I found a lump. At the age of 20, I found a lump. It was pea-sized and turned out to be a harmless, albeit uncomfortable, fibrous cyst.
And because it was harmless, I allowed it to hang out with me living in my left breast. It lived there until I met my breast cancer surviving future mother-in-law. She urged me to kick it out. I did what she asked. It had grown to the size of the end of my thumb and was quite uncomfortable. It was time for it to go.
In January 2006, my lump received its eviction notice.
Three years almost to the day after kicking my lump out, I had my first abnormal pap results. At my first prenatal appointment with our oldest, my test results showed high grade changes in the cells of my cervix. It was the first of many abnormal test results showing high grade changes. And in the fall of 2018, I kicked my uterus out. Not that I really wanted to, but the uterus and cervix – they’re kind of a package deal. And it was the only way to also kick my cervix out and avoid increased risk of cervical cancer.
Since that time, I’ve seen so many women I love and admire (including but not limited to my mama and Rural Gone Urban) be diagnosed with cancers of various forms, and I felt the need today to say something.
Friends, cancer doesn’t discriminate, and we need to be diligent. So, do those self-breast exams #feelitonthefirst. Schedule that pap. Get to know your body. And be proactive with your health.
PS – I thought about putting a TMI warning on this post for the dudes, but dudes, you need to be aware and looking out for the gals you love and yourselves too.