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How do I stay sane whilst waiting for breast clinic appointment?

(59 Posts)
MrsKilminster Fri 17-Mar-17 13:49:54

I noticed a red papule-type thing on one breast the other day that seemed to appear overnight. Off I went to consult Dr Google (big mistake!) and diagnosed myself with inflammatory breast cancer (the worst kind, dismal cure rate). Went to the GP yesterday who seemed a bit flummoxed and gave me some hydrocortisone cream to use for one week and made appointment to see me one week hence. Now I've noticed a brownish patch of skin on the same breast higher up, which may or not have been there for ages (can't be sure). Again I go onto Dr Google (despite banning myself) and worry myself sick it might be cancer. GP said she'd refer me for an urgent two week breast clinic appointment next week if my symptoms haven't cleared up. So I have to wait at least 3 weeks for this to be followed up (if it's necessary).

I suffer from really bad anxiety anyway and this has tipped me over the edge. I can't eat or sleep and don't know how I'll get through the next week. I'm thinking I may have some sort of health anxiety too, although I'm not imagining the things on my skin. Does anyone have any tips on how to get through the wait? I've already decided to write my will and am worried about who's going to take the dog out when I'm in hospital sad

LittleFryingPan Fri 17-Mar-17 14:00:16

Honestly, no actual advice but I big hand hold.

I've just had my urgent breast appointment this morning and it was the absolute longest 2 week wait of my life.

Like you, I have horrendous anxiety and I got myself so worked up over it I've ended up covered in a rash head to toe (apparently it's scabies) and have lost the best part of a stone in weight.

Thankfully the consultant was amazing and was able to give me the all clear.

I know it's hard waiting and getting yourself more and more worked up but try and remember all of your anxiety coping strategies and we're all here if you need to get it out flowers

MrsKilminster Fri 17-Mar-17 14:08:57

LFP I'm so happy for you that it turned out to be nothing and that you had such a great consultant. Did you tell your family about this? I have a 17 year old DD (lovely) but don't want to burden her but she'll know something is up. Sadly I don't seem to have any anxiety coping strategies...

DubiousCredentials Fri 17-Mar-17 14:13:54

Ask your gp if you can have something to take short term to help with the anxiety. My gp gave me propranolol for my referral waiting period and it was a life saver.

But realistically, IBC is very rare and there are many things your skin blemish is far more likely to be. And I say that as someone who has diagnosed myself with it several times blush

MrsKilminster Fri 17-Mar-17 14:17:16

I actually have some Propranolol, will use it! And thanks for the moral support Dubious.

LittleFryingPan Fri 17-Mar-17 14:20:36

My partner and mum both knew. Mainly because they know exactly what I'm like and as soon as I started aggressively pulling my hair out again knew that something big was playing on my mind.

They were the sane and rational ones telling me to get a grip.

Have you spoken about your GP about your anxiety? Do you have anyone to talk to irl?

WafflingVersatile Fri 17-Mar-17 14:28:28

I've got breast clinic next week. I've been though it before and it was benign. But it doesn't stop me worrying about it. Fingers crossed for us all.

MrsKilminster Fri 17-Mar-17 14:35:54

All the best next week WV. LFP I have a couple of good friends but no partner. My mum and DD will both know something's up so debating whether I should say something. With me it's being impatient and absent rather than pulling my hair out smile

Seaweed42 Fri 17-Mar-17 14:36:26

Well the cortisone cream may well improve the red spots in the coming days. Re the brownish mark, what age are you? Could it be a liver spot/age spot if you are late 40's/early 50's? They are usually flat, and brownish, cafe au lait colour? They can kind of sneak up and appear then we don't notice them till the following summer! I have just one on my chest. They would be in an area that has been exposed to the sun rather than a place that has been completely hidden under clothes.

MrsKilminster Fri 17-Mar-17 14:49:27

I'm late 50s Seaweed so yes, it could well be a liver spot and it's on my cleavage which used to be exposed quite a lot but not anymore! Thank you so much for your support.

Feeling a little calmer and will try and keep busy. Dr Google makes work for idle hands and all that....

MOIST Fri 17-Mar-17 14:52:21

I'm waiting too. Appointment on the 28th. Going quietly mad. Not sleeping. Shitting myself. D2 (18) knows but I haven't told D1 as she's away at university and would worry.

MOIST Fri 17-Mar-17 14:53:52

Doesn't help that The gp forgot to refer me so I'm a week behind. Git.

MrsKilminster Fri 17-Mar-17 15:00:15

Will think of you Moist when I'm staring at the ceiling tonight listening to my tummy rumble (have had a piece of toast and a banana so far today which is more than yesterday's solitary banana). And that's crap about the GP, I'm a medical secretary so always try and get 2 week appointments booked for patients whilst they're actually in the surgery.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 17-Mar-17 15:05:03

I got into a total panic a few months ago about IBC, as a close friend died of it fairly recently. I had very painful breasts due to hormonal changes, and then this red patch appeared and I was terrified. I paid to have a scan right away (under £200, worth it if you can afford it), and the redness was a superficial skin issue. All was fine. I've had a few scares with lumps too, they have all been fine as well. My consultant says that he mostly gives good news, so try not to worry, and stay away from Google!

