So I kinda lied. In a post I did about finding a lump in my breast I talked about how important it was to not let fear paralyze you. Reach out. Get help. But since then, I totally backtracked and let it consume me.
When I found the lump in my breast and was told it was cyst, I felt so relieved I didn’t really ask questions. I didn’t have cancer. Who the hell cares about anything else?? Being alone at that appointment, I didn’t have a family member who should have pressed the doctor further because what they did tell me is that I have “innumerable” cysts. I didn’t ask what that meant or if that was cause for concern. I frankly didn’t ask anything.
The lump went away quickly and I thought that was it. But several months later, I found another lump. That stomach dropping fear settled back into me. How could I tell if this was a lump I should be worried about or just another one of my billion cysts in my boobs? I lucky was going in for a GYN exam and asked her. But I didn’t get any real advice or answers. I was told I would find lumps time to time and that I should call if I was concerned.
But, um, what should I be concerned about? How can I tell that lump is shady and that lump is just a-ok? I kept trying to get some concrete steps from my doctor but I didn’t get any. I let it drop.
During this time, my grandmother passed away from breast cancer that had spread. I happened to find some papers of hers talking about her medical history and spotted something. “Age 30 Cyst Removal”. It seemed like an ominous forewarning of her battle with cancer. She was MY age. She happened to also have cysts in her breasts, one of which grew large enough to cause issues. It wasn’t cancer, but to me it screamed out, “See, this is how it starts!”
After I read that, I stopped doing breast self-exams. I didn’t tell anyone but I suddenly became terrified of my breasts. I hated them. I was afraid to find something. I was doing *exactly* what I said I should never ever do! And right now? I’m still too afraid to do a self-exam. I’m writing this because I need to make the next step to understand what it is I should be doing. And sharing this makes me accountable.
So, I’m telling YOU guys I’m going to call my doctor and just tell her all this. Tell her I’m lacking information and it really scares me.