Everyone has a story about Breast Cancer. Your mom, your grandmother, your aunt is a survivor. Your best friend, your sister, YOU.
Here is my story...
I was a proud member of the Advanced P.E. class (hah, yes that existed) at Midlothian High School. We would spend two weeks in the gym, then spend one week in a class room learning "health." I was a 14 year old freshman when the girls and boys split up for what they called family studies, more commonly known as sex ed.
The teacher explained everything from how to apply a condom, to STD risks, to giving yourself a breast exam. Like all the other girls in class, I giggled at the teacher the entire time, not taking any of it seriously, and anxiously awaiting the ring of the bell to get the F out of there. What was the point in all this, we were just kids! We weren't having sex, and certainly didn't need to worry about performing self breast exams for another 10-15 years!
That weekend my mom, grandma (Nan as I call her), dad and I headed off to my uncle's rivah (or river, if you're not from Virginia) house for the weekend. I brought my backpack with me to get some homework done while we were there. As I was unpacking my stuff, I saw the self exam door tag they handed all the girls, poking out of the middle pouch of my Jansport.
Looking back now, at age 26, I really think that sex education perhaps sends a twinge of paranoia through teenage girls' minds. That paranoia led me to perform a breast test (ps they should really call it a breast test instead of self exam, sounds more fun) that afternoon following the instructions on that self exam door tag.
As I was feeling around, I found a lump. In my right breast. It was large and moved around under the pressure of my fingers. I screamed bloody murder and ran to find my mom. She also screamed bloody murder. As did Nan. We didn't tell Dad yet.
What the flying flip was going on?!? I was 14!!!
I'm pretty sure the three of us hugged and cried for a grand total of about 96 hours during the 48 hour weekend.
First thing Monday morning I visited my general practitioner. She stuck a needle in my boob to try and drain the lump. That was the strangest feeling ever. My boob was numbed, it didn't hurt, but it was just odd having a giant needle trying to pull a solid lump through a tiny hole out of your boob. I'm pretty sure I looked at the doctor like, "Really lady? You're kidding right now, right? Maybe next we can try and call Ryan Gossling and see if he wants to snuggle and watch football with us. It ain't gonna happen, lady."
After 7 minutes of this boob pull, she suggested I see an Oncologist. I feel like we could've saved 7 minutes of our lives by just skipping right to that, but what do I know, I'm no doctor!
At the Oncologist's office, I was given an ultrasound and was able to actually see the lump. That was kind of cool. What was not cool was the ultimate verdict; I would need to have surgery to cut it out and find out of it was cancerous or benign.
Seeing as this story is getting long, I'll cut to the end (pun intended). I was one lucky cookie because it was completely benign.
Then, 3 years later, I had to go through all of that again when I found a second lump a few inches above the first.
Two boobie scars and 2 benign tumors later, I'm a healthy girl! The moral of my story is check yourself at every age! Doctors recommend beginning to do regular self exams starting in your twenties. I call BS, seeing as I was 14 and then 17 when I found two different lumps in my right breast.
I've seen countless bloggers donating to breast cancer research and awareness this month, so I also want to come play. There are far too many women not as lucky as I was, that were diagnosed with breast cancer. For them, I will donate all VTIM ad sales from Oct 17th- Oct 31st to Susan G. Komen, in addition to the $30 donation from Erin's giveaway!
Join in spreading awareness, what is your story?