Monday, November 18, 2013

Should Young Women Get Mammograms?


 About a month ago I unexpectedly discovered that I had a lump in my right breast.

{Don't freak out...no, I do not have breast cancer...but, this discovery was a great wake up call.} 

 {Side note: Even though I am more than happy to be an open book regarding my life...there is something about writing the word breast on my public blog that makes the prude in me squirm. I know..I'm ridiculous. I didn't realize that any topic in writing was outside of my comfort zone but, evidently I have discovered it.  How odd.

I digress, because I am young(er), it has never really crossed my mind to have a routine breast exam (or ever for that matter) and I certainly wasn't expecting to schedule a Mammogram appointment during my 30th year of life.  I am so thankful that the discovery was made at all.  That in itself was a bit of a miracle.  Perhaps God was giving me a nudge to take my health a little more seriously going forward.  

Due to the fact that breast cancer does run in my family, I immediately felt a mixture of emotions upon making the discovery.  I am not a very reactive person and I am not one to "freak out," but, I sat quietly on the couch and tried to process the information and prayed about what to do next.  I felt a little nervous, anxious and overwhelmed  about the unknowns and yet at the same time I could feel God's peace and His presence.  

I talked with my Mom and texted a few friends and asked for prayer and then I quickly scheduled an appointment for a Mammogram after being prompted to do so. I may very well have ignored the situation for a while had I not been urged otherwise.

I was so impressed and thankful that they were able to schedule me in later that same day.  This gave me very little time to over think the situation. 

I was told that Mammograms can be a bit uncomfortable, so I was prepared for that possibility but, it really wasn't too terrible.  Uncomfortable yes, but bearable. More than anything I felt awkward about having my bare chest smashed between two x-ray plates in front of a technician.  I have been known to say awkward things in awkward situations.  Unfortunately, Mammogram day was one of those days for me.  To be honest, I'm a bit too embarrassed to repeat here on this blog what I said there, though I am giggling to myself at the mere thought of it. hehehe  Sometimes I remind myself of Chandler from Friends and I am not proud of that fact...'nuff said.

I was told on more than one occasion by the nurse staff, "you are so young.  We hardly ever see women your age in here."  I thought about that.  I suppose that is a good thing.  The last thing I wanted to hear them say was that the offices were booming with 30 year old women coming in to have suspicious lumps checked out.  Praise God.  Yes, that is a great thing!  Then I wondered, wait, why am I here?  Please just tell me that the lump is nothing and I will be on my merry way.  
 

As it turned out, I had not one but, three lumps in my right breast.  The fantastic news is that the lumps were cysts, no surgical removal was required and I was given the all clear sign.  I exhaled a tremendous sigh of relief and quietly squealed, "thank you Jesus."  As I said before, I am not a very reactive person but, if you could have seen the me inside of me, I was jumping up and down for joy and running around wildly screaming praises.  Can any of you relate to that or is it just me?  

I was strongly urged to take all breast lumps seriously going forward and I was advised to get Mammograms regularly to monitor things.  I took this advise to heart and I plan to be much more proactive going forward. 

I wrote this (very out of my comfort zone) post simply to encourage young women and all women for that matter, to check for lumps on a regular basis, or make an appointment yearly for an exam and then to immediately make an appointment to get a Mammogram if anything suspicious is found.  Even if you are unsure, make an appointment to put your mind at ease.

Initially when I discovered the lump, I doubted myself and I figured it was nothing.  I didn't even know what a lump was supposed to feel like.  I actually waited several days before telling anyone about it because, I didn't want seem like I was being "dramatic."  I am so thankful that I finally decided to address the situation because it was in fact a lump and it could have been cancer.  

So, if anyone has been putting off making an appointment to get a Mammogram (even if you are young(er) like me), I hope this post will give you the nudge you needed to do so.  Get er' done, please.

Breast cancer is a very, very serious thing and I will tell you that just the mere thought of having breast cancer for one day rattled me tremendously.  It was a huge wake up call and once again it challenged me to remember just how precious and beautiful life is.  It reminded me that every day is a gift and not to be taken for granted.   

Much love to all breast cancer survivors, to all who have battled it in the past or are currently battling it.  God Bless each of you today. 

3 comments:

  1. hey casey! thanks for sharing this! SOOOO GLAD to hear you are healthy! sometimes we take that for granted, huh?! i actually tried to get a mammogram at my last gyno appointment, and my dr was shocked and said i shouldn't...but i am going to push for it this year. they say if you have a family member who has had breast cancer (my mom for me) that you should go in for your first one when you are ten years younger than they were when they were diagnosed. (at least that's what the dr told me). anyhoo- you are brave for doing it! again so happy for you!!!

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  2. Soo Soo Soo glad you had them checked out and they turned out to be not so serious! Being young and having breast cancer is indeed quite serious. Hope you are well!

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  3. So glad to hear that everything is alright! God is great! My sister in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer twice and is a survivor twice. God Bless!

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