7 Dimensions of Wellness

7 Dimensions of Wellness
7 Dimensions of Wellness

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Touching Myself

See, all you little dirty-minded folks, get your minds out of the gutter…lol

Every month I make a point to purposefully touch my breasts by completing monthly self-breast exams (SBE) primarily because I have a history of breast cancer on both sides of my family. I know the normal shape, size, and texture of my breasts. Shoot, I know every mole, stretch mark, lump and bump…lol. Now don’t get me wrong, just because I am a registered nurse does not mean that I immediately mastered the art of SBE because I didn’t. Initially, every “lump” in my breast that is “normal breast tissue” had me calling my doctor, so don’t feel bad if you are uncertain about what you’re feeling; it is better to ask. Eventually, you become comfortable with your breasts. If you’re uncomfortable with touching, at least look at them, this is another way to detect changes. By the way, fellas, this applies to you too!

A few weeks ago I discovered a pea-sized lump in my left breast that felt different than what I’ve felt before. I thought I was being a bit paranoid so I ignored it for about a week and checked again…still there. I went to the doctor and she said exactly what I DID NOT WANT TO HEAR, “you’re right, something is there.” I think all the blood drained from my body and the doctor started to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher…”waah waah waah waah” I didn’t hear another word she said. I scheduled a mammogram for the following week and again, it was confirmed that a “pea-sized nodule” was detected in my breast and they wanted to perform an ultrasound for verification. At that moment, the tears started to flow and instantly I started thinking back to the first 5K I ran, “The Race for A Cure,” in honor and celebration of the women in my life who have/had breast cancer. I thought about my husband and girls and the fact that we had just relocated to Atlanta, I just started a new job, and the impact that a cancer diagnosis would have on our family. At that point, I’m crying AND pissed off because here I was, sitting at the imaging center waiting for this doctor to confirm something I already knew was present…a freakin’ lump. I was pissed because I have made lifestyle changes to improve my health and now I have this “pea-sized lump” in my breast.

Finally, I go in for the ultrasound and another one of my fears comes true, it’s a freakin’ male doctor. I am not saying male doctors don’t know what they are doing, but from my experience with them and women’s health issues I think their bedside manner is arrogant and condescending…he was no different and that is another story…smh. Anyway, the good news is, the lump is present, but it is benign (I skipped the whole needle in the breast story). PRAISE JESUS!

The reason I shared this is because there is conflicting information regarding the benefit of SBE but my personal opinion is it doesn’t hurt to do it and report changes to your doctor. Please talk to your doctor about breast health and if you’re 40 and older you should be getting your mammogram yearly. Let’s talk care of our breasts.

Peace, Love & LIVE LIFE WELL


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