As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I know you are probably getting bombarded by pink since the calendar changed to this month, but here’s my story and a few things I want to share about this terrible disease.
Get checked. We make excuses. We don’t have time, it can’t happen to me, I’m healthy. But it happens to 1 in 8 women. So scheduled that mammogram annually. Make and take the time.
I didn’t. I should have but with five pregnancies and breastfeeding it didn’t happen. But I did tell my obgyn that I felt a lump at my 23 week prenatal appointment which was supposed to be checking on my baby but ended up changing my life.
I didn’t find out I had breast cancer that day, but I knew. I could tell from my doctor’s reaction that it wasn’t good and two weeks later I was starting my first round of chemo. We caught it early, acted early and I am so grateful for my obgyn for helping get me into treatment and recognizing the problem. I am lucky I had a wonderful doctor and did not have to self advocate or switch as I know some other people have had to do before they got diagnosed.
If something doesn’t feel right, get it checked out. This is something I would always tell my health classes about any conditions: heart disease, cancers, STDs. If there’s a lump, pain or something just doesn’t feel right, get it looked at. Better safe than sorry.
I first started getting shooting pain in my breast on a Thursday. It got worse the next day and I felt lumps in both breasts that night. Not good. The shooting pain continued over the weekend. I had my obgyn appointment Monday morning and if I didn’t have this scheduled appointment I would have called because I had pain and lumps and neither was normal. I initially thought my milk was coming in early but something told me that wasn’t it. Thankfully I listened to my gut and brought it up to my doctor.
It’s important to share and talk about breast cancer because it can help others. Chris had a coworker who scheduled a mammogram after hearing about me. She admitted she had put it off for several years. She ended up needing a lumpectomy after a cancerous mass was found.
And that’s why I share my story. It’s about helping others and raising awareness. Sure there’s a part of me that shares how badass I am for the praise (just kidding!)…we all use Facebook to brag every now and then right? And part of me shared to gain support which helped me immensely throughout my treatment: all the comments on posts, messages and texts really meant a lot. And writing also helped me cope with the stress of it all.
But I mainly wanted to share because breast cancer is real. It affects 1 in 8 of us women. I wanted to show that it’s not exactly as we all picture. I could still go out and about even if I had no hair. We may not appear as sickly as you think when you hear cancer. We are going through a lot and still go through a lot even after the treatment and surgeries are over. The fatigue, the stress, the trauma, it doesn’t just go away. While I wish breast cancer never became a part of me, I know I will continue to grow from the difficult journey and appreciate everything just a little bit more. Because I am 1 in 8.
#breastcancerawareness #thinkpink #breastcancerawarenessmonth #breastcancersurvivor #breastcancerthriver #pregnantwithcancer #mystory #onetoughmother #getchecked