An advanced warning: this blog will not be “Fab Foodie” relevant. This one will fall under the “…and Life” category that I have never had a chance to write about.  I just need to release…so here’s my confession.

I’ve had a lump in my breast for a while – and when I say a while, it’s been about 15 years. I’ve had it checked when I was younger, and my doctor said I was fine – because I was young and my breasts were still growing, it was common for them to be lumpy. I monitored my breasts periodically, but never really thought too much about it.

That is, until about a month ago. I recently switched doctors and, as a precaution, my new physician requested an ultrasound to see the status of my lump. Now, let me tell you, this lump is the size of a pea – not very big, but large enough to notice during a breast exam. My doctor calls me about 2 weeks later and says that the radiologist has found abnormalities in the ultrasound and suggests a biopsy.

Cue heart stoppage.

Abnormality? Biopsy? Whoa. This was supposed to be a routine check. Nobody discussed a biopsy. In case you are unclear, at this point I started to panic. Is there a chance that this pea-sized lump could possibly cost me my life? My doctor referred me to a specialist, whose practice is dedicated to breast care, for a second opinion. Before the conversation ended, she said, “Don’t worry about it. It’s just a precaution.”

Precaution? The ultrasound was supposed to be a precaution too. I couldn’t stop wondering how this was going to impact my life. That pea-sized lump went from being an afterthought to the main topic of my personal thoughts. What if it was malignant? Who would I tell? How would my family handle it? My friends? My boyfriend? Would our relationship be able to survive this?

Today was my moment of truth – the appointment with my specialist. My stomach was in knots as I sat in the waiting room, having private conversations with God and trying to think positive thoughts. Finally, I was called in for my consultation. After a review of my film and an examination, the doctor determined that the lump was benign and no biopsy was needed. The lump is actually a fibroadenoma, which is a noncancerous tumor of the breast seen most often in young women. Relief never felt so wonderful until that moment!

So here’s the take-away: my sisters, mothers, daughters, aunties, best friends, and sister-friends – PLEASE be aware of your breast health. Make sure you do your monthly self-exams. If you are 40 or over, schedule your mammogram. If you are under 40, make sure your doctor performs a breast exam during your annual physical. Most importantly, if you notice a lump or any changes to your breasts, have it checked immediately. That one visit can possibly save your life.

For more information about breast health, check out the following sites:

http://www.imaginis.com/breast-health

http://www.signaturebreastcare.com/ – this is the website for my specialist.

http://www.stronghealth.com/services/womenshealth/breastcare/index.cfm

Saving the tatas….starting with mine!

Qiana

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