Just over four weeks ago, I was having a shower and remembered to give my boobies a check, because HELLO, it’s super important!!
Instead of my usual soft and smooth squishy boobs, I found a hard lump in my right breast.
I must have spent another 10 minutes in the shower desperately trying not to panic and squishing my boobs every which way to make sure I was mistaken. But I wasn’t. There was definitely a lump there.
These are the 10 things that immediately went through my mind.
- Is that actually definitely a lump?!? Maybe it’s not a lump. *poke* Nope, pretty certain that’s a lump.
- What do I do? Don’t panic. There’s no need to panic.
- What if it’s cancer? What if I die? Who’s going to look after J and Mr Bear? (Okay, I panicked.)
- How am I going to tell my mum and dad?
- If it is cancerous, I wonder if there’s an adult version of Make A Wish Foundation so I can meet Tom Hardy and go to Disney World, Florida?
- What if I need treatment? I really want a tattoo, what if I have to put that on hold?
- I wonder if it’s appropriate to go into work tomorrow and whip my baps for my boss to have a look at? (FYI, I work in a cancer clinic, so it’s less weird than it sounds).
- Okay, plan. I’m not going to get my tits out, I’ll make an appointment with my GP first thing tomorrow.
- Right, one more quick check. Shit, yep, it’s definitely still there.
- I think I ought to get out of the shower now and ask J to check if it’s a lump. ( He checked, it was definitely a lump. He also thought I was trying to get him to cop a cheap feel).
The next morning, I called my GP surgery and thankfully got a call back before I’d even left the house for work (Ngl, I didn’t really want to tell the bus about my lump!) Without even having to see me, he referred me to my local Breast Clinic for a consultation under the two-week wait.
While waiting for my appointment, life seemed to come to a grinding standstill. I went to pole class that week, but was acutely aware of every tiny movement I was making. The next day my muscles were predictably aching, especially around my right armpit, so I decided not to go back until it was all sorted.
Luckily for me, an appointment came through a week later and I went along to the Park Centre for Breast Care in Brighton to be checked over by one of their nurse practitioners. She was really lovely and immediately put my mind at ease saying that it was almost certainly a cyst and it’s actually pretty common in women over 30!
To be 100% sure though, she referred me to the Imaging Department so they could do an ultrasound of the lump. Three weeks later I was seen again. The doctor and nurse I saw were incredibly lovely and reassuring 🙂 The doctor said it was definitely a cyst and I got to see it on the screen; it was pretty large!! Then he looked around for any other irregularities but luckily everything was fine.
He then asked if I wanted it aspirated (taking out all the gunk with a fine needle!) It was entirely my choice but I chose to have it done. He also gave me the choice if I wanted a local anaesthetic or not (the choice of two needles or one) but as the cyst was pretty deep, he recommended I took the anaesthetic. I agreed and about 5 minutes later it was all done! It was a little uncomfortable but not exactly painful. I then got to see the procedure being done on the ultrasound screen after it was over and the fluid he’d taken out, it was absolutely fascinating!!
Afterwards I felt a bit tired and by breast was a little sore and bruised but there’s nothing further they have to do as the fluid looked completely normal (no blood in it.) There is a chance I could get more cysts in the future but I can always have them drained again if they get uncomfortable or painful 🙂
Other than the lump, I didn’t have of the other signs of potential breast cancer, but, as the nurse was telling me, so many people have no idea what else to look out for, so I thought I’d share this handy infographic from the Breast Cancer Care website.
My advice is, if you find a lump where there isn’t meant to be one, immediately contact your GP, don’t put it off as leaving it could make whatever it is more difficult to treat. Every year in the UK there will be 55,000 new cases of women being diagnosed with breast cancer (1 in 8) and 550 men.
Do you check yourself regularly? Would you know what to look for? Let me know in the comments below 🙂 x
This happened to me too! I work in medical law so luckily I knew how important it was to get straight to a GP and they were great too. Turned out to be nothing thank god.
Great idea to share this info graphic – doing something early on is SO important! x
It’s definitely important to get it checked out asap, even if you’re scared, best catch it early!
I’m glad you were okay xx
It’s great that you shared this experience for other women to learn from! And I’m glad that it turned out to be nothing serious 🙂 I found a lump when I was 17 and I didn’t get referred to anywhere specialised but the nurse that examined me identified it as severe mastitis. I remember panicking the way you did at first and even got my mum to check!
Thanks Zoe 🙂 Wow, that must have been really scary, especially at such a young age!! xx
I just found your blog….this is such a helpful post. Honest and very informative.
Thanks Ally 🙂
Thank you so much Ally 🙂 xx
Omg Holly what a magnificent post! I had no idea you’d had this scare but I’m so relieved for you that it’s all okay now. I do check regularly as I get quite a lot of random lumps come up around my armpits when I’m run down or having a flare up, which are glands but you need to be sure – I think I’m more aware of my body than most! X
Katie | katiekirkloves.com
Thanks Katie! It’s always good to remind people to check themselves regularly!
I’ll bet you are! X
I’m so glad it wasn’t anything serious! It’s really important to talk about these things to raise awareness and remind us to check, which is what I’ll do today now you’re reminded me!
Thanks Tarnya, I’m glad it’s reminded you to check 🙂 xxx
You’re so brave to put this story out there to help and inspire us all. Thank goodness you’re all clear! I check myself pretty much every time I have a shower and these things are so important to talk about x x
Ellis // http://www.elliswoolley.co.uk
Thanks Ellis 🙂 It definitely needs more awareness as some women (and most men) probablt never check themselves 🙁 xx
So glad you shared this! I have naturally really lumpy boobs which is a right pain as I can never really tell – but I’ve had them checked a couple of times when things have felt odd. It’s always better to be on the cautious side I think! xx
That must be so difficult! I guess it’s just a case of checking all the time to know which lumps are always there and which ones seem new and different xx
Oh Holly, I’m so glad it turned out to be nothing, what a bloomin scary time for you. Thank you for sharing your experience. Sending all the love and hugs your way.
