps removed from their breasts and chemotherapy.

Well this does not bode well for our mainly female next generation. It is something we have all been very aware of and we have all been taught how to check our breasts and look for signs of any problems.

At 25 years old I discovered a lump, fear gripped me and although I tried to convince myself it was nothing I could only think of the worse. I booked a doctors appointment under the guise of a sore stumped toe, which the doctor saw through straight away, she examined my breast and referred me to the hospital breast clinic. My hospital appoint was within a few days, I told myself this would be the last appointment there would be nothing to worry about and i was just being silly. The doctor examined my with a bunch of student doctors in to watch – ever so slightly embarrassing sitting there with no top on in front of four young male trainees, but they have to learn somehow! She referred me for a scan the next day, just to add to my fear, what happened to it being nothing?!  I had the scan and the doctor showed me the dark lump on my breast, he took a biopsy then and there – I was assured my result would only be a few days. Thankfully after the several scary appointment I had the great news that the lump was benign.

I still needed the lump removed and my surgery was booked in for a few weeks down the line. It was performed in day surgery, I went in first thing in the morning and was allowed home by late afternoon. The surgery left a 2 inch scar on the upper side of my left breast, at 25 years old that was hard to deal with, but it was far better than what could have been.

I have religiously checked my breasts ever since.

With the birth of Little Bebe I have been breastfeeding and checking my breast is virtually impossible, I am lumpy and bumpy all the time. I know that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, another great benefit from doing this amazing thing. Unfortunately I have had some concern recently as I have had a rash and dry skin around my breasts, I have seen the doctor who has assured me it is dermatological. On the visit to the doctor I explained my concern due to family history and he passed my history to the hospital. 

I have received my appointment at the hospital and it is tomorrow! The letter states no details other then the date and time of the appointment with the genetics department. I know that genetics handle the screening for the BRCA faulty gene and know that it can mean a very hard decision about preventative surgery. I also know I do not really know anything until I have been to my appointment but my mind is racing despite my attempts for it not to, so a sleepless night lay ahead of me.


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