I’m a fair-skinned bloke so having moles seem pretty normal; in fact, I have a good few across my body. One particular mole on my back changed in colour and shape (yes, as if I could see this) and this is apparently not a good sign. A visit to my GP resulted in a referral to a dermatologist who found the mole to be benign (a nice word for not cancerous) but I opted to have it removed by way of a quick, painless, in-room procedure.
As we’re about to leave the dermi’s rooms, Ronwyn, my wife, who happens to be a biomedical technologist and who majored in histology (the study of cells of body tissue), asks the dermi to take a look at my right breast and particular, my nipple.
This specific nipple had been inverted (turned in, instead of showing out) for at least three months. It did not bother me at all as it was painless, and I recall seeing it showing outward at some stage. So having a doctor check and touch my boobs was no big deal.
Upon closer inspection, the dermi confirmed that an inverted nipple was abnormal but more than this, there was a lump of sorts right behind the nipple. Haaibo, I thought! A lump, from where, how…. True’s Bob, I could feel it for myself. It was there. Painless, lumpy and there.
Despite me feeling the lump, I was not bothered at all.
At this stage of the consultation my wanting to leave the rooms is stalled by a question: where to from here? The dermi then clearly explains his expertise and suggests that I see a surgeon who knows lumps and stuff. At this stage, I’m still very content and happy to be referred for an opinion.
With a specialist surgeon appointment scheduled within three or so weeks’ time, I get back to work and life continues as normal.
My appointment day arrives and given that my plate is relatively full back at the office, I opt to go to work and then in the afternoon, Ronwyn and I meet at the surgeon’s rooms. I hate avoiding work for what seems petty or mundane and so I’d rather kill an appointment of this nature in the afternoon and once I’ve managed to get some work done.
The consultation with the surgeon follows the usual pre-inspection conversation during which time we unpack family and medical history. Upon inspection, the doctor tells me what I already know (i.e. lump behind nipple) but in order for him to make an informed diagnosis, I’m referred for tests. I’ll speak about these and other tests and its findings in my next blog.
With tests confirmed, we go about our usual, everyday lives.
As the day draws to a close, I am still not aware this entire process has been a set-up. From a GP to a dermatologist to a specialist surgeon.
I’ve been deceived for my own good.
A journey of a month was a long-way-around for my own benefit, orchestrated by my wife who loves me too much to give me the potential facts because she’s not sure how I would process it.