On Monday June 25th, I went to see my GP because I had noticed blood coming from my right breast, about a week before. She immediately felt a hard swelling on top of my right breast. It was odd that I had not noticed it before.
She immediately scheduled appointments for me at Ter Gooi hospital in Blaricum, which is a lovely village in Holland, very close to Eemnes where we live.
On Thursday, I drove to the hospital for my appointment with Dr. Sneijder at 9 am. He conducted a physical examination and concluded that besides the swelling in the breast, two glands in the armpit were also suspect. He warned me this could be bad news and sent me to Radiology.
First I went to the mammogram – your breast is placed on a shelf and a transparant shelf comes down and crushes it. Very awkward and somewhat painful. I felt faint, since I had not eaten. The nurse was really kind and concerned. She told me to eat something before the biopsy.
The radiologist then conducted an echo, and gave me a local anesthetic in the breast and made a small incision. Next, a large needle went into the incision to remove tissue (6 times). With a thin needle, he removed cells from the two glands in the armpit. After that, I went home.
At two pm, Victor and I were back at the hospital to hear the initial results. Dr. Sneijder informed us that the cells from the glands were cancerous, which meant I had breast cancer. He expected that we would need to remove the whole breast to be safe and also any glands that were infected. A special nurse helped us then to explain about the next steps – additional tests – and to plan in the appointments. Victor was really emotional. This was the beginning of a new phase: life with cancer.