The following blog has been written by Allison Robinson and is all about raising awareness for breast screening (mammogram) and their story.
Whilst holding a letter from Leeds Teaching Hospital (Seacroft branch) asking me to make an appointment for a mammogram, I experienced a sinking feeling.
I’d had such traumatic news in the past from mammograms – gristle discovered, a cyst the size of a collagen bag, benign tumours close to my heart AND THAT’S JUST FROM A MAMMOGRAM. It brought back memories of sitting in a cancer treatment centre, speaking with the loveliest of people whose diagnoses had proven to be so much worse than mine. Seeing their friendly smiling, determined faces. Remembering how caring and eager to help staff were and discussing who I wanted to travel the cancer journey with me if my results were positive.
As I sat at home, the silence of the room took over, only disturbed by the muffled sound of passing traffic outside and the steady ticking of the clock on the mantlepiece, which my daughter had given to me years and years ago. Somehow it all seemed a very reassuring place to be. I knew that I just had to face the music and make the appointment.
I can’t at the moment, remember exactly how I made it but I think I booked it online and within a very short time, possibly days, received an email back to say that my appointment had been booked at a hospital near to my home. So thoughtful of staff because being a Townie I rarely like to visit or drive through city centres and find it very stressful.
Arriving at the hospital, and eventually the clinic, I must admit I half expected to see a computer image of my previous breast biopsy on a computer screen in front of me. It did make me smile as when I described it to my children I could only explain it by saying that it’s like being “respectably stabbed”. You don’t feel a thing but the computer image is showing a straight white line just below my heart. Phew!
It would be untruthful of me to say that a mammogram is comfortable. It isn’t. It’s uncomfortable and no matter how EXCELLENT and quick staff are at manipulating your breasts and body into position for the mammogram it does feel a bit strange being the only topless person in the room! A bit like going to a fancy dress party and finding you’re the only one in fancy dress.
Afterwards, I donned my clothes and left wondering why the clinician was smiling. Did that mean good news, it’s negative, or good news because what is there has been caught in time.
The hardest part about a mammogram is that you don’t get the results straightaway…there and then… “Well – Can you see anything?” I would definitely not like to be a professional working in that clinic!!
When the letter arrived saying that my scans/screens were negative I genuinely took a moment to sit back on my chair and contemplate life, the universe and everything. How fortunate I am to be on what could be such a life changing programme offered by the hospital in Leeds…but then, of course, the moment faded and it was time to move on with my life as I do not have breast cancer and my life is there to be appreciated…Thank you.
Thank you to our guest blogger, Allison Robinson for writing this blog.
The content of this blog has been written by Allison Robinson and is representative of their views not the views of Leeds Cancer Awareness. If you would like to reproduce any aspect of this blog please seek the permission of the blog author.
For more information on breast screening visit, NHS.CO.UK
For information on how to self-check your breasts/pecs visit, Coppafeel.
For signs and symptoms of breast cancer visit, Know Your Lemons.
To view other guest blogs, visit LeedsCancer.com.