MrsPeelyWaly Fri 17-Mar-17 15:16:20

Mrs Kilminster Im not sure what you mean by papule type thing but after watching a documentary about inflammatory breast cancer a couple of years ago I wrongly diagnosed myself with the same thing the following year.

Ive always always a very small blister type thing between my breasts but one day I realised I had a horrible rash over one of my breast as well so, I did what I shouldn't have done I googled to back up my expert diagnosis based on the documentary I'd see.

I phoned my friend in a blind panic and off we went to the Dr who took me very seriously and did a thorough examination. In the end though all I had was a strep infection caused by a very small gash in the blister thing that in retrospect I think had been caused by me drying myself roughly with a towel.

Like you Im in my late 50's and I really did learn after that I must stay away from Google if I want to remain sane the older I get. And if its any help I think Ive googled myself with 4 life threatening conditions over the last decade as well a sexually transmitted disease - even though I haven't had a sex life for 4 years now. My son in laws fact when he was having to explain that to me was a picture - he's a Dr.

I hope you're feeling even a wee bit calmer now you've read other replies .
A hug to everyone who's feeling scared right now. xxxx

WafflingVersatile Fri 17-Mar-17 15:17:29

I've had bloody discharge and I'm sure there is a dip in my areola that wasn't there before. I'm 34.

MrsKilminster Fri 17-Mar-17 15:33:03

Yes definitely feeling a bit more philosophical Mrs PW. If it wasn't for google, I certainly wouldn't be in this state. But can I stay away? Will sit on my hands tonight. Hang in there WV, thinking of you.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 17-Mar-17 15:42:27

Waffling- go and get checked out. Almost certainly it is nothing sinister, so then you can relax.

MajorClanger123 Fri 17-Mar-17 16:43:06

I went to breast clinic the day before valentines this year - it was a rough 2 weeks so I know how you're feeling. I lost weight, barely spoke to my family, had written my will and every time I drove past the crematorium I imagined my family all standing there saying goodbye to me blush. Totally out of control worry!

I did tell several friends and it helped actually - some had been through similar (that I hadn't realised) and others were going through other health scares so it was nice company and to be able to chat about our worry together.

I googled endlessly the first week, but managed to stop myself doing it the second week. The problem with google is, it will invariably take you to cancer forums and you'll associate yourself with all the symptoms discussed. It's funny how we take more notice of the cancer diagnosis outcomes rather than the positive outcomes in times like this shock.

Anyway, went to clinic and told nothing to worry about, but I'd read so much online that after a few days of feeling relieved, I decided I needed and second opinion (got a whole thread about it somewhere!) as i worried about misdiagnosis blush. In fact dubiouscredit has kindly been commenting on that thread too, which had calmed me down somewhat! I'm much calmer now but gosh, the worry.

Sorry, that doesn't help at all does it, but I do know how you're feeling and I strongly advise stepping away from dr google xx

hennipenni Fri 17-Mar-17 17:01:23

I'm waiting for my appointment on the 27th, haven't told anybody except my husband because as a family we have had a terrible 3 months health wise and I think it would completely tip my family over the edge.

The waiting is horrible and I keep prodding and poking to check whether the lump is getting bigger, which in turn is making me more paranoid.

MrsKilminster Fri 17-Mar-17 18:22:31

Losing weight seems to be a common side effect! Unfortunately my willpower has evaporated and I went online again (slapped wrist) and my anxiety is off the scale again. I might call GP when she's next in on Tuesday (my appointment is on Thursday) and beg to be seen. She did say to call if anything was worrying me. Have told both DD and my mum and they've both been great. Sorry for your hard time hennipenni, I know how hard it is to stop prodding. Had a lump many years ago (turned out to be a fibroadenoma) and I couldn't leave it alone.

DubiousCredentials Fri 17-Mar-17 18:44:55

Yes I lost half a stone waiting for my appointment. Put it all back on after though blush

MOIST Fri 17-Mar-17 18:51:59

I am yet to see this side effect.

So unfair. I am unhinged and still fat.

WafflingVersatile Fri 17-Mar-17 22:41:17

I have calm moments then panicky moments mainly when I.think about my dc. I've read all that google has to offer. There's no point in me googling anymore because I swear I've read it all!

TheNameIsBarbara Fri 17-Mar-17 22:48:09

Please, please stop googling.

I was in this position at the end of the year. Had breast changes including pain and lumps and was petrified. I convinced myself I had IBC, thanks to the power of google. The breast clinic referral was quick (think guidelines are you should be seen within 14 days of referral ) and my GP made the appointment there and then.

Also remember that 80 % of women seen in the breast clinic will leave with a none cancerous diagnosis. 80% is a high figure and one to take comfort in. I also found yhe breast cancer care forums very helpful and knowledgeable especially as it contained many women who had breast cancer and gave so much time to talk to women who were facing diagnostic tests. Most said that treatment for IBC especially is improving all the time.

Good luck and hand holding for everyone waiting flowers

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