This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I truly appreciate the advancements made in the research of breast cancer over the years. For most of you that don’t know, I have an aunt who passed away almost 14 years ago from breast cancer. I think about her more than I tell anyone because she was my favorite aunt. She was feisty, unapologetically outspoken and carefree. Growing up, she knew I was a sneaky teenager who nine times out of ten was up to no good. But it was cool because I always respected her even when she was fussing and cussing me out.
My aunt taught me a lot through her actions. And even though we rarely saw eye to eye when I was growing up I miss her more than anyone will ever know. She was always encouraging me, especially when I decided to go to college in Waco, Texas. When she died, my heart was heavy and literally hurt for months. But I know her spirit lives on in me because people tell me all the time, I remind them of her.
And so, when I went to the doctor a few months ago and was asked to take an ultrasound and mammogram at the age of 35, I thought for a split second that history was repeating itself. In case you don’t know, I don’t scare easily so I wasn’t nervous. I was concerned and felt I needed to know as soon as possible the status of my health immediately. When I thought about having to do a mammogram and the pain associated with it, pain paled in comparison to waiting to find out I had a diagnosis which could have been discovered sooner. So I anxiously took the mammogram first of both breasts and after receiving results the same day, I was informed I only had to do an ultrasound on my left breast. The ultrasound result however, took a few days for me to receive.
During my waiting, my faith was unwavering and I knew that the results would be negative. So when I didn’t hear from the doctor and had to request my results, I knew that was a good sign. And surely enough, the results were negative. I did found out I have fibrocystic breasts which are when your breasts have tissue that are lumpy in texture. With this diagnosis, I have to limit my caffeine intake, reduce my fat intake and examine my breasts in case I discover any new lumps. While I don’t do these things as regularly as I should I do know that this experience was a wake up call and it sparked a flame in me to tell my story so someone can learn from it.
I still feel sad when I hear about someone newly diagnosed. I wish there was a cure or research that could specifically determine the causes of breast cancer. Unfortunately, we haven’t reached that time yet. I will continue to hold on to the belief that one day there will be a cure. Also, I think about the women who stood up at my church when we celebrated breast cancer survivors three weeks ago and I know the God I serve is a healing God.
I want to urge women and men to self examine their breasts/chests once a month. Also, I hope that you can assist with donating to breast cancer research. If your unable to donate monetarily, educate others on the importance of mammograms and breast health or volunteer with an organization who works with breast cancer survivors. Be sure that I will be donating to breast cancer research because I know every donation helps and makes a difference. Until next time….