Hey kids, it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so why not have some fun with it?
A little background on why this cause is near and dear to my heart: As I’ve written before, my precious Mom got breast cancer when I was ohhhh, about 11 or 12 years old.
We were newly living in New Orleans, having been uprooted from the only home we’d ever known in small town Hays, Kansas. My Mama hauled me and my two sisters Laura and Sierra down there to be with her high school sweetheart Edmund after my parents got divorced.
This was good for my Mom romantically, but horrible for us girls, our Dad vanished from our lives after that for years and Edmund was a stranger to us, he was just not our Dad, ya know?
Plus we had to assimilate to new schools and find new friends and navigate our new, very weird and different environment (a big city, Southern accents!) as young girls trying to find our coltish sea legs in the world.
If we had lost our mom in the midst of all that, well I just don’t know. I honestly think with my sensitivity and all of the other stuff I’ve had to overcome in my life since then that I may not have lived this long, if we’d lost her at that age. It was such a formative time for a young girl’s psyche.
My Mom was very stoic about the whole thing, I don’t even remember her crying or breaking down at all.
Edmund stood by her side, she got radiation and a mastectomy, and praise God she’s ALIVE and healthy today.
That experience made both me and my two sisters worry that we could get it because of the genetic link and not to say that we wouldn’t be shocked and horrified if we were diagnosed, but I don’t think any of us would be totally surprised.
For my part, I’ve gone through phases where I obsessively checked my boobs with a self exam every month and even wrote down my findings of any potentially lumps and bumps (I don’t really have lumps and bumps, I think I was feeling muscle tissue).
When I was 28 I really did get a lump that my Gyno MISSED- I found it myself! Scary…
I had to go to a mean women at the hospital for a mammogram at that young age, followed by a sonogram. It turned out to be a blocked milk duct that became unblocked when I breast fed my baby. Bex sucked it out. Phew!
On the flip side of the obsessive me, I also have gone through periods when I avoided breast exams completely because I didn’t want to find bad news. I was too busy. I had enough day to day problems, I didn’t have time for cancer.
This reasoning is of course, crazy, but point is, I understand why some women want to stick their head in the sand and not know.
DON’T DO THAT! Check yer boobies, ladies. Early detection is at your fingertips.
I like to do it in the shower when I’m soaped up, or using lotion works well, too.
Not trying to sound sexual here, but sure, have your husband or a friend do it, too! We love our tits and we want to keep them, man.
I also get a yearly mammogram, and I had the saliva swab test for that breast cancer gene and I don’t have it.
That’s lucky because God knows with all of the vodka I drank, I probably raised my risk factors.
However, I have pretty regularly exercised and eaten fairly healthy and I don’t smoke- and those things can lower your risk, so who knows? I’m quite fond of my boobs and I intend to keep them.
The important thing with all cancers is early detection, because you are awesome and we need you here on this planet.
And F*ck cancer. Fight like a girl!