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Breast Cancer Care 2015

37

Get checked!

This blog is actually from January 2014 but I felt I should re share my experience for Breast Cancer Care 2015.

I didn’t really blog in January because I was going through a personal issue.

Normally I am a very private person but I’ve decided I’m going to share my experience with you. I’m not doing this because I want attention, I don’t, I’m sharing this to help others, raise awareness further and let you know that the outlook might be better than you initially think.

I found a new lump in my left breast three months ago.

Breast cancer affected my grandma and she’s no longer with us, needless to say even at my age I was worried. I rang my best friend Dr Emma, who reassured me and prepared me for the action I should take.

The advice was to leave it for one month to see if it settles down, sometimes we have changes monthly, it didn’t, in fact it grew. I saw my GP, who checked it, confirmed it was definitely a lump and referred me to a two -week breast care clinic.

The clinic phoned me up within days and booked me in at a local hospital for a week later. A week seemed more like a month. My best friend kindly accompanied me to the clinic where I was checked in and given a plastic basket for clothes and asked to remove the clothes from the top half of my body, including underwear.

The consultant, who was male, saw me and checked the lump from various angles, sitting, lying down and asked various questions about my health, lifestyle and family history. My friend and a female nurse were present throughout, this reassured me. Unfortunately, because it was close to Christmas there wasn’t a radiologist present so no other examinations and scans could take place. The consultant felt I should have both a mammogram and an ultrasound to be certain.

I was re-booked into a larger hospital, a few weeks later where I underwent the same procedure with a senior female consultant this time. I had a mammogram, which was nothing like I expected. A friendly nurse physically manipulated and angled my upper body into the correct position with my breast on top of a clear shelf-like plate.

The machine then started up and squashed my breast compact between two plates, which is fairly uncomfortable, before an image could be attained. This was repeated for both sides. Then there was some more waiting before the consultant checked the images and discussed the findings. Due to the density of my tissue nothing could really be seen, an ultrasound was necessary to get clearer images.

I lay on a bed whilst lubricant jelly was placed over the area for smooth manoeuvring of the equipment. As it was happening the doctor verbalised what she could see on her monitor and angled the screen so I could see. Unfortunately she wasn’t happy with what she saw, describing the lump as ‘abnormal looking’. I was very surprised that she insisted I have a biopsy there and then.

This involved collecting three samples of cells with a tube like needle under local anaesthetic whilst using ultrasound to get the exact right place, it didn’t hurt but wasn’t pleasant. After I was told that everyone has to be given their results in person and that it may take up to two weeks.

The longest two weeks passed.

A fortnight to the day later, with bruising still present, I went back to see the consultant who thankfully broke the news that the lump wasn’t cancerous.

I’m so pleased I took immediate action, please don’t be afraid to do the same, it’s very important we tackle these issues head on with urgency.

I’d like to thank my friends for their positivity, especially Ali Keenan at work who constantly reassured me. I’m sure many of you have been through this or will do in the future, know that you are never alone. I guess the message of this blog is: Get checked!

For more information visit the Breast Cancer Care website online. QVC is an active supporter of this charity and so am I. Also take a look at our Breast Cancer Care page.

Best,

Chloe

37 Comments

  1. Sarah Wise February 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    I’m glad to hear everything is fine for you, and admire you for being so honest about such a scary experience. I think younger women need to be more aware that they can get breast cancer. My 32 year-old daughter was diagnosed last year, and has since had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She’s getting better, but it’s been a difficult time. The important thing as you say is to go straight to the doctor if you have any concerns. Treatment is getting better all the time. X

  2. Chris Page February 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Chloe
    Glad it’s worked out fine for you. I noticed a swelling in my left testicle late last year, and I’m going in on the 24th to have it drained. It’s something I had in the other one several years ago. Like you I had an ultrasound and there was nothing else untoward there – which I was worried about, but pushed it to the back of my mind.
    Hope you don’t get any more frights like that in the future.
    Chris xx

