About a week and a half ago, I was doing my bi-weekly check for breast lumps. I don't know who it was on my father's side - either my great grandmother or my great great grandmother, but she died from breast cancer in her late 30's to early 40's, so it's of particular importance to me that I self-check. It's something I do automatically and probably more often than I need to - although I would never say it's too often. You know, push, push, push around each side - check, no lumps. Push, push, push around the other side - check, no lumps . . . or that's what it's supposed to be. Supposed to be you might be saying? Yes, supposed to be because this time was different. This time I found a lump.
It's not a moment that's easy to forget. Your first gut reaction is disbelief. Disbelief that it couldn't possibly be happening to you. Then, there's that moment of "oh, I probably just screwed up" and the second self-check. Eventually, there's that dawning reality that you might be facing some women's greatest fear.
For ten or so days, I've kept this under my hat except for a few select people because, frankly, I didn't want to worry anyone. Instead, I stressed, worried, fretted, and cried. It's been a pretty much daily struggle to not freak out and pull away from the world. I had multiple moments of "why the hell should I even bother?" over the course of those ten days.
And it was great timing too, what with the Met competition the next day and our anniversary trip to Disneyland a few days later. Yep, definitely great timing. Made it through the competition alright, made it through our trip to Disneyland alright and managed to get my mind off of it for a few days, and finally got to the Doctor yesterday.
Yep, I braved that god-awful storm to head to the doctor because I was scared to hell, and fear of the rain was nothing compared to fear of what it could possibly be. Fortunately, she doesn't think it's anything, but there's still a follow-up appointment next month. It was a pretty big weight off of my shoulders.
*cue sigh of relief*
Still, it got me to thinking about just how important self-checks are, how so many people don't do them, and how it's kind of appropriate that this happened in October which is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I have several friends either dealing with or who have dealt with cancer and my understanding of their situations is now just a little bit better.
To those of you who don't self-check, please start today - it doesn't take much time and you'll feel just a bit better for having done it. To my friends who are fighting cancer, I love you and send you my best every day.
I'm opening this post up to the public because I did have a big scare, but I think it's important to share with everyone. I don't care if you like me, don't like me, are a friend or a stranger, please pass the message on.
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