101 Different Names For Boobs – What Do You Call Yours?

My boobs are called Ant and Dec

Not because they are different sizes but because I love them, just like I love the boys.  There has been many occasions when I have tried to squeeze into a black cocktail dress and Ant and Dec have been screaming at me “I’m a celebrity I’m falling the hell out of here,” or at least that’s what it looked like.

In other words my boobs have been a big part of my life. So you can imagine my horror when on the 5th of June this year I found a lump in my right boob.  I check regularly and I can’t stress enough BE BREAST AWARE, it has saved my life.

To cut a long story short

As soon as I felt the hard lump in my right breast – I made an appointment to see my doctor straight away on the 6th June.  I was fast tracked to one stop clinic , where I had mammogram, ultra sound and Biopsy, however the Consultant said that looking and the mammogram and Ultra Sound he was 99% sure that it was a cancerous lump.  However, he advised that the lump looked contained and the fact that I had acted straight away once finding the lump he believed that a lumpectomy and Radiotherapy was all that was needed. I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer on the 16th June, no grade so I was booked in and had my lumpectomy on 23rd July which was to be followed by 3 weeks of Radiotherapy – no worries I thought.  I went on holiday the following week to Portugal, I just needed to keep out of the sun and not go into the water.  I returned on the 7th August and saw my consultant on the 8th, expecting to be told when my radiotherapy would start.  This was not the case, I was told that the margin round the lump was “close” and they needed to take more tissue to be sure and they also found cancer cells in one of my lymph nodes they removed.   This meant that I needed another lumpectomy and the removal of most of my lymph nodes and some glands, followed by 6 treatments of Chemotherapy and then 3 weeks of Radiotherapy.  I’m pleased to report that when they removed the other lymph nodes no cancer was found.   I did get rushed back into A&E 7 days after my surgery with an abscess in the wound and I then developed cellulitis.

The biggest hit in the stomach for me was the words CHEMOTHERAPY.

I of course asked why I needed this as my cancer had been removed and had not travelled into the lymph nodes.  It was explained very well saying that this is for prevention and as they don’t have a microscope that can see inside me then they can’t be sure if a cancer cell has escaped and if it has could attach itself to another organ – therefore the Chemotherapy gave me the best chance to kill everything off.  This was then a no brainer for me.

Two things hit me hard – I now had to explain to my 12 year old son – as previously I just said that I have found a lump in my breast and it had to be removed. However now that I was going to have Chemotherapy I need to explain to him that mam had cancer but it’s all gone and she needs this treatment to make sure it doesn’t come back.  He was very positive and said I was a strong person and my hair would grow back.

The second thing was the thought of losing my hair and all the side effects of the Chemotherapy.

Ethel Armstrong With The First Screening Van
Ethel Armstrong with the first screening van

Everywhere I looked, everything I read was so negative about Chemo, so I believed everything. However, my experience so far has been on the whole positive and that is why I started to write my Blog – to encourage and help other people facing the choice of having Chemotherapy or Not.

My friend organised a Breast Cancer day to raise money and I learned that the lady I have sat next to on many occasions, in the Hairdressers  is none other than Ethel Armstrong (MBE). Ethel was one of the pioneers responsible for starting the Breast Cancer Screening Units and at the age of 88 Ethel is still heavily involved in the NHS and she is a true inspiration.

Clare Ethel
Me and Ethel

I have had my second round of Chemo and feeling great

I am doing phased return to work, where I work at home and visit customers only when required and if I’m able.  To be honest work is keeping me sane lol.  I would love people to read my blog and get something out of it.

Further Reading

Ethel Armstrong receives MBE for seven decades of service to the NHS

Breast Cancer Gift Ideas

How To Support Someone Going Through Chemo: Easy and Not So Easy Tips

Thoughtful Breast Cancer Gifts

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