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 5:54 pm -  Reply

      Glad to hear you are okay too. Always best to get checked x

  3. Joan Scott February 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm -  Reply

    Oh Chloe, my friend has gone through exactly the same as you in the last few weeks. Her lump is also a non cancerous cyst. Great news for you both but the stress and strain must have been enormous. Well done you for coming out of your comfort zone and letting people know about your experience. It is so good to raise awareness and to encourage folk to get things checked out.
    Take care of yourself and you can start to smile again and to enjoy every day.
    X

  4. Chocobicki February 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm -  Reply

    Chloe
    Thanks for sharing your story as it makes us all aware of the necessity to get any changes in our breasts checked out.
    I am glad that your issue was not cancerous and hopefully that you are on the mend.
    I look forward to seeing you on our screens soon, as I find your presenting style fun and enlightening.
    All the best.
    Donna

  5. Anna February 5, 2014 at 9:08 pm -  Reply

    Awesome post – and to the point. I don’t normally add comments, however on this occasion is an exception. My sister in-law went through the same process as you, unfortunately for her the lump was cancerous and she had it removed followed by chemo etc. At the time, it was my brother who fell apart, as if he had his arm cut off (not that he would ever admit it!) What got her/them through it, was a sense of humour, determination and FAMILY/FRIENDS. Without them you start to lose the battle before you have begun.
    Glad your ok, positive message that will reach so many people.
    Take care
    Anna

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 5:56 pm -  Reply

      It is always terrible for all those going through it especially those who get a bad diagnosis. Glad you all pulled together. A sense of humour helps because sometimes if you don’t laugh you cry! Xx

  6. Eileen Archibald February 6, 2014 at 6:54 pm -  Reply

    Chloe, many thanks for sharing your experience and so glad you had a great result. I think young people think it can’t happen to them but it can. Mammograms are a very important piece of equipment for woman but I always think they were designed by man to upset woman….. Take care and keep checking.

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Eileen!

  7. e clarle February 7, 2014 at 7:05 am -  Reply

    thank you for posting this story chloe. glad that you have a negative result.
    all the very best
    liz

  8. louise February 7, 2014 at 10:31 am -  Reply

    Chloe
    If you were merely an attention seeker, there are easier ways of achieving that, so no worries on us thinking that. I found your detailed description of the process so interesting. I have experienced the same scenario but, at approx. 21, was rather more carefree than if it were to happen today. It is certainly a worrying time when faced with the possible consequences. But they were, thankfully and to their credit, extremely expeditious in sorting you out. Hopefully, this was just an experience, however unwelcome, which was sent to test you. QVC does seem to be a breeding ground for cancer.
    By the way, Chloe, I did like your socks the other day, the two different coloured ones. Were they a pair?
    Well, you take care.
    Regards.
    Louise.

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Louise…I don’t know which socks you mean?!

  9. Sarabeth February 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm -  Reply

    Very happy to hear that all is ok, you must be so relieved. Thank you for detailing the process from start to finish; it’s very reassuring to see what all the steps are and it does take some of the fear factor away as fear of the unknown makes it easy to make excuses and put off a visit to the Dr. It’s definitely educated me :-)

  10. Judith Lennon February 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Chloe
    What a brave lady you are for sharing your news with us. I am delighted to hear that all is well for you. It must have felt like a lifetime waiting to hear.. We should all take notice of what you have shared. I pray that one day no woman should have to deal with this dreadful illness.. Take care and my very best wishes to you
    Judith x

  11. JACQUI WHITMORE February 7, 2014 at 8:24 pm -  Reply

    Well done Chloe.I’m sure you have helped and reassured lots of people to go and get checked.I am a bra fitter and over the past 20 years have seen customers with breast cancer recover, as long as it’s been caught as quickly as possible.I’M SO GLAD YOU ARE OK!!jACQUI

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

      Gosh Jacqui what a job! Glad so many people recover these days, let’s keep up this fight! X

  12. Irene Taylor February 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm -  Reply

    Glad you got the all clear Chloe, Just goes to prove we all must be vigilant at all times and never ignore lumps and bumps. It could be something or nothing, but best to get it checked out.
    Best wishes,
    Irene

