In trouble

In January 2019 I suddenly feel a lump in my breast. I don't even know why I checked.

It wasn't something I was worrying about. Why did I suddenly do the check?

I breastfed my daughter for quite a long time. It's probably just 'something' in a mammary gland or some sort of infection.


A few weeks later I'm drinking a cup of coffee with my sister. All of a sudden this topic comes up.

Strange sometimes how things turn out. She feels the lump too and insists that I make an appointment with the doctor immediately.


To reassure her I make the appointment. The doctor feels it too.

I'm going on holiday to Turkey with my children soon. I really don't need this.

But my doctor manages to make a hospital appointment at short notice.



What is oncology exactly, wasn't that something to do with cancer?


Here we are, then, in the waiting room of the "oncology" department.

It's announced in such large letters when you enter the hospital. You can't miss it.

But I'm thinking:  'What on earth am I doing here?'. What is oncology exactly, wasn't that something to do with cancer?


We are called in: me, my mother and my sister.

My intention was to go alone, have a quick consultation and then leave. Nobody needed to know anything about it.

But they found out about it and insisted on coming with me.

In retrospect I was glad that they were with me. This isn't something you want to do on your own.


The ball is rolling and it goes really fast. Straight away an appointment for a mammogram and an ultrasound.

I didn't even know you could get an appointment so quickly in the Netherlands.


During the ultrasound in the outpatient clinic, the doctor was sure, 90%, he said.

I say:  'You're not saying 50% or 60%, but 90%. You must be pretty certain to say this.'

The doctor says that he can't pretend it's any different. After the biopsy it's 100%.

My mind started racing and finally stopped with:  “ Hulya, you're in trouble”.


I don't want to tell anybody until after the result of the biopsy. I'm sure that the biopsy will show that I don't have cancer.

“I” don't have cancer, that's not possible. I'm healthy, nobody in my family has ever had cancer.

I've always been proud of my good genes.


I've just got my life sorted out. My plans for this year are made.

I'm really accomplishing a lot of things. This doesn't fit into my planning!




I go off to enjoy my holiday and my time with my childen. I've really missed them.

My maternal instincts kick in. I want to protect my children from the sorrow that this news will cause them.


They've already been through so much!

The last bad years of my marriage, the divorce. I can't do this to them.

I want them to fulfil their dreams at university.

I want them to enjoy their lives and not have them worrying about me. I don't know how I'm going to do it, but they mustn't know.


Finally, during my holiday, they find out. They confront me with it and are very angry with me.

They think that I don't have the right not to share this information with them. I think: 'Wow...they really have grown up".

I decide that I'll always tell the truth about this. However difficult.


Read more of Hülya' s story: No, they didn't make a mistake