Up until two weeks ago I was happily getting on with a very busy life. My husband and I have recently moved to a lovely little village in Hampshire and were enjoying living in our new home.
Once the festive cheer of Christmas had gone and we’d waved goodbye to 2014, we decided to make a start on all the home improvements we’d been planning. One of these was making the old separate kitchen and dining room into one big space. Just before the Easter weekend we had taken a couple of extra days off so we could make a start on our next project.
Let me just tell you a little bit about my fab hubby. Darren, also known affectionately as ‘Pats’, is a man of many talents. This is no word of a lie. (By the way he’s nicknamed Pats after the Absolutely Fabulous character by my sister on one of the very first occasions she’d ever met him due to his penchant for champagne!) Now Pats can literally fix almost anything. From computers and electrical gadgets, to plumbing disasters or the many things that I’ve accidentally broken over the years. He recently lovingly built me a new bike out of various parts he procured, he’s made a compost bin for our garden, installed our new water filtration/softener system and as I type, he is currently laying the floor in our kitchen. He is also an amazing chef and I am extremely lucky to be on the receiving end of the many delicious culinary delights he conjures up.
With no DIY job impossible for him, the weekend before Easter Pats had taken it upon himself to knock the wall down between our dining room and kitchen. You know, as you do. I’m a natural born worrier and had to leave the house at this point. Not before repeatedly asking him ‘Are you absolutely sure that’s not a supporting wall?!’
We’d had new carpets laid on the Wednesday and had to move everything from all the bedrooms (which felt like moving house all over again) and whilst they were being fitted, two chaps were plastering our ceiling and walls in the new kitchen/diner. We both worked all day outside in the garden, mowing lawns, raking, weeding and laying mulch in the borders. I was so tired at the end of that day, I literally had to go and lay down as I felt so exhausted. That is not normal behaviour for me! I then ran a nice hot bath to soak away the aches and pains from our hard day’s work.
Whilst washing myself, my soapy hand discovered something I hadn’t felt before. I have to confess, I don’t check myself very regularly at all, but I knew this felt unfamiliar. It felt kind of hard, the size of a marble. All sorts of thoughts came rushing into my head. What on earth was it? Was I imagining it? How long had it been there? Could it be…no, it couldn’t be, it must be a cyst.
After laying in bed a few hours later, I finally plucked up the courage to ask Pats to feel it for me and tell me what he thought. He initially said he didn’t think it was anything and that I probably had something identical on the other side of my body. But as I pointed out that there definitely wasn’t one on the other side as well, he suggested I ring the doctor in the morning and get it checked out.
My doctor’s surgery were absolutely fantastic. I called at about 9am and spoke to the receptionist, at 11am I’d then spoken to my doctor and explained what I’d found and by 11:45 I was sat in the waiting room.
To say I was apprehensive was a complete understatement. I was not only nervous about what he might say, but also at the fact that I had to get my boobs out in front of a male doctor! I know, they’ve seen it all before but that didn’t make it feel any better.
Having only just moved to the area I had no idea whether he would be young or old. Luckily as soon as I got into his office, despite feeling awkward and embarrassed as he was in fact a younger doctor, I immediately saw that his walls were covered in photos of his family and adorned with pretty pictures and paintings that his beautiful children had lovingly made for him. I instantly felt more comfortable.
After a very quick examination, he agreed that he too could feel a lump and reckoned it was roughly 1cm in size. He said it was most likely to be a cyst and that these are apparently very common. He told me that one in four women have them and I think he also said 80 or 90 per cent of all lumps turn out to be cysts.
I felt slightly relieved by these statistics whilst he typed up a referral for me to go to the breast screening clinic at the hospital. He said the clinic was really very good and that they are very efficient in these things.
So off I trotted with the long Easter weekend ahead of me, one I had previously been very excited about, but now felt rather woeful and like a little grey cloud was now following me about.
For more info on what to lookout for and how to check your boobies please see http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-information/breast-awareness/being-breast-aware/changes-look-feel.