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  • Caroline Burnish

It was a whirlwind of appointments and tests!

2020 was supposed to be the start of a new chapter for myself and my husband. I’m 43 and we have

three children aged 19, 22 and 25. It was going to be a great year. We’d just sorted our finances and the

children were old enough to look after themselves.



Then in mid January I found a lump. A friend at work had enlarged lymph nodes which turned out to be

nothing but it made me check myself. It was just a pea sized lump in my right breast. I'd had a cyst

about 10 years previously but this didn’t feel like that. I saw my GP and she also thought it was a cyst even

though I had my doubts. She referred me via the two week wait referral system and I got an

appointment at the beginning of February. I actually wasn’t that worried and the appointment at the

clinic was fine until the consultant said they weren’t sure what it was. He initially examined me and said

he thought it was cyst and I had two mammograms and then an ultrasound and a biopsy. I went back to see the consultant and he told me I was borderline for cancer and that the results could go either way.


So then it was a waiting game. I was to go back in 10 days. That was the longest 10 days of my life! Very little sleep and so much worry.

Results day arrives and I’m so nervous, very glad my husband could come with me at that point. It was

the news we were dreading. How could this be? I have breast cancer. It was all a bit of a blur after that

in the appointment. The nurse talked through next steps – probable lumpectomy and then radiotherapy

and tablets. Ok, I can do this. I was appointed my own breast care nurse who I could ring at any time.

And I was to have an MRI in the next week. Why did I need an MRI?

Now we have to tell family. We had warned them I had a lump previously. It was so hard telling our

children as they were old enough to know what it means.

Soon after I had