Monday, June 28, 2010

I promise to pay as much attention to my boobies as men do...

I woke up slowly this morning after having difficulty falling asleep last night.

I usually stay in bed until I've got my wits about me. It was early enough that I stayed there for a while. That's when I realized that I felt a strange pain in my right breast.

I started to massage around my breast to see if I could find the pain. I have fibrous breasts and they do get really sore right before my menstrual cycle.

Problem is... my menstrual cycle just ended. So... why would my breasts be sore?

As I pondered this thought, I came across a raised area on my breast. I shot out of bed and ran into the bathroom to get a closer look. What appeared was something long and slender, about 3 inches long, just to the right of my areola. I thought it may be a raised vein but as I traced along the length of it, I found that one end was especially sore. It almost felt as if an insect bit me!

I went about my morning, stopping now and then to examine this strangeness on my skin. On the drive to work, I made an appointment with my general doctor.

***


I'm 40 years old. My last mammogram was at age 35. In my family, I have a mother who had fibrous/non-cancerous tumors removed from her breasts in her 40's. My father died of esophageal cancer. My father's sister (who, I believe, is actually my 2nd cousin), just found out that she has breast cancer.

All of my grandparents have lived into their mid-90's, with my grandfather still kickin' it at age 93.

Could this be something serious like the "c" word? Would a cancerous tumor be painful? And why would it suddenly just appear out of nowhere?

***

I was examined by the doctor earlier today and am now scheduled for a mammogram on Wednesday.

She believes that it may be a blocked milk duct or an inflamed lymph node. Just to make sure and because of my age, she is definitely recommending a mammogram.

Getting my boobies squished is not my idea of a good time but hey... the little scare I've had so far today is enough to kick my ass into gear.

Ya'll wish me luck and keep me in your prayers please.

***

This website was especially helpful for more information on Breast Anatomy and Pathlogy: Breast Diagnostic Center

***

Do you do breast self-exams?

How often do you get mammograms? Have you had one before?

Have you tried thermography?

Did you know that you can be screened for a gene that increases your chances of getting breast cancer?

Did you know that men can get breast cancer too?

23 comments:

  1. Reading this, I immediately thought blocked milk duct because I had one when I was 18 and it sounded very much like you described. It hurt like hell and was raised and eventually even red. I was put on an antibiotic for a week and it didn't help so I had to have a small incision and have it drained. I really hope it doesn't get to that point for you because it hurt so bad.

    Try not to get too freaked out! And yes, I am well aware men can get breast cancer. The dad of one of my best friends from college had it before she was born. When she told me, that was the first I had ever heard of it!

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  2. T
    I don't give a whole lot of orders, ok ok I am an order giver but anyway...

    GO YOUR ASS (and boobs) TO THE DOC REGULARLY!

    SHeeesh girl.

    Are we married? MY bride wont go either.

    Go girl, go to the doc, every year at least.

    I hope alls well
    xo

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  3. I will be forced to karate cop you in the pituitary gland if you disregard my orders.

    just sayin.

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  4. Cancer has affected my family more than I'd like to discuss.

    You're in my thoughts tonight, T.

    *hug*

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  5. You're definitely in my prayers T. And my fingers are crossed too!

    Cancer is the leading cause of deaths in my family. It freaks me out. Heart disease is the 2nd runner-up. All this is the biggest reason of why I watch what I eat.

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  6. let me know what happens. T. I'm thinking good thoughts for you. xoxo

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  7. Wish I could go with you, too. Is someone going with you? You're a pro at deep breathing. Carry your yoga with you. Big, huge hug!!!

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  8. I had a similar experience once that turned out to be an infected hair follicle. Scared the shit out of me though!

    There's a lot of breast cancer in my family: my mom, one of my aunts, one of my cousins, even a great-uncle. My doc really wanted to me to be screened for the "breast cancer" gene, but I declined. I just can't imagine what knowing that I have the gene would help. Seems like it would just make me worry... and just because you carry the gene doesn't mean you'll get breast cancer... and just because you don't carry the gene doesn't mean you *won't* get breast cancer. So every year she recommends it and every year I decline.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that it's no more than a blocked duct or lymph node as your doc suspects.

