About a week or so ago I found what felt like a swollen lymph node in my 'good' armpit. Between then and Thursday night this week I'd convinced myself it was cancer. That the recent mammogram had missed something in my good boob and that it had spread to my lymph nodes and that was what I was feeling. I'd prodded and poked the poor thing until it was sore, earning me the nickname 'node basher' by my friend Aimee. As what normally happens when any of us are in a panic about anything cancer related, Sarah, Aimee and myself had been talking that evening about my node with them trying to calm me down as much as is possible over Facebook messenger.
After a sleepless night I decided to rock up at the breast unit without an appointment on Friday morning first thing and beg them to take pity on me. Within half an hour I'd seen my surgeon and been sent for an ultrasound. Whilst waiting for the scan, my plastic surgeon's registrar walked past and stopped to talk to me at which I promptly burst in to tears. The last time I saw her I also cried - not anything to do with her I might add as she is incredibly lovely.
The radiographer who carried out the ultrasound was the same one who also scanned another armpit node and my tumour in October. Poor woman must think I have an obsession with nodes. In the 30 seconds she was silent as she scanned my armpit, I'd imagined that I had cancer in my nodes, that I'd need a CT scan and I'd be told it had spread elsewhere in my body and I was going to die. However, she told me that there was nothing suspicious, just a normal innocent looking node just minding it's own business, hanging out being all lymphy. After asking her to check and check again, I could have cried with relief.
I cannot fault the level of care I received yesterday. I turned up in a state without and appointment and they made time to see me, check me and reassure me and I was out within an hour and a half, albeit feeling like a bit of a wally. I can't help wondering where strong, together Rebecca has gone? I had it all worked out, I was dealing with this. Now I feel like I've regressed several months and am back to thinking every ache and pain, every lump and bump is cancer. I know it is a genuine and legitimate worry and one I will live with for the rest of my life (however long that will be) but I feel like I'm in a constant state of anxiety (or Canxiety) at present. I need to learn how to control it and get back to being the person I was a month ago before it takes over my life. As the great founder of the Younger Breast Cancer Network says, why borrow tomorrow's sorrow?