I found a lump in the middle of July and that gave me a bit of a scare so I went straight to my doctors and they immediately sent me on to the clinic for further tests. That got scary quickly because they did a mammogram and then came down and asked me to do another scan and then they wanted to do a biopsy. I was getting worried at this point.
We came away from the appointment not sure how to feel because we kept thinking that statistically it was more likely that a lump wasn’t cancer. But it is hard to push the worrying thoughts away.
Then on 30 July we went back and I told my partner to relax and wait outside the room. I said I would only call him in if it was bad news. When I went in, there was another woman there, she was smiling in a nice blouse. Then they moved me to another room with flowers and tissue boxes in it, and I thought ‘oh sh*t’. Then they told me it was cancer and the woman with the blouse introduced herself as Lisa, my Macmillan nurse. From that point she was with me every step of the way and she was an incredible source of support. She was a human bridge between the hospital and me.
I think the whole feeling was surreal really. I struggled to process it. I think I still haven’t. I can’t really see myself under the banner of ‘cancer patient’.
Lisa, my nurse, gave me some great advice on the first day. She said, ‘This is your cancer and it is no-one else’s. You will have people who will want to tell you their experience and their life and make it match yours. Don’t let it. This is your journey.’ That was, in hindsight, some of the best advice I could have had.