Saturday, 18 May 2013

So, one of the most annoying things about cancer....

or, having had cancer, is that there is almost precisely zero chance of me working out what I did "wrong" to make me get it. The only reason I say almost is because some crazy part of me wants to be able to work it out, solve the puzzle, the riddle, whatever you want to call it. In a way it's my rubix cube, but one I am never likely to be able to complete. I also want to know when it started to develop, but there's sod all chance of being able to work that out either.

I've been wondering today what came first - mastitis or cancer? I didn't have mastitis at all when breastfeeding Isobel and she was born nearly 5 years ago. I bf'd her for 14 months which takes us up to November 2009 with no incidences of mastitis, or any noticeable lumps (that I can remember, but bear in mind I never really checked myself properly until last July). I got pregnant with Jack in Jan/Feb 2010 and he was born 21st October that year, and (from memory) I had mastitis when he was quite little, so probably before that Christmas, certainly before the February as I seem to remember it being v dark and cold at the same time - I thought it was flu to start with. He was certainly under 6mths old let's put it that way. 

So, assuming that there is a link between the cancer and the mastitis, I could well have had it growing inside me for about 2 yrs, which I find quite scary.

Why do I think there might be a link? Well, for no other reason than the lump and the mastitis were in exactly the same place, which makes me extremely cross that I never worked out that there was a lump there back in 2010/early 2011. (Assuming that it was there......) Lots of assumptions tonight, aren't there?

Having googled fairly extensively there doesn't seem to be a link between mastitis and cancer, i.e. mastitis doesn't seem to cause it, although it can be a symptom of the rare "inflammatory breast cancer", which, fortunately for me, isn't what I have/had. 

So, did my cancer cause the mastitis, and if so, does it really matter anyway? Well no, it doesn't really matter, other than perhaps if I'd had a scan at the time of having mastitis (as is very common in America) we might have known about it sooner..... it "might" also have remained within the ducts rather than breaking out and spreading, growing, getting into my lymphatic system......

It's amazing how one's brain rattles on when it is spurred on by fear. And Prosecco.

The fear? Well, I don't want it back. Ever, which is why I've been trying to figure out what caused it in the first place - diet, lifestyle, mastitis........dumb luck.

There's so much research to look through regarding diet I feel swamped. Everything seems to contradict itself too, which is really annoying. Perhaps I'm focusing too much on avoiding foods that might contain oestrogen? 

I've no idea whether seeing a dietician will help, but it might be a conversation worth having with my oncologist next time I see him. If any of you reading this have any thoughts I'd be grateful to hear them. 

The only option I suppose is to get as much as I can removed isn't it? 

And pray. A lot. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh lovely lady I just want to give you a big hug........
    I can't answer your questions and I've been down the same route ... is it lifestyle, diet etc and I sit here glugging another glass of wine thinking for me is that the answer, as otherwise we eat very healthly. As you saybeverything you google contradicts each other.

    If its any consolation when I was 30 ish I went to the Dr. With lumpy boobs and was told it was mastitis (and actually learned how to feel myself) I've never had children and now
    15 odd years later I've had the bastard breast cancer so don't know if mine was related but just lay dormant.

    I've changed my diet since diagnosis (except the wine) after researching it and actually find that now I'm automatically shying away from acidic (oestrogen loving) food.
    I'm looking forward to discussing everything with the oncologist on Thursday.
    Big hugs xxx