Breast Lumps are often hard to find unless you are very familiar with your breast. And if they are found it is a scary feeling. Women need to do a self breast exam once a month to be on the safe side. As many already know one in eight women will develop breast cancer. However discovering you have a lump in your breast doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. But it is still a very serious thing that needs to be taken care of. October is breast cancer awareness
month and the third Friday of October is National Mammography Day. This day was first proclaimed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.
Five years ago this month, I had seven lumps removed from my left breast. I was twenty years old and had never preformed a breast exam on myself. I had already had two children and had been through many exams, but doing my own exams seemed silly. I was very much aware of breast cancer, but told myself it couldn’t happen to me, because I was to young. Well one night while in bed I decided to just try a self exam. I had no clue as to what I was doing or how to do it. I lifted my arm and started feeling with the other hand. To my surprise, I felt a big knot in my left breast. I felt the other breast to see if it felt the same way, it didn’t. The tears started coming to my eyes and I just knew I had cancer. I didn’t know you could have lumps and it not be cancerous. Being as scared as I was, I refused to go to the doctor and waited about a month before I went. I told myself that it would go away.
I scheduled an appointment and headed to the doctor a couple days later. She said it was a fairly big lump and she would like to send me for an ultra sound. A couple of hours later I was in the hospital having an ultra sound done. The look on the nurse’s face made me shake all over. She walked out the room after finishing the ultra sound. When she returned she said that she didn’t like what she seen and that they really wanted to do a mammogram. If you can imagine a twenty year old hearing those words, then you can imagine how terrified I was. I had always been told how painful a mammogram was and I was not looking forward to that.
The nurse came in and told me she was ready for me in the other room to perform my mammogram. Very nervously, I walked in and you could see the sadness on that nurse’s face. She told me she didn’t want to do the mammogram due to the fact I was so young. But we both understood that it had to be done. To my surprise, the mammogram didn’t hurt at all. I was very relieved.
The next day I received a phone call from my doctor, saying that she had set me up an appointment with a specialist. My appointment was scheduled for the following day. I knew something was wrong due to everything happening so quick. My visit to the specialist was not what I wanted to hear. He said they had found seven lumps and that he wanted to go in right away and remove them, so he could send them off for testing. I didn’t think right away would be the next day.
I went home and prepared for the surgery the next day. Cleaned the house up spotless, because I knew it would be a while before I could clean again. Then I packed my bags for the hospital and cried the rest of the night.
I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am and was taken to be prepped at 10:30am. They told my husband that he couldn’t come with me to the holding room. It felt like someone had ripped my heart out. I cried all the way to the holding room. I was so hysterical that they finally sent for him. Within a few minutes he was by my bed. I felt a little better but I was still crying because I was scared. After about twenty minutes they gave me some morphine and I don’t remember anything else until I woke up. When I woke up, the pain was unexplainable.
I left the hospital the same day of the surgery. I was prescribed pain pills but they didn’t help much. I was in some major pain. I couldn’t lay on my right side because my breast would fall to the right side and it felt like my left breast was ripping open. After about a week the pain was gone. But till this day, the area where they removed the lumps is very sensitive and hurts when I do self exams. I do self exams every month now.
The results came back with no cancer found. That was a relief. At the time I had been on the diet pills called “Stackers” and the doctors believe that they may have played a major role in my lumps. It has been five years and so far no lumps.
Self Breast Exams should be done on a regular basis, so don’t put them off. They could save your life. And I am here to tell you, age has nothing to do with it. For information on breast cancer, self exams, and more please visit the following sites.