Monday, September 03, 2007

Takin' Care of the Girls

One day I was getting into the shower when Zack pointed at my breasts and asked, “Are those the bests, Mama?”

“I like to think so,” I answered.

That was back when I was immune to any breast-worry. But now that I’m in the WhyMommy-know I’ve been thinking about the girls in a whole new light. In fact, I’ve become a little obsessed.

I’ll admit I’ve performed maybe five breast exams my entire life. I never knew what I was looking for and felt self-conscious poking at the girls so sloppily. And while my family has a history of breast cancer (via my grandmother on my father’s side) I always thought nursing my children somehow made me immune to any breast ailment (well, shouldn’t it?!). So I’ve never given my girls the attention they truly deserve.

But just last weekend I got to go on a quick trip to Utah sans children to visit my family. As I was driving I noticed that my left breast was a little sore. So I spent nearly three hours poking and prodding at my boob trying to find a lump or some tangible explanation for the pain (I blame this heightened self-awareness on the empty backseat. I couldn’t be rational while contending with so much silence.). By the time I got to Utah my breast was really sore and I was really worried.

Two days and 48-hours worth of self-induced poking and prodding later, I was nearly hysterical (fyi, I’m prone to be irrational. See Mama Meme, letter “I.”). So Monday morning I tried scheduling an appointment with my husband’s family doctor (along with being irrational, I’m also a procrastinator. We’ve lived here nearly a year and I have yet to schedule a checkup with a doctor.). Apparently, regardless of how hysterical a potential patient is, this doctor will only schedule one new patient a day; and she was booked until mid-October. I took five deep breaths and went to Urgent Care.

I can’t imagine that any woman enjoys a breast exam. But I’ve never been happier than at that moment while, lying topless and fondled by a competent professional, I was told that nothing unusual had been detected. Hallelujah!

So for those of you who don’t know, the purpose of a regular self exam is to detect any irregularities. And you can’t detect those unless you’re doing them every month. (duh! I know.). You gotta get to know the girls intimately, so perform a monthly exam and get a yearly checkup or if you have an extensive history of breast cancer or are nearing 40, schedule a mammogram.

So this post is in honor of WhyMommy. Thanks for making me more aware. Thanks for prompting me to take better care of myself so I can, in turn, continue to take care of my family. And if you’ve yet to visit her blog and share some love with this incredibly courageous and selfless woman, please do so today. She could use our prayers and positive energy to kick cancer’s butt.

Up in the Night thanks you, WhyMommy! God bless!


my minivan is faster than yours said...

People brave enough like Why Mommy to share their story help more people than they'll ever know.

How nice of you to do this post :)

Candygirlflies said...

I hope you have let Whymommy know about this post!! She would be THRILLED to read it.

So glad you are all right. I am another one of those women whom Whymommy has reached, loudly and clearly... And I, too, have started doing regular (if slightly obsessive) BSE.

Here in Canada, our medical system does not send women for routine mammograms until they are 50. HOWEVER, we CAN start getting them earlier, if we ask for them when we visit our GPs or OB/GYNs. I wish more women knew how important it is, and that they have the POWER to push the system!!

There is no greater weapon than being aware... We need to take responsibility for our health!!

Rachel said...

I found a lump when I was 14 and yet I still don't check regularly. Can you tell me why I am this stubborn?

Whymommy said...

Thanks. I'm so glad you're ok and nothing was wrong!

Mama Zen said...

I've been trying to be more conscientious about my BSEs as well. Great post!

suburbancorrespondent said...

I don't check regularly because I am a confirmed hypochondriac - if I checked once a month, I'd be at the obgyn's once a month saying, "What's this?"

But I should, I know. Flylady has everyone check "the girls" on the 11th of each month. If you sign on to her list, you get a computer reminder to do so.

Erin said...

I am so bad at this! I just have a hard time knowing what's normal. I usually use my yearly feel-ups as a starting point...and then I slack off. I'll be better-I hope. Thanks for the reminder, again.

Gustogirl said...

good reminder. I am glad that it was nothing serious for you!

Becky said...

Thank you for the is so good to be aware. Funny thing is, that a few hours ago I had to cancel my "yearly" exam appt. cause my wonderful "Aunt Flo" showed up today. Nice.

But, because of you and your post...I won't delay rescheduling for next year...I will do it soon.

Thanks Shauna and glad to hear everything checked out ok with you!

LikeAstaR said...

what a relief! I, too, ten to get irrational... especially on long drives in silence!

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

What a relief for you. Thanks for the reminder.