Hi. I'm 55 years old, suffering with anxiety/panic attacks for 40 years, these led to agoraphobia which has kept me in a very limited environment for the past 40 years. A week ago my family doctor confiirmed my worst suspicion - that there was definitely a lump in my breast - and to my mind - of quite a size. She immediately referred me to a Specialist clinic and I was to attend 2 days later. Only problem was, the clinic was 50 miles away in a Hospital which had the proper facilities to make the iniital diagnosis. I was more devastated in that I would have to travel 50 miles for the examination than I was when finding the lump itself and having it confirmed. I rang my doctor and told her that I could not go, not under any circumstances. I was well aware of the consequences but the terror of that journey was of such a level that I couldn't consider it. My doctor told me that she would get through it. She would get me to that hospital - it was absolutely imperative that I attend that appointment. I knew that. I just couldn't imagine DOING it. She prescribed some anti-anxiety tablets for me and gave me instructions of when to take them. I had to start that very day, in the run-up to the appointment. I have wonderful support from my husband (which I hope and pray that many other ladies suffering this ordeal also have), and without his input on the day of the appointment I could never have got there - but I did... I DID get there!! Not only that but I went through various stages of examination by 4 different specialists over a period of three hours - my husband was with me every step of the way. The Staff dealing with me were magnificent. I don't know how they coped with me. The very last appointment of the day was to explain to me their findings. They did ask if I wished to know or wished to wait for 2 weeks for my local clinic to explain their findings, but I wished to know there and then. Unfortunately they told me that what they had found was cancerous. If I opted for a Lumpectomy followed by radiation-therapy then this would mean a 160mile round-trip every day,five days a week for 3 or 4 weeks because the nearest Facility that does the Radiation-therapy is 80miles away. Knowing how traumatic it was for me to travel just 50miles ONCE for these initial investigations it was suggested that a Mastectomy might be my best option because this operation can be done at my local hospital (which I will find very traumatic in itself - but not as traumatic as that 160 mile daily journey). I am currently waiting to see someone at the local Clinic - next Tues (6th Sept) and though this terrifies me, at least its a local appointment. They will discuss the options with me, but I am truly terrified. I am not exactly an optimist in life and all manner of dark thoughts are running amock in my head at this moment. I have come to this site, not seeking answers because that would be too much to hope for, but to see if others are walking the same journey as myself, at the same time ? My REAL journey begins next Tuesday, I know that. I just don't know if I can cope with the ordeal of the Mastectomy on top of the lifelong anxiety problem and agoraphobia.
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