Last Friday I finally went to see my doctor about a sharp pain I’ve been having in my ear. It’s been coming and going for a month and, to be honest, I was starting to get the creepy paranoia that something had crawled into my ear. Gah!
Anyway, I went to get my ear checked and I came out with a prescription for a mammogram.
Yeah. Confusing, right? My thought as I left the office was, How the heck do you walk in for a possible ear infection only to walk out with a prescription to have your chest squished between two panes of glass?
After giving me the once-over, my doctor asked me when the last time my GYN appointment had been. She wanted to be sure I was going once a year like I’m supposed to. Normally I do, but I had completely forgotten to reschedule this year’s appointment. Usually I go in January, but because of that whole wisdom tooth debacle, I’d pushed it off indefinitely.
So when I told her I had not, she asked if I’d been doing regular self-exams.
I admitted, “No, I honestly don’t feel like there’s a point in doing one since I don’t know what I’m supposed to be feeling for. Everything feels the same to me, so I leave it to [my GYN].”
That’s right. I said it. I don’t do self-exams because I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be looking for. Breasts are naturally lumpy due to our milk ducts, lymph nodes and fatty tissues. Attempting to figure out if a lump is cancerous vs. if it’s what I used to feed my son is a bit like this:
However, ignorance is really no excuse when you’ve got a family who depends on you. And that’s why I’m writing this entry at all. I’m not really worried or concerned about having cancer. I’m relatively confident the mammogram will come back negative due to the many factors that are currently in my favor. I’m young, I don’t have much family history of breast cancer, and I breastfed Vince for 2 ½ years. All of those work in my favor.
Besides, even if I do end up having breast cancer, I’ve got a good shot of it being in the very early stages. And again, even if the remote possibility of things being worst case scenario comes to pass, I’ll be able to endure it with the knowledge that I’ll secure the souls of my trifecta because of it.
So, there is my news. I apologize to friends who are reading this and are currently thinking, “I’m gonna smack her the next time I see her!”
The reason you didn’t get calls is because this news is not news. I'm not really sure how to bring up this up in conversation. I have nothing to report. I will in a couple weeks when the results come back. You might get a phone call when that happens. But for this? Eh. It’s negligible. The only reason I’m writing this in the blog at all is to remind folks that it IS important to learn how to do self-examinations. So if you’re not sure (like me) how to do one, go online and find out. Ask your doctor. Ask a friend.
It really could save your life. Ignorance of this is no excuse… not with all the information available to us. So I’ve made myself aware, and I’m currently teaching myself to be more proficient. I hope you women reading do the same. And to those men who stop by, please remind the lady loves in your lives – mothers, sisters, wives, cousins, friends.