I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I had breast cancer eight years ago. It is one challenge I hope to never have to repeat again. However, recently I found a tiny lump in the same breast. Of course, I am feeling anxious and I am propelled back to eight years ago and hoping history is not repeating itself. It would terrify me to go through it a second time. Back then I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction to prevent a recurrence. I also had the whole shebang of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I take Tamoxifen daily so I have done everything I can to prevent a recurrence. Or have I? Maybe my lifestyle could be better! At my annual review in October everything was normal so hopefully it still is. I’ve seen my oncologist and he reassured me after a physical examination that it is nothing sinister. Reassurance reigned for all of a day! The quiet voice of my intuition is telling me I need to have it removed to be sure. And lately I have been feeling drained and increasingly uneasy so I think it’s time I listened to the messages my body is sending me regardless of what professionals are telling me. I had expected the breast clinic would see me without a referral from my GP as I am already their patient, but not so. Aw don’t you just love systems! When I hadn’t received an appointment from the breast clinic after a fortnight I gave them a ring to chase it up. They had no referral from my GP so I am stuck in limbo. It turns out my GP has forgotten to refer me. I know to err is human and to forgive divine but I am not feeling very divine at the moment. To make matters worse my GP is off for two days and the other doctor in the practice refuses to refer me as she doesn’t have enough information. What more information could you possibly need other than, “I’ve had breast cancer in the past and now I’ve found another lump!!” Her reply, "two more days would hardly make much difference." Maybe not to her! I never realised it would be such a battle to be referred especially in light of my history. It is easy to be positive when everything is going well but it is a struggle when life throws you a curve ball and you are not sure how to catch it. Worry and anxiety would love to take over and play havoc with my mind. But it’s at times like these that I must not forget all I’ve learnt in the past eight years. All those self-help books, meditation, living in the moment; now is the time to put them to the test and practice what I preach. I will focus on the good happening today and try not to project on what may or may happen in the future. But I’m not saying it’s easy!
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