What did we do before Google?
When I found the lump (on Wednesday 23 September), my stomach didn’t sink in quite the same way it did when a similar thing happened 26 years ago. At that time, I remember feeling nauseous and faint. This time, I had noticed some changes in my left breast, and was intending to seek medical advice in the coming days. Finding the lump almost felt like a chilling confirmation. I quickly made an appointment to see the doctor – and then I googled!
This was something I have always, adamantly said I would never do. It just goes to show that you never know how you are going to react when “it happens to you”. I spent a silly amount of time on the internet, searching and searching. Firstly, for symptoms and then for different diagnoses and the various types of treatment. The more I searched, the more I realised that my symptoms ticked a few of the “let’s get worried” boxes. And the more I searched, the more I realised that there is a heck of a lot to breast cancer, and so many different strains and types.
It’s odd– I didn’t feel as scared as I imagined I would and the next day or so I felt as if I was on kind of autopilot. My doctor confirmed what I had guessed. There was some “asymmetry” which should be checked out in Bangkok. We dealt with the logistics and other complications and within a few days (2 OCtober) I was sitting chittering in Yangon airport with an anxious J by my side. (chittering – a useful Scottish word for shaking so much your teeth chatter – synonymous for crapping it!)
On the short flight to Bangkok, I settled a bit, munched the inflight whatever it was and filled in our landing cards. A car was waiting for us at the other side to take me to the hospital, so for once I passed on the in flight drinks. No word of a lie – you have no idea how hard that was!!
I knew that I was going to learn in a matter of hours, whether life was about to change. Thanks to Google, I knew that it was likely and I really think that helped to prepare us for the tests and results. And that’s the next bit of the story. Now I am going to rest those twanging lymph nodes and pick up again tomorrow.