Last summer I all off a sudden became very sore at both nipples. After a week or so my breasts also became bigger and lumpy and I called a doctor to explain the symptoms. It was just before a three week holiday and we decided it could wait until I got home. I went away, had a great vacation and after the three weeks had passed my breast were back to normal and I thought nothing of it. Until the soarness came back a few weeks later. I got a doctors appointment the coming week, but since the symptoms had vanished at the time of the appointment and I was busy at work that day, I called and cancelled. Back and forth of symptoms I finally saw my physician in the beginning of January. Had no symptoms at the actual time, but she sent me of to a mammography with the words “let’s take a closer look to see if anything is there, but don’t worry, it’s not cancer since you are experiencing this with both breasts”.
I didn’t worry for one second, and when time was up I got the mammography carefree as ever. Half an hour later the doctor told me there was a shadow at my left breast and she needed to take a biopsy; I still figured it was much ado about nothing. She told me it was probably just some calcium and most likely nothing to be afraid of. Except for not being prepared to be taken samples off, I was still pretty calm about it all. Waste of time and money I thought to myself. I was so sure nothing would show up. After one week I had to come back for more samples. This biopsy took longer time and I had to sit up. I did my best but it had to be called off after some time since I was nearly fainting; this seemed to be standard procedure though. There was no pain, but the sheer thought of being cut into was a bit strenuous. “If there isn’t enough material in the biopsy we might have to take more samples during anesthesia to rule out prestages of cancer” the doctor told me. At that point it sounded like a brilliant idea.
The first shock
I got the result of the last biopsy three weeks later. I was not prepared for the answer; it showed prestages of cancer in all of my breast stretching from the top to the nipple. A full mastectomy was recommended to make sure it never developed to cancer. It was not possible to rule out cancer, but this was considered highly unlikely since the biopsy was done in all of my breast. Furthermore a reconstruction of the breast and surgery on the healthy breast was recommended, because of my age. It was difficult to get my head around all this information and I spent the following week seeking information and support from my surroundings and online.
One boob down
Pretty soon it was clear to me that I wasn’t at all upset by loosing the breast and that I did not want a reconstruction. We settled on a date some weeks later. I was so happy at that point; only prestages of cancer, it was found by pure luck and I did not have cancer. I would not have to face any other treatment than the surgery and on top I would get to experience a flat chest. Surgery went smooth and easy. Got home the same day and was somewhat tired but feeling happy and relieved. Was excited to see the scar, feeling my new flat chest. In the beginning I was just tired, but after a week I started to feel nauseous and my chest was full of liquid and tense. It was a staphylococcal infection which required 20 days of penicillin and a drain to be battle down.
The cancer verdict
At this point I was just anxiously awaiting the results from surgery. I was scared that not all of the prestages had been removed and I would need more surgery. I went to the hospital on the 20th of April and after recapping the course of my illness the physician came to the point. A 6 mm tumor had been hiding behind the nipple. Small amounts of cancer cells had been found at one lymph node. Recommendation: chemotherapy. For the second time in a short time span I got news I wasn’t at all prepared for.
Chemotherapy will start on Monday the 8th of May and will last for 18 weeks. Writing this I’m enjoying 7 days holiday before the big C starts, keeping my head positive. It is scheduled for 4 months, ending mid september. I’ll receive 12 batches of chemotherapy in total.