Venus Trapped in Mars

17 October 2013

My Right Boob.

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?
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43 comments :

  1. I really think (and have heard from several "lady doctors") that breast self-exams should start as soon as you start your period... which is when the estrogen levels in your body increase. And estrogen = food for lumps/bumps/tumors etc. So glad you're okay and thanks for stressing the importance of "breast tests!"

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  2. how scary! i think there are too many mixed messages about "breast tests"... i even heard from a doctor one time that there's "no point" in doing them yourself because you don't know what you're looking for and then you overreact and think you've found something when you haven't. (which is dumb logic.)

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  3. This is so scary! I'm so glad you're okay and now I'm going to go check myself!

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  4. So scary. A close family member of mine was diagnosed recently. She beat it, but I'm still scared. I couldn't say the word for months. Breast self exams are so weird, but so important. So glad yours were benign!

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  5. Oh wow! so scary! i am glad that everything is okay!

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  6. I am glad to hear you are a healthy lady! That is some scary stuff!

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  7. yep, had those myself. they're called Fibroadenomas and are common among (young) women between the ages of 16-26/27. it's because when you're young, your breast tissue is very fibrous and these benign lumps are common. they also grow/shrink according to where you are in your cycle but that doesn't make it any less scary.

    i had one taken out because it wasn't shrinking and another biopsied. after the age of 28, i have no more lumpy boobies but i still check during my shower.

    don't forget to check in your armpits, ladies!! using soap will help to quickly and easily detect lumps.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  8. Yikes! I am glad both of your were benign! :)

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  9. A similar thing happened to me when I was 18 (although I didn't require surgery). That's so scary and you're right - girls should be checking even before that. I totally agree with you on the merits of "breast test." Sounds so much better.

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  10. I've had that awesome sensation of boob-draining too, my doctor then informed me I couldn't have caffeine any more because it would only make them worse.... I don't listen though and constantly have to go back for boob-related things. Now I worry those little cyst-type things are going to trick me one day and really be a tumor and I will think it's nothing. Feel on your boobs (and yes, I just sang R. Kelly's "Feeling On Ya Booty" replacing "booty" with "boobies" in my head....)

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  11. omg i had no idea. that is crazy scary. especially at such a young age. so glad you check yourself and this is such a good reminder for me as well. you're amazing for donating $$. love ya friend!

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  12. Great Story! I'm glad everything is ok!! I had a great scare last year as well. I would love for you to share this story on my blog hop for hope called Pinkalicious Wednesday. The blog hop is to help spread breast caner support and awareness.

    xoxo, Jess
    http://diyfrugalbride.blogspot.com/2013/10/3-pinkalicious-wednesday-blog-hop-for_16.html

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  13. That would be scary to discover at any age! Glad you are okay!

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  14. that is so scary! I check my breasts often because i am a worry wart! My grandma and a few other relatives had breast cancer! Why does cancer have to exist??? I am glad you are one healthy girl :)

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  15. Wow! That's so scary! I think girls who have breast cancer in the family should check even more often! I'm glad you're okay and they were only benign!

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  16. Scary but so glad they teach this stuff and in other news, I went to Duncanville.... we are so from the same neck of the woods!

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  17. What a great message! Thanks for sharing! I had a similar situation, which resulted in a scary and lonely visit to the ultrasound place, but luckily, it was just a cyst. My grandmother had breast cancer so every time I feel one of those bad boys start growing again I freak out. You can never be too careful--early detection is the best medicine and all!

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  18. Good for you for taking precautions at such a "young" age. I think as teenagers, we don't really think it can happen to us. I'm glad they've both been benign, but sucks you had to go through the turmoil between them. :-/

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  19. Boobie scars give you character.

    -Dayna
    www.princessburlap.com

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  20. I just performed a self exam.. no lumps. But I did come to the conclusion that having a baby seriously affects your boobies. I mean, duh, right..? But, seriously.. I haven't felt 'em in awhile and they're so squishy! TMI- Sorry. (P.S. I googled Affect VS. Effect... Did I use the right affect? That one is tricky Grammar!)

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  21. Wow! What a scary experience! I'm definitely going to start doing regular exams now. Always thought I was "too young", but now I know. Thanks!

