They poked and prodded. They rolled and squeezed my boobs between the cold hand of the NHS, they smeared gel over them. They even drew on them with a felt tip pen. Apparently, it’s not cancerous, so they sent me back to my GP. What they didn’t do was a) mammogram b) biopsy c) MRI scan to check what was going on in my boob.
I’m not convinced, given that they did neither a mammogram nor a biopsy nor an MRI. Here’s what happened:
Doctor (that I was referred to by my usual doctor): “There’s definitely an unusual lump there. Are your periods regular?”
Me: “Well, I was pregnant until December so they haven’t settled down yet.”
Doctor: “So you have just the one child or more?”
Me: “I don’t have any children.” (no interest in wasting stranger’s time explaining something unimportant to the task at hand, or explaining myself to them)
…….long passive aggressive silence while doctor decides what to make of that.
Doctor’s tone and demeanor changes.
Doctor: “I’ll put you in for an ultrasound but I think it’s normal.”
Ultrasound lady: “I can’t find the lump. They don’t always show up on ultrasound especially at your age because the tissue is quite tight. I’m going to send these results back to the doctor who just saw you, she will decide how she wants to proceed.”
Same Doctor as Before: “Ultrasound showed everything’s fine, you can go home, it’s just normal breast tissue.”
Me (thinking, “well it was normal breast tissue for the last 28 years why do I suddenly have a lump? And why is that totally NOT what ultrasound lady said?” but too flabbergasted to actually say this). “Um… right.”
So I went straight back to my GP and she was shocked but said since it’s become painful over the last week, it could be an infection in a blocked milk duct, so she’s given me a prescription for antibiotics. 4 times a day. Because if it’s an infection it’s now gone on for a very long time. She actually couldn’t believe they sent me home like that and she’s referred me to a genetic clinic.
If the antibiotics don’t get rid of it, I’m camping out at my doctor’s surgery until they properly look into this. There are so many horror stories of this happening to women my age due to our public healthcare system in the UK (seriously, google “breast lump didn’t show up on ultrasound” or “breast lump didn’t show up on mammogram” to see), and those same women then end up with much more advanced cancer than they would have had otherwise. I’m not reassured in the slightest. The GP says if it doesn’t go away she’ll look into a re-referral. Great, I can see angry fundamentalist cancer doctor again. I just wanted to scream at the cancer doctor, “It’s not my fucking fault I couldn’t stay pregnant.”
So today I had to bankrupt myself to pay for the prescriptions between the ones they gave me from the allergy department last week and the one I’ve just had to get, and I’m a little bit miffed about this when I consider how much money I’ve had to spend on petrol and the fact that my husband had to take yesterday afternoon off work to come to the hospital and he has a job interview today. And all the stress this has caused us. Who the hell needs this crap?
Oh, and since I’m ranting, our neighbors decided 12:30 in the morning was a good time to start playing very loud banging music for several hours. Y’know, when my husband has a job interview at 8:30 this morning.
I’m in two minds about whether to go round and speak to them or not. Given the fact this has now been going on for 3 years, I’m thinking it’s not worth bothering.