Day 16 #LivingWithLobular

My name is Caroline and I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular breast cancer in April 2021 at the age of 53.

My story is a little different as I found a lump and it was a big one. I was in bed, reading my text messages and the phone fell on my chest and I must have put my hand on my left breast, that’s when I felt the lump.  I was not too startled at the time as I had a large cyst drained from under my right arm 10 years previously.  It was my twin who pushed me to make the appointment with my GP that day.  I had the mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy same day, I knew that day as I said to the radiologist is it a cyst? He said with a poker face NO. 

I had a mammogram when I was 50, was due the second one the year of covid which didn’t happen.  I will always wonder if I had a mammogram in that year would it have show up?  I can’t understand either how my lump was so big, it’s like it came out overnight. 

I had surgery first, my breast surgeon repeated several times how lucky I was as this type of cancer rarely forms a lump.  She said the tumour was about 3cm and they had seen another smaller one.  I was asked if I wanted to wait until a biopsy of the smaller tumour was done and maybe I could have a lumpectomy.  I said no I will have a masectomy.  As it turns out after my MRI scan, they found a third one and the surgeon said I made the right decision.  After surgery results came back the tumours were a total of 8cm. I was so shocked as you can imagine.

I went and googled all the cancer chat websites and anybody with smaller tumours I would not read as I felt so terrified and could not find many people who survived many years with Invasive Lobular Cancer and I realised at that point there was very little information available. 

The first time I found out I had Dense Breasts was the day I was diagnosed.

After surgery, I had eight rounds of Chemo and 5 sessions of radiation followed by hormone therapy. 

I’m doing well, I am gone back to the eighties with my new permed hair look.  I still have my dark days, but I am reminded through meeting a few young ladies and them with young children how I was fortunate to have my two boys in their teenage years before Cancer hit

The lessons I pass on are, just because breast cancer is not in your family doesn’t mean it can’t begin in yours.  I am the first in mine, my family history begins with me and so could yours. Get a full length mirror and look at yourself, learn to know your own body, what’s normal and watch for changes. Be your own best Advocate.

As my surgeon said a huge percentage of Breast Cancers are self diagnosed by patients presenting with lumps or changes in breast skin, way more than diagnostics.

For me life is changed for ever, there are no more certainties. Trying to make peace with my mind, is in my opinion, sometimes harder than the treatment itself.

I’d like to thank the ladies within Lobular Ireland for all the hard work they do in getting this information out to everyone.

%d bloggers like this: