See what's happening in the Community

You are not logged in.   Log In


What is a blog?

A blog is an online journal. Read other member's blogs or start one of your own and share your thoughts.

Find A Blog

Read our blogs and post your own comments

Meet the team

As well as sharing experiences with our friendly online community, registered members are able to contact our experienced online team. The Centre is staffed during office hours and the online team aim to reply within 24 hours.

Psychologists and experts from other Maggie's Centres and partner organisations also facilitate some group and individual sessions.

Personal Blog

Selected Blog

anxious of hexham

by Anonymous

20 June 2016 at 08:11

A cyst, but how not to find out !

About a year ago, forget just how long, I found a small lump in my armpit on the same side as the tumour had been which I told the macmillan nurse about.  She felt it, said she thought it was a sebaceous cyst but see my GP to make sure.  This I did and as I have also had a mammogram since we were certain it was a cyst. 

In April this year the lump seemed to get a bit bigger and harder and I was getting the odd twinge of pain.  It began to bother me and it joined the list of things I needed to discuss with my GP once my fractured foot had healed and I was able to drive again. 

I was overtaken by events in an alarming way.  Last month I caught pneumonia, the hospital called it chest sepsis.   It developed quckly although I had been feeling ill all week and ignored it. Just that morning I had called out the doctor as the discomfort in my chest had worsened but at that time my temperature was OK but she prescibed some antibiotics to be sent to me just in case. 

After a call to NHS111 at 2 in the morning for advice (the antibiotics had not arrived), an emergency ambulance was sent and they whisked me off to A&E after spending some time at the house stabilising me for the trip.  I was in hospital for 9 days.  The blood tests reported a far higher CRP rate than could have been accounted for by the infection and I was asked if I could think of anything that might contribute to such a high reading.  The Sjogren's Syndrome I have will produce inflammatory markers in the blood, but even that was not enough.  So I told them about the cyst in my armpit, thinking that maybe it had become infected and that was why I was getting some pain.  The consultant felt it and said he wasn't sure it was a cyst.  This set off the alarm bells.   He arranged for me to have an ultrasound scan in the one stop breast clinic while I was in hospital.

Yes, it is a cyst!  But I think it does show the importance of reporting anything that you think is unusual.

This tale also shows how important it is to recognise when you really need help. According to the paramedics my temperature was too high (40C) and I could not breathe. I was borderline sepsis.  Even while sitting in the ambulance I was wondering if I had done the right thing.  This while sitting wearing a nebuliser and being given a drug to expand my airways and oxygen.  They refused to cover me and I felt freezing.  If I had not passed out in the bathroom and struck my back and head I might very well have not called them as I didn't want to waste anyone's time!  I would have waited for the antibiotics to arrive the following day and by then it might well have been too late!

The hospital stopped the hydroxychloroquine that the rheumatologist had asked me to try as my immune system seemed to have packed up.  It looks like I should regard myself as immuno-compromised due to the Sjogren's Syndrome. 

The fractured foot has triggered another visit to the specialist bone clinic that is run as part of the breast cancer service.  I have an appointment on Thursday.  I had a DXA last year showing osteopenia.  Don't really want to go down the drugs route as am hypersensitive to drugs. Goodness knows what effect bisphosphonate will have.

Registered Office: Maggie's, The Stables, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU   Registered Charity Number: SC024414
The Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust is a company limited by guarantee   Company Number: SC162451