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  22. Thanks for being so honest. You inspired me to write my own story to help raise awareness. Check it out when you have a moment. Also, I went to Mansfield. Right down the street! Or right down 287 :-)
    http://www.babygiraffeblog.blogspot.com/2013/10/feel-your-boobies.html

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  23. thank you for sharing! so crazy that this happened to you at such a young age and so good you were able to catch both of them early. thanks for helping to spread awareness!
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

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  24. So, is your slogan save the tata? :) Couldn't resist.
    Glad your boobies are back to normal.
    God....that was so freaking weird of me to say lol.
    Whatevs.

    xo fal • falfindshappiness.blogspot.com

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  25. Wow, Sarah. I couldn't imaging having to go through that as a teenager. I can hardly imagine having to go through it now! Did you ever find out what the cause was? I pray they never come back!

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  26. This is a great reminder, Sarah. I just had my first mammogram on Monday because my gyno felt a lump in each breast- thankfully they were determined to be normal bits of breast tissue, but completely real lumps. My technician stressed to me the importance of taking every lump seriously, and that it was good I had these checked out. I learned that 80% of lumps are benign, so there's no need to panic right away, but every lump should be checked out, just in case.

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  27. That's so scary, I'm super glad you are okay. Is there any chance it could happen again?

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  28. My mom just went through this over the summer. She eventually had to have a biopsy done, and that's when they decided it wasn't cancer, but told her to come back in January.

    That was the scariest, most stressful time of my life and I wouldn't wish it upon anybody. I couldn't imagine if it was myself that was going through it.

    Stay strong, lovely!

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  29. My mom has actually had seven benign tumors in her breasts and had her most recent surgery a month or so ago. I believe she began getting them when she was younger. So maybe you are similar and will continue to have them? While my mom doesn't worry about them anymore, she continues to get tested each time just in case.

    Anyhow, it's great that your healthy and helping spread the word!

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    1. you're* (I don't want a grammar lesson reply) :)

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  30. I wish I knew what exactly I was looking for when self exam myself. I mean, (Warning: this might get a little TMI) I've done the exam a few times since I too have first seen the tag on my mom's door, but is it a huge lump? Because I feel baby ones (I guess the tissue??) of the breast. I've gotten breast exams by my O.B. and he's never said anything....maybe i'm just being paranoid?

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  31. You're so inspirational. Thanks for sharing this important message!

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  32. thanks for sharing your story :)

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  33. aw sarah, thank you for sharing your story! i'm 31 and i shamefully admit that i don't do self breast tests. (and i've got some knockers! so much space for tumors). maybe i'm just way too scared of finding something.

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  34. I feel so much closer to your right boob now friend. But in all seriousness...with breast cancer in my family history..I am one of those that need to take your advice and get checked out early.

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  35. Wow, crazy that you found a lump at 14! But good for you. I really need to do self exams, as I had a lump removed when I was 21. It was benign too, but still a little scary. Good for you for sharing this too!

    -AJ
    FitTravelerAJ.com

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  36. I ended up having to do the same thing with that darn... HUGE ASS needle when I was 18. I remember looking up and her and watching this long needle look like its moving all around my boob as if she were stabbing me and it almost made me puke. So I had to close my eyes, but she was able to biopsy that opposed to surgery to remove then test. So I still have my lump. It is benign though. I always check it to see if it changes and my lady docs do as well.

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  37. WOW I had no idea about this! I had to have my first mammogram last year because my mom had breast cancer in her 30's. Kinda scary but luckily everything turned out ok! So glad you're ok too love!

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  39. I WENT TO MIDLOTHIAN HIGH SCHOOL!!! & spend a lot of time at the Rivahhh. Hashtag small world! I'm giddy with excitement right now at this random fact.

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  40. My friend had the same problem when we were 15 then I had started to check mine once it happened to her and I freaked cause I had a lump too but thankfully since I have large boobs I also have random thick issue in them that can be confused as tumors but thankfully not.

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  41. This is a great story. I don't do the checks as often as I should so I will take this as a reminder to get to it! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  42. I can't imagine how scary that must have been. You'd think 14 is too young for something like that, but really, it's not. Glad it all was well for you.

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