Today, February 4th 2016, is World Cancer Day.
My name is Lesley Burdett and today I don’t have cancer, specifically Breast Cancer. I know this as yesterday I attended the Brighton Breast Clinic for tests into a lump that appeared in my left breast during the back end of 2015. A visit to my doctors mid January lead to my referral to the breast clinic and the two week wait for my appointment felt like a lifetime. My head was filled with what if’s and I mentally prepared myself to accept and deal with any diagnosis given. I felt I was in the known bracket for breast cancer. I’m a mum of three and breast fed all of my boys, I have been on the pill for many years on and off, I am a smoker and am the wrong side of 45. The only thing I had in my favour, is there is no history of breast cancer in my family.
An early arrival at the clinic saw an initial examination and I was sent to have a mammogram and ultrasound. The mammogram was pretty uncomfortable if I am honest. I am not endowed with huge bazookas so having to squish my little boobs into the perspex sandwich instruments, did make light of the situation. An ultrasound followed soon after and after a few mins of checking and the machine beeping, the doctor said “You have a cyst in your left breast, would you like me to drain it?” “Oh yes!” was my reply. The relief I felt lying in the darkened room was immense. The cyst was drained within minutes and hurt no more than a blood test. The doctor was happy with colour/look of the fluid which was drained and it will be sent off for testing as a precaution. A follow up chat post ultrasound with the original doctor, confirmed that over the next few years, I may be susceptible to further cysts and I should contact my own doctor if this happened. I thanked the doctor and praised her and the staff for how well and how quickly they had dealt with me. Thank god for our NHS.
I actually type this post with some guilt as I have two good friends who have recently battled with breast cancer, mastectomies, chemo and radiotherapy, you know who you are, as well as other friends who have battled cancer in the past. I know I have been lucky on this occasion so I want to take this opportunity to ask you and all my friends, female and male, to take a moment at some point today to check your bits and bobs. It just takes a minute and could save your life.
Finding a breast lump has also helped me find the strength to give up smoking again so I am like a bear with a sore head at the moment but know it’s in mine and beautiful family’s best interests. I’d like to thank the very small group of people who knew about my boob lump for their concern and love and a very special shout out to my man Dave for being there for me.
Take care out there and my thoughts go to anyone battling Cancer right now #fuckcancer
p.s. Do you know how hard it is to write on your own boob?!
p.p.s. If you are offended by my post’s photo then go bite yourself #freethenipple