PS. I’ll always look after Bear for you.
Thank you Sharon!! Awwww, you’d have a job trying to take him away from J lol xx
What a frightening experience, and I am so glad that you’re ok. Thanks for sharing the info about checking the boobs – I am guilty of not doing it enough, so going to rectify that!
Thank you Rebecca!! I’m really hoping this post encourages more people to check themselves out 🙂 xx
So glad to hear it is all sorted! It’s great to read other peoples experiences!
Thank you for reading Charlotte xx
That was my theory this time last year …found a lump n think get it checked out. .it’ll be nothing. ..just check and keep checking. .the earlier things are found and dealt with the better!
Exactly, I really hope you’re okay? xx
Having chemo ..which caused heart failure…that’s under control now with the help of tablets ..it really isn’t nice,but I feel ok in myself and am still here which is the main thing
Sorry you went through all that but glad the tablets are helping to keep your heart under control. xx
Thank you for sharing and for raising awareness.
Thank you so much for reading 🙂 x
So glad you got it checked and everything was fine! Thats a great little infographic. Thank you x
Thank you so much and I hope it’s educated people on what to look out for 🙂 x
So glad that it wasn’t anything too nasty! So brave of you to share your experience and hopefully it will make people more aware and to check themselves more regularly!
Also.. maybe slightly inappropriate of me to say, but number 7 really made me chuckle! xx
Thank you so much 🙂 Nope, not inappropriate for you to say at all 😀 xx
So glad you’re okay!!! I’m so glad you got it checked out, love you so much xx
Thank you love, I’m glad I’m okay too 🙂 I LOVE YOU MORE xxx
See I would absolutely lose my mind with worry if it was me. I do check regularly though so I’d like to think anything I find (and hopefully I’ll never find anything) will be caught early enough. But go you for being so brave and I’m really glad it turned out to be okay! x
The thing is, there’s no point panicking until you know what you’re dealing with. Plus I had none of the other symptoms so I was pretty sertain it was a cyst!! I’m so glad you check regularly 🙂 xxx
So glad you’re okay lovely 💜
I found a lump just after I stopped breastfeeding and I went into panic mode, because when you’re breastfeeding you’re boobs tend to get swollen and lumpy so you don’t always spot things. It was really, really painful and tender but I remembered about blocked ducts, and apparently they’re quite common when you stop breastfeeding, scary as anything though.
I’m glad everyone you saw was so helpful and supportive, it makes a world of difference
Oh no, I bet that was awful for you!! I hope everything is okay now? xx
I’m so glad you’re okay! It’s so easy to jump to conclusions and imagine the worst case scenario, but you did the right thing by contacting your GP ASAP. Pleasant clinicians make everything so much easier, even when your mind is going at 100 miles an hour! I’ll definitely be giving myself a more thorough check from now on – and I didn’t realise cysts were common in women over 30, so thanks for the heads up! Xx
Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad it’s making you want to check yourself more often 🙂 xx
Thank you for sharing your experience! <3
Thank you so much for reading xx
Holly I really am bursting with pride with this post. I especially love that you said ‘instead of my usual soft and smooth’ because it’s so important for people to know that they’re not just looking for lumps, checking your breasts regularly let’s you know what’s normal so you can spot differences easily.
I’m so relieved that it was a cyst, and treated quickly. By discussing your diagnosis and treatment you have helped to lessen the fear out of a daunting and confusing time. Well done xxx
Awww thank you so much 🙂 Exactly, the more you check yourself, the more you’ll know what is and isn’t normal for you!!
I’m incredibly relieved too and I really hope it encourages people to check themselves and go and get things seen to!! xxx
Thanks for sharing this post! It’s always good to have reminders to check our bodies for anything that’s out of the ordinary. I’m thankful that it was nothing more sinister for you and that you had a positive experience with seeking help to be able to reassure others – more often than not we just hear the negative stories these days. I hope you’re back to a normal routine with pole dancing again soon!
Thanks for reading 🙂 Yeah, it’s amazing how many people never check anything at all!! I love having friends that I can message and say “I found this thing, is it normal?”
Thank you so much, I’m really looking forward to getting back into it!!
Well done Holly! So great of you to highlight this subject and so pleased to hear it wasn’t anything sinister. I found a lump a few years ago but when the dr checked it she couldn’t feel anything. Felt a bit silly but it’s always best to get checked.
Glad you’re ok. Must’ve have been a terrible time, but what a relief!!
Thank you lovely!! No, never feel silly, it’s always best to get it checked out!! I feel very relieved now, I feel like I could sleep for weeks!! xx
Glad it turned out to be nothing, it’s bloody scary! Hooray for the odd cyst…..weird kind of celebration.
Thanks, I know, it’s a pretty big relief!! Looking forward to seeing if it’ll grow back!!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. X
Thank you so much for reading x
So glad you’re ok, and yes, I think it’s great that you did this post to remind everyone to check.
Thank you 🙂 x
Holly! Your inspirational as ever, you should be so proud of yourself for choosing to share this story with us considering how it could have gone! Your so brave!
The infographic was a great share too, i mean i check but i cant confidently say i would have checked for all of those things.
Great post Holly and im so glad your okay 🙂 ! xx
Thank you Kylie, that’s really sweet 🙂
I thought I’d include it as most people only know to look for lumps and there are a lot of other symptoms to look for too!! Thank you 🙂 xx