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  9. So sorry T! I started getting mammograms at 25 because of a strong family history. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and she has two sisters who had it. One passes away, and one is still with us. My cousin just had the test for the breast cancer gene and it was positive. She is 29 and has opted for a double mastectomy. I get my mammograms yearly and do my self checks. I had a couple of scares from scar tissue due to a breast reduction.

    My prayers are with you! Ladies check your boobs! Let's save second base!!!

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  10. *hugs* to you, T. Keeping you in my thoughts.

    Love you. xo

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  11. I'm a big fan of saving the tatas!

    Know that we're all thinking of you. Big hugs!

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  12. Good luck at the docs, I hope all is well!!!

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  13. Thoughts are with you.
    Yes, we get lazy and forget to do the little, little things that are so important — maybe life-saving.

    So, please, touch your boobs; it feels nice, at least. ;-)

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  14. I hope it's not serious. My sister is around your age and just did chemo and is in radiation to treat breast cancer.

    It doesn't sound like that's what you have, but it's a good idea to get it checked out. I agree that you need to pay more attention to your boobies. Now go flog yourself... :)

    Good luck!

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  15. ((T))

    Thanks for the reminder...I have't seen a physician since...well a loooooong time.

    Nursing as long as I did, it also sounds like a blocked milk to me, too. I hope everything is ok. I know waiting SUCKS.

    hugs
    hugs
    hugs

    Beryl

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  16. Wow T, you sound so calm and rational. I would be freaking the F out! You are definitely taking all the right steps and acting fast. Good for you! My thoughts are with you and of course, I'm hoping for good results.

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  17. I am proud of you for checking into it so quickly. I will be thinking of you.
    I had my 1st mamogram and colonoscopy this year. It is fun aging let me tell you!

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  18. T, good for you for immediately getting your cute butt into the doctor's office. I am sending the most positive healthy vibes I know how to send. MUCHO LOVE!

    -QT

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  19. how timely! my annual screening is tomorrow, and i just realized this is probably not the best time in my cycle to be all squeezed. oy! i'm over the four-oh so i should be getting screening every year, but i did skip a year or two in there somewhere. i also admit that i am not very good about self-examining. i need to be better. i've had benign lumpiness (cysts from fibrocystic condition) several times since my 30s, so i'm always afraid i'm going to find something and freak out and then it will just be a cyst....

    a year ago i had a lump for the first time since my kids were born, so i headed to the gyno (i was due for my annual anyway), who ordered a diagnostic mammo (i needed my screening anyway). Fortunately, the doctor at the imaging center pronounced it benign on the spot. whew!

    i'm sure the same will happen for you, t, but it does sound ouchy. good luck, and take some advil before you go! i think i may do a shot or two of j.d., too :)

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  20. Oh, sorry to hear all this. I hope it's nothing serious. You're in my thoughts.

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  21. I'm sure it will turn out to be nothing serious, but I'm so so so glad to hear that you were aware enough to check in the first place and that you followed up with your doc and getting a squish picture to make sure.

    Nothing but the best positive wishes coming your way.

    I just had round #2 of my "once every 6 months for 2years" baseline... all was good to go! Those darn dense/fibrous breasts and because of the history with my mom.

    My mom really was trying to encourage me to get the test for the gene but I have made the decision not to. Reason #1: I do not believe that knowing would change anything that I do. I already am on track with my imaging, I do my self tests and I have a fairly healthy life style. Reason #2: You can have the gene and not get breast cancer, and not having doesn't guarantee you won't get breast cancer. Reason #3: If I did test positive I don't want to spend my life in worry just waiting for it to hit.

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  22. T, that's freakin' scary!! Please keep us updated, I'm sending all my positive thoughts and energy your way.

    I have very small breasts, I wonder if that makes any difference? I would notice anything, even a tiny difference in my little A cups, I would think, right away.

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