Friday, October 07, 2011

A Breast Cancer Awareness Post. Please don't laugh. Or do... (blush)

Have to get back in the habit of blogging again!  Ok, for quick here, I have been making applesauce, zucchini bread with apples, I cleaned out our freezer as I had run out of room, I have picked  apples to make MORE applesauce, or some such.  And I just checked the garden, it needs to be picked over and cleaned out.

Did I hear glutton for punishment?

Yes.  What, may I ask, is your point? (grin)

So.  I realized it was October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I decided to share a story about it.

It's a story with a happy ending!  Really!!

I was in my first year of college where I was out "on my own", in my little apartment, doing my college-y things, and one thing I wanted to do was take karate.  There is a family story that when I was a toddler sized carpet rodent, I had used some karate skills, taught to me by my babysitter, to kick another kid off the stage when my Dad was being installed as Sargent of Arms in a lodge meeting.

I guess I never got over it, because I still like karate.  Thusly, I wander into my class, and start with running.  Lots and lots of running.  (And I was given the nickname Duck by one of the others, as I have feet as flat as flat can be, and it sounded like I was slapping the floor, not running...)  After what seemed like MILES of running, we would then go on to practice punches.  Over and over, and over, and over again, with the teacher  pausing by certain students to correct arm placement or stance.  After all this we'd usually actually get to spar a bit.  (I usually managed to get put with someone who was several belts ahead and at least 10 inches taller than me. But it was fun.  Most of the time.)

So, this went on for about 2 months, and I thought nothing of it.  I was losing a little weight, I was getting some shape in my legs, and looking pretty good.

Then I did a breast exam.  I was horrified to realize I had not one, but two big lumps under my breasts!  I was freaked out, to say the least.  I also knew that I had a family history of breast cancer.  I called my OBGYN, and made an appointment.  Fortune would have it, I was due for the yearly "fun" anyway, so I just shined everyone on that I was just 'getting the girls checked'.  I figured there was no sense borrowing trouble and freaking everyone else out, 'til I knew what I was dealing with.

After a few nervous days of wondering what the problem was, I finally had my appointment.  I nearly bawled at the doctor, saying I had these lumps and I had a family history and omg what was I going to do if it IS cancer...  He calmed me down, and very seriously said, maybe we should check what it is that you are feeling first.

So, I pointed out the area.  With a stern expression he then did a breast exam.  Then he looked confused.  Is this the lump?  He gently prodded a spot.

Yes.

And you say there is one on the opposite side?

Yes... (Of course, by then I had images of surgery, hair loss, all the lovely things that run through the imagination.)

He stood up, and said, managing to keep a straight face.  You haven't maybe been exercising a lot lately, by chance?

Well, yeah.  I told him about my class, and he asked me to dress.  He also asked if I would tell him about the regular exercises I did in class.  I told him, and said that I did them nearly every day out of class, so I could keep up with the other students.

That's when he put a hand on my shoulder, and trying desperately not to laugh, told me that he was quite happy to let me know that what I had was not cancer.  It was not even bad.  In fact, it made his day to let me know I had proof the exercises were working, because that was new muscle growth under my breasts!    He then got out a silicone model of a breast that had "lumps", so I could have a better idea what I was trying to look for.  I just figured that any change was bad, up to that point.

 He gave me a much better idea of what was good and bad when checking, and seemed pleased when I said he'd made my day.  I left with a much better frame of mind, knowledge, and a very good idea of what my doctor's laugh sounded like from behind his office door!

So, please be sure and check things out, but know for what you are checking.  I will do my PSA here and say, do the monthly check, and have a check by a doc, too.

You never know when you will have a muscle sneak up on you!

(Oh, and messymimi, if you'd called the posse, they probably would have just handed the phone to my boss, to hand to me!  That was most of what my volunteer work was last month!)

5 comments:

  1. Good story :-)

    You still had a baseline mammogram, didn't you?

    All those apples... sounds like punishment to me...

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  2. nice to see you again!!

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  3. LOL! About the posse.

    Your fear was real, and i don't laugh at fear, but i'm glad it was nothing.

    In college, i also had a lump. It was a blue dome cyst, caused by excess caffeine intake. Short outpatient surgery took care of it, and i check the girls regularly myself, with the doc, and through yearly "glamor shots." ;)

    Good luck with processing all the produce, and if you get tired of applesauce, you could always try your hand at my Sweetie's favorite, apple butter.

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  4. I agree completely. Check those suckers, and DON'T neglect the yearly doc checks.

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  5. Sharon: yes, at that point, I had the baseline for at least a year or two at that point, if I remember correctly.

    messymimi: I have seen apple butter a few times, I don't know that I've ever tried it, might have to scare up a recipe. However, a certain man in my life asked for a pie, so I guess I shall have to put apple butter off for the moment... ;)

    Rain: :) Thanks!

    Samantha, messy mimi: checks and "photos", AMEN!

    Cat

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