Yes it is breast cancer awareness month..So I feel compelled to share this message..I am living with stage 4 breast cancer..And honestly, I have read we all have cancer cells in our bodies..and I could have had cancerous tumors for 10 yrs..It takes a long time for them to grow..I didn’t get mine checked until 2 yrs ago..So, I am strongly for doing self exams..I am sure there are many sites on the Internet that show you how to do this..I will share what I have been taught..When checking the right breast ..take your right arm..and place your right palm of your hand on the back of your head..take you left hand and with the finger tips feel around the breast in a clock ward circle..feel around the nipple..also check under your armpits for lumps..You can also ask your partner to help you..Do the same to your left breast by placing your left palm behind your head and checking the breast with the finger tips of your right hand..Checking in the shower or while laying in bed are probably the easiest way to check..
So, I will also share my story..I have always had lumpy breasts…I have had doctors do breast exams for me and I have checked my own breasts in the past..But to be honest I was never quite sure if I felt a lump until it was very noticeable..It was the summer of 2012..I was doing a self check..and noticed a lump in my left armpit..I kept feeling it for awhile and then asked my boyfriend to feel it..He tried to calm me down by saying it’s probably just a cyst..but get it checked..I didn’t have health insurance so I didn’t know how to do this..So, I mentioned to a pet sitting client during a phone call with her about some lumps I found on my breast..
This client is a doctor, so I was hopeful she could offer some advice..She told me to please get it checked..Her mother had breast cancer..I told her I didn’t have insurance, so she contacted a doctor friend of hers to take a look for me..Of course I was nervous doing all of this..I made the appointment ..she did the exam..FREE of charge..I was so grateful..Unfortunately, she was concerned.,She was hopeful that it was just just fatty cysts..But she handed me two prescriptions..one for a mammogram and one for an ultra sound…Again with no insurance and not a lot of money..what to do? I contacted the facilities that do these services, but none took charity care..Which I did have from the previous year from breaking my ankle..So I contacted the hospital where I went for my ankle..Luckily..they could see me the same day..November 15th 2012 will forever be etched in my memory..Honestly, I really felt the lumps were nothing…I was concerned, but not really that upset..
So, I was told to put a gown on..Which was warm.,And hearing get undressed from the waist up would be very common for me to hear.,I was shuffled from room to room..And then I had my very first mammogram at 43..Yes, it is good to get it done before I did..But this was when I did it..I will say I had a very thoughtful and caring technician..So it wasn’t that painful..but please open your mouth and tell the technician if you do feel pain..Then I was waiting again in the waiting room..they had a Keurig so I made some tea..Other women were coming and going.,most were told all is well..see ya next year..I was then brought into the room for the ultra sound..The technician rolled this device that reminded me of a mouse for a computer..She would roll it over and over the areas under my armpit and left breast..Yes it is uncomfortable laying on your side..
The technician disappeared..and this gruff looking tall radiologist came in..looking very stern..all I heard was..”BLAH BLAH BLAH..Suspicious cells for cancer”…”What”..Then he left..the technician handed me tissues..She said..”Do you want me to call your husband”? I was whimpering like a puppy..And told I could get dressed and go home..My life will forever be changed..