October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while many of these type things blip right by my mental radar, this year it’s personal, and not just because I have boobs.
During my annual pap smear early this year I told my OBGYN about a pea size lump I had found in my right breast. He surprised me by immediately sending me to see a breast surgeon. Now while I would love to tell you that I was strong and unwavering in my faith, I was filled with doubt and anxiety after I was then sent for a routine mammogram and the radiologist seemed gravely concerned and told me I needed both an MRI and a biopsy. I didn’t tell my family about any of the tests because it was all so uncertain. I am blessed with great health, as well as great health insurance and fortunate in that I’ve never had to go through any type of medical testing. There is no history of breast cancer in my family.
Thankfully the results from the core biopsy I had on my right breast as well as a lymph node back in March showed that I had nothing to worry about. The pea size lump disappeared and turned out to be nothing but fatty tissue and the larger fibrocystic mass that the radiologist I had seen (after the breast surgeon I’d seen had said everything looked fine) was concerned about turned out to be benign. I sported one scary looking bruised Frankenboob for a month or so, but it was a small price to pay for knowing I was healthy.
I did a lot of research while waiting for all my test results. I read about breast cancer risk factors and was surprised to find out that having your first child after age 30, as I did, is a risk factor, as well as is taking oral contraceptives.
I have a six-month follow up mammogram this month. Am I looking forward to it? Not really, but getting felt up by a total stranger is worth knowing that I am in the clear and that I will be here for a long time to drive my family crazy, not to mention love them like crazy.
Help spread the word about breast cancer awareness. Early detection is key (and eight out of ten breast lumps are benign!) Who knows, you might even help save a life.
Some facts and links:
From the Breast Cancer Site: If detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer exceeds 95%. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram.
Horchow’s website features fun think pink kitchen items so you can cook and entertain for a cause.
Coldwater Creek has several “In the Pink” benefit items.
Design-Her-Gals has also launched the first ever virtual walk to raise money to help those diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer (with a minimum donation of just three dollars)