These are the words that every woman wants to hear who has ever found a lump in her breast. I heard these words from my radiologist this month after a bilateral mammogram and ultrasound. I am sure that you understand the relief I felt. Despite the research I did which showed that I had no signs of breast cancer, I needed medical confirmation.
I can tell you that I cried for several minutes after the doctor and technician left the exam room. Sheer relief washed over me and I simply could not contain my tears. I am extremely grateful that they were not tears of sorrow.
Because I am an ugly crier (flushed face, red nose and red, swollen eyes – Clare Danes has nothing on me.) I texted my husband the good news. He was in the waiting room. I did not want him to be alarmed when I walked out looking traumatized, despite my attempts at superficial recovery. We celebrated with lunch afterwards.
Heart disease will likely kill me first – even after the weight loss. I have heart disease factors from both parents. The good news is that my annual check up results continually show no signs of high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Beast cancer does not run in my family. But did you know that statics show that more women without a family history of breast cancer get it? Yes, you read that correctly. I was just as surprised as you.
Do your breast exams monthly. I know a few women who’s lives were saved because they found the lump first. Get a mammogram annually. No, it’s not a pleasant experience, but child birth lasts a hell of a lot longer. In the scope of our lives, mammogram pain is small and finite. It was only through my monthly exam that I noticed the cyst. Cyst, not tumor. And even if it was cancer, I would rather know sooner than later. I would prefer to get treatment sooner so that I have a better chance at beating any cancer.
Take your health seriously, ladies. Get an annual exam. Schedule the screenings and keep the appointment. What is more important than taking care of your body? If you won’t do it for yourself, just think of all of the people in your life who depend upon you. Think, just for a minute, about the huge void you would leave if you died too soon.
And, men, you need to know the facts about breast cancer in your gender as well. It’s not just for women only.