  13. Julie Toye February 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm -  Reply

    dear chloe,
    so glad you got a negative result. im a very private person too, but i have to thank you for writing about your experience. breast cancer affects all women of all ages. take care, love to teddy
    julie xxx

  14. angela dunne February 8, 2014 at 11:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Chloe
    So glad you are ok.I recently had a routine breast screen and I am sure you will agree it is more uncomfortable than painful.
    Regards
    Angela x

  15. Beth February 10, 2014 at 10:39 am -  Reply

    Chloe,
    You’ve had a lot to deal with and like everyone, I am pleased and relieved that you are ok.
    Thank you for being so honest about the mammogram – what actually happens – and just the whole, clear detail of what the testing involves. I had BC diagnosed the month after Kylie Minogue back in 2005, I am a year younger than her and her experience prompted me to have to get checked after finding a lump.
    You did the right thing getting yourself checked and I’m glad you had someone with you at the appointment. Thank you for being so honest. Delighted to hear that you had Ali Keenan supporting you – she’s fab – and I wish you health and happiness for many years to come,
    Beth XXX.

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

      Sorry to hear Beth, how are you now? X

  16. Tina S. February 14, 2014 at 10:08 am -  Reply

    Dear Chloe,
    What a frightening time you’ve had! I can fully relate to your experience. I went for my first mammogramme when I was 50 and was recalled. I was pettrified especially as my mother had had breast cancer. It seemed the longest wait although it was only a few days as they try and see you as soon as possible as they know the stress involved. To top it all, on the day of my appointment, I was the very last one to be seen. My husband was thinking all things as he had to wait in the outer waiting area. Luckily ,when I was checked out, the Consultant said I had cysts which would go of their own accord. I can’t tell you the relief I felt!! I must say ,I still dread it when I have to go for my routine mammogramme but if my mother had been screened it may well have been a better outcome. Breast tissue is more dense when we are younger hence the reason that it is only when women reach 50 that they are called for screening although you can request screening at any time if you feel you need it (family history etc.) I also thought I would point out that screening stops when you reach 70 years of age. This was highlighted recently. But you can still request mammogrammes because breast cancer does not dissapate as we get older. The risks increase as we get older also.
    Anyway-so glad everything turned out well for you.
    Best wishes, Tina S ( South Wales)

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 6:01 pm -  Reply

      Let’s all keep vigilant and keep getting checked Beth!

  17. MARJORIE GREGORY February 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm -  Reply

    HELLO CHLOE
    GLAD EVERYTHING IS OKAY,IT WAS A VERY SCARY MOMENT FOR YOU.THE WAITING TIME IS THE WORST. IT SEEMS YOU WERE TREATED VERY WELL DOWN THERE IN LONDON,AND THAT IS HOW IT SHOULD BE FOR EVERYONE BUT SOMETIMES THIS IS NOT THE CASE.AS FAR AS GETTING CHECKED OUT THAT IS GOOD SOUND ADVICE,SOMETIMES IT CAN BE CONFUSING WHAT TO LOOK FOR,IN MY SISTER`S CASE IN HER MIND SHE WAS ALWAYS TOLD TO LOOK FOR LUMPS,SHE WENT FOR HER CHECK UP SHE NEVER MISSED AND ALWAYS CHECKING HERSELF.THE TYPE OF BREAST CANCER MY SISTER HAD WAS INVASIVE LOBULAR BREAST CANCER SHE WAS BIG BUSTED AND HOW THIS WAS FOUND WAS THAT SHE WAS HAVING TESTS ON HER COLON AND IT TURNED OUT SHE HAD COLON CANCER AFTER FURTHER TESTS THEY FOUND SHE HAD THICKENING OF THE BREAST SHE MISSED THIS WITH HER BEING BIG BUSTED,SHE WAS DIAGNOSED AT STAGE 5 IT HAD SPREAD TO THE COLON, SHE DID NOT STAND A CHANCE,SHE WAS VERY UNLUCKY.I THINK DOWN IN LONDON YOU SEEM TO GET A BETTER SERVICE,UP HERE IN THE NORTH IT COULD BE IMPROVED QUITE A LOT AS THE WAITING TIME IS FAR TO LONG. I WILL END THERE THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO TALK ABOUT MY SISTER WHO WE LOST LAST YEAR.REGARDS MARJORIE

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm -  Reply

      Oh Marjorie so sorry to hear this story and I do hope everyone now gets the same treatment. I know Dr’s try to have us checked and tested within 2 weeks now. Sorry to hear you had such an awful experience and lost your sister, this disease is just dreadful. Let’s continue to raise awareness xx

  18. Rose February 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Chloe
    Glad you are ok and went to have it checked!too many people thimk it won’t happen to them!
    I had aa lump about 20 plus years ago and it turned out to be a cyst!i am 59 pushing 60 now and go for mammograms when called in for them!
    I have seen too many people go through breast cancer a lot who survive and some who have not!
    tske care
    love and best wishes
    Rose xxxxx

  19. Karen February 15, 2014 at 5:55 am -  Reply

    So glad you’ve been given the all clear. You’re very brave to share your experience in this way and your reason for doing so, hasn’t been in vain – just checked my boobs for the first time in years! Take care Chloe and thanks again:) xxx

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm -  Reply

      Good work Karen!

  20. Denise February 20, 2014 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    So glad that all is well after a worrying time for you Chloe. Look after yourself.
    Denise

  21. yasmine choudhry February 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Chloe
    Must have been such a worrying time waiting around especially at Christmas so glad that the news was good. Every one must take swift action if they find a lump as this is the only way that can stop other things from developing. I know it must be hard but please do not waste time. My Aunt died of cancer six years ago she had it in her womb,then recovered and then cancer spread to her spine. I hope treatment is found to eradicate this disease
    take care Chloe
    love watching you presenting great fun x loved the elemis show with Keeley when the shaving foam went everywhere i was in hysterics x

  22. Debs February 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Chloe your story has brought a tear to my eye as it must have been so stressful and worrying for you. So glad all is ok. Fingers crossed it will stay that way! X

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

      Thanks for the support Debs xx

  23. Sam Ryan March 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Chloe ,
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
    I am so glad things worked out for you in the end.
    You are very brave to come forward with this and an inspiration for others.
    I wish you luck and the very best of health.
    Sam (Dublin)xxx

  24. Mary Allen May 23, 2014 at 12:58 am -  Reply

    Chloe
    I feel I have meet you some years ago, I may have worked with one of your friends.
    You look so well and I am very happy all is well
    I had an operation on my left breast a year and a half ago.
    I live alone and it is hard to keep your mind clear while waiting for news. I am glad you are through it. I like you had support from friends and people from work.
    So good to see you looking so well and enjoying your time at QVC. I enjoy shopping, just need to get a little faster at it
    Take care,keep your chin up and enjoy each good day

    • Chloe October 20, 2015 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

      Mary the support we receive gets us through. Be strong & stay positive xx

  25. Linda Martin October 10, 2015 at 11:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Chloe I’m so glad you are ok and that you were seen so quickly. I was due to have a mammogram but because of work I almost didn’t go. Luckily I took a days holiday and how glad I did. After my mammogram I received a letter to say it wasn’t very clear and I needed to have another one. I wasn’t concerned as this has happened to me before. Anyway I went to the hospital where they have a super duper machine and it showed up some abnormal cells. I was immediately given a biopsy and the next day received a telephone call from the hospital asking me to go back. It turned out they were cancerous even though I had no lump. I had an op & the cells removed. Thank goodness I did not have to have any further treatment as they had caught the cancer in its early stages and am due for my first mammogram since my operation. My friends and workmates helped me through my ordeal.

    The moral of my story is please don’t miss your mammogram appointments because breast cancer does not always mean a lump.

    Take care and look after yourself.
    Linda xxx

  26. Chloe October 20, 2015 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Linda that is a very good moral and you are living proof that dealt with early we stand a good chance of survival! Pat yourself on the back and spread the word! Xx

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