The Importance of Checking Yourself


Every day I read stories about women who were inspired to do a self-breast exam and it saved their life. Rachel wrote earlier this month about how simply doing a self-breast exam impacted her life (Breