May 21, 2010

Check yourself

Posted in Health, life at 11:17 am by ammiejo

You would think I would take breast self exams more seriously. I lost my favorite, bestest in the whole world aunt to breast cancer. Friends have lost their moms, sisters, aunts, grandmas, cousins, I can’t think of anyone I know that hasn’t been touched by breast cancer in some way. So why? Why not take this seriously?

About 2 months ago, on Easter weekend, I found a lump in my breast. And I was scared senseless. I couldn’t, couldn’t think. I was panic stricken. And every thought of every bad scenario played instantly in my mind. It weighed on me. Like a rock. I cried, because let’s face it, I was beyond scared. I only told a few people. Well, until now. Wait, it’s still only a few. 😀

I didn’t normally do breast exams. I’m young, invincible, busy. I know, I’m supposed to. I know, with the history in our family, I am really supposed to. Why did I check this time? Because it was sore and tender, very unusual for me in that time of my cycle. Did I mention I was terrified?

Do you know what it’s like to have to tell your husband that you have a lump in your breast? Some of you do. It broke my heart to watch fear cover his face. He didn’t panic the way I was already doing. I’m glad he was calm and level headed, because I think I would have fallen apart. No, I know I would have. He prayed and that helped me more than anything. He held me. He calmed me.

So, long story short? Everything is okay. The lump is gone. It went away and we are just checking every. single. day. Maybe that’s a little overboard. But it is never far from my mind. I told a friend who asked about it, I just don’t want to think about it. Truth is, it’s always right there. The thought of it in my mind. I was told, that more than likely it was just a cyst brought on by stress, diet, my cycle….doctors have all kinds of reasons. I don’t know, maybe God chose to use this to make me more aware of my body, my life, my relationships, of Him. We drift along and sometimes get lost in the day to day. I want to be aware of every moment. Especially aware.

So…Check yourself. Monthly.

Be aware. Not just of your breasts. Although I am. Be aware of what you ARE daily.

Here are some places you can download or get free cards. Print it off. Use it.

http://www.healthywomen.org/content/publication/breast-self-exam-shower-card
http://ww5.komen.org/Content.aspx?id=8934&terms=self+exam+cards

Note: I’m not endorsing either of these sites. But they have some good resources for breast exam cards. Get one and laminate it. Use it.

With Love

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5 Comments »

  1. Such a terrible scare. I had a scare when i was 18. I “discovered” a lump completely accidentally. No pain, no regular self-exams. It was just a harmless cyst, but i scared the daylights out of me. It’s such a horrible feeling.

    I spent years being “intimately familiar” with my breasts via extended breastfeeding of multiple children. Since the youngest weaned, I’ve pretty much not been so “familiar” since.

    I hate that you were scared, but I’m glad it was “just” a scare.

    Do you do mammograms?

    • ammiejo said,

      I hated feeling that scared. But I am glad it was just a scare. Now? Now, I’m staying familiar.

      I have not had a mammogram yet. The dr suggested waiting, unless something comes up. He suggested 36ish with the family history. But I think it would be wise to ask for a mammogram when I go in for my yearly checkup.

  2. Shelley said,

    I am so very relieved that it has disappeared. What a scare for sure!
    Maybe God has used this as a reminder for someone else in your life?
    I know it reinforces to me the need to take good, proactive care of my body.
    I for one do not do regular exams and this is a reminder that I need to.

    Hugs!

    • ammiejo said,

      I only told my mother. And really, I made light of it. I know that my Aunt has been gone for over 5 years now, but when we talk about her, it’s still so fresh. Losing her to breast cancer was so hard. But I think my mom and my grandmother need the reminder to do those self checks and get their mammograms!

  3. Megan said,

    every time i check, i never find anything, and it always makes me wonder what it would be like to know for sure that there WAS something- and wondering if you’d find it early on, when it’s small, and hard to tell if it IS something or isn’t.

    but, you’re right, and i bet that’s a great reminder for lots of people reading this.

    Megan


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