October : Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Personal Experience I
So, October is breast cancer awareness month. I can’t talk about the pain that breast cancer causes a person. But, I can talk about how I felt when I discovered lumps in my breast and the process of going to the hospital to get them removed (yeah there were multiple).
I can’t really say when I noticed the lumps but I know I thought they were the part of my breast that was still growing. I don’t know why I thought this but I did. Fast forward to my internship at NNPC hospital and I’m prepping for my surgery that was not meant to happen that day.
I cannot and I mean cannot begin to tell you the fear that gripped me the days before the surgery, all the x-rays, discovering that it was more than one lump but two that had fused together, me making the mistake of going online to diagnose my lump and me finally believing that I had gotten cancer.
I was on level ten of my freaking out.
Come surgery day,
me on the table,
the blue sheet pulled up to cover my face,
the doctor telling me that I would have to be awake for the operation,
me feeling pains in the middle of the operation,
finding another lump that was not seen on the x-ray,
all the while my co-workers were upstairs not knowing what was going on.
Only a close friend and my boss knew what was going on. They both prayed for me before I went downstairs.
Me not being able to sleep well,
not being able to shower well,
being told be a woman, it’s not like you gave birth, so if it was cancer what would you have done.
Yes, praise God it was not cancer, but that does not take away the pain and the fear that I felt nor the lack of information I had going in, or the stigma or shame I thought I would feel or experience if I had asked for help in the beginning.
The truth is I’m not the first and I won’t be last, mine wasn’t the smallest neither was it the biggest and there would always be far worse cases than mine. I know that now, but in the moment, you feel like you are alone.
I writing to tell you that you are not alone and there are so many aids to help you and who would listen to you. The amount of free and correct information out there has increased, when in doubt please call your doctor and talk to them.
Don’t be like me, waiting and afraid.
Below are some links explaining how to self-check and some other useful information
- Signs and symptoms of breast cancer
- The Five Steps of a Breast Self-Exam
- Breast Self-Exam
- Self Breast Exam Video
- Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria
Have a Susty filled day.