This all happened to me in September 2021, Thursday before the Bank Holiday weekend.
I woke up during the night with a strange premonition that I should check my breasts for lumps.
After, I went out to the bathroom & found a smallish lump on the top half of my right breast. I told myself to keep very calm and to be both realistic & positive. Then, I returned to bed, where I lay awake for the rest of the night.
Nervous and questioning
When morning came I returned to the bathroom & asked my husband to feel my right breast & to tell me what he felt. My husband’s face was nervous and questioning when he replied, “I can feel a lump”.
I was downstairs at the telephone by 8:00 am when my Medical Centre opens. This was to phone & request a telephone consultation with one of the GPs. One of the senior GPs telephoned me at about 8:30 am and I explained what I had found and asked if I could see a GP very quickly.
He told me that he wanted me to see one of the female GPs and asked if I could come into the Surgery at 9:00 am. I agreed.
At 9:00 am I saw a female GP who listened to me and examined me. She said she would refer me to the Breast Clinic in High Wycombe. As a result of this, I should be prepared to be called in for a mammogram at any time. Therefore, to stay at home today, just in case I was contacted.
Breast clinic in High Wycombe
I telephoned the Breast Clinic every day to ask whether they had had any cancellations after the Bank Holiday. When I phoned on Thursday, the Breast Clinic told me that they had a cancellation for 3:00 pm that afternoon.
Everything about my appointment ran smoothly. I was at the Clinic for about 3.5 hours. I was asked to fill in forms between each separate meeting with the various Health Care Professionals.
My first appointment was with a Radiologist who did a mammogram of both breasts. The Radiologist told me that she could not see anything that worried her.
The second appointment was with a different Radiologist who did an ultrasound on my right breast. I was advised that she could only detect “normal breast tissue”. I told her that both my GP & I had felt a lump. She asked if she could examine me. As a result of this, she said that she was almost certain that what she was seeing on the Ultrasound was a Lipoma (a harmless fatty lump).
I told her that she had “Made my day, no, my year”!
Mammogram of both breasts
My next appointment was with the Sister running the Clinic, who also examined me. She concurred with the diagnosis that the Radiologist had made.
My fourth appointment was with a Consultant who also examined me. The Consultant also agreed that this was a Lipoma. He told me that I had done exactly what I should have done & he cautioned me that if I ever found another, similar lump, that I should never dismiss it as “just another lipoma”. The consultant said that I should act exactly as I had done and go through precisely the same process in order to ensure that another lump was not cancerous.
I am a London trained qualified nurse to the Sister level. Therefore, I understand completely the stresses placed upon the NHS during these past two years with the COVID-19 pandemic. I have worked in both acute & chronic disease areas during my professional working life.
My experience left me feeling that this was the NHS at its very best. Everything ran smoothly, each separate appointment that I had left me feeling that the next healthcare professional I saw had a complete understanding of my previous appointment. Each professional re-examined me. Therefore, I felt that nothing clinically had been overlooked or ignored. Everyone was working together & the whole appointment was thorough and reassuring.
NHS at its very best
I could not have been seen faster or examined more thoroughly, even if I had paid for a private consultation.
I would like to say both thank you & well done to everyone for this very positive experience.
Published on 21 Sep, 2021