Because it is National Women’s Health Week, today I am sharing a personal story about my Tatas! Yes my breast and why I always do a breast self exam.
6 years ago I found a lump in my breast. To say I was scared is an understatement but I am glad I found it. I remember doing my routine breast self exam and thinking…What was that? So I did again? 3x in total. In front of the mirror, laying down and again in the shower. I remember everything that happened after that so well. WHY? Because I was stunned and sometimes shock leads to swift action. I called my doctor immediately and she saw me the next day. Shout out to Dr. Fisher!
I went in calm on the outside but crushed on the inside. You see I have this really bad habit of praying for the best but thinking the worst. I actually visualized surgery, treatment and removal. To be honest I actually visualized my own funeral! Yes this is not the best way of thinking but it is me and although I have gotten better with my thoughts, I am still a work in progress.
Dr. Fisher was calm, cool and collected. She did the exam but didn’t feel the lump. I was like trust me it’s there. Then she did something amazing. She dimmed the lights and really focused. She asked me to put her hand near it but not on it and then she did the exam again starting from the opposite side. When she got back around she felt it. Her response “it is small but it is there and you are one serious cookie because I doubt I could have felt that in my breast.” I was scheduled for an ultrasound and possible mammogram.
I remember that day well too. It was Halloween and Union Square, NYC was in all it’s ghouls and other what I will leave nameless (cough NAKED cough) glory. My cousin and best friend went with me to the appointment. We prayed and I went in. You know what I really hate… NOT GETTING THE RESULTS RIGHT AWAY. I really, really hate that. My mind is not set-up for waiting. But the technician was kind enough to whisper this “from what I see you will be fine.” I needed that little whisper even if it was only temporary. We left; enjoyed brunch and some much needed retail therapy.
The following week I went about life as best I could. And then doctor Fisher called. Caller ID is the best worst invention. I was at work and I froze. I let the call go to voicemail. I called my cousin and she offered to take the call with me on three-way. Gotta love technology. I told her I was ok. We said a prayer, I hung up and I called Dr. Fisher back. You know you usually speak to the receptionist and or leave a message for the nurse on duty? Dr. Fisher took the call. WHAT! NO! I DON”T WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU!!!
She said, “I would have you come in but I know you well enough to know you will probably run here.” She knew me very well. “The lump you have is benign.” She said more but I blanked out. Obviously. I cried, thanked her and shared the news with my girls. To this day, only a handful of people know this story that is until now. Why am I sharing? Because I now first hand how import a self breast exam is. Why else? Because I am making another appointment and one of my concerns is a pain I am experiencing in my left breast. This time is different. I am a tad nervous but I am not thinking those most morbid thoughts.
When was the last time you did a breast self exam? Can’t remember when. Here is a printable PDF from Healthy Women to get you started.
This may be a week set aside for women’s health and there are tons of events and organizations that focus on women’s health particularly breast cancer but you live with your tatas day in and day out. Get to know them just a little bit better. You could be saving your own life.
So how well do you know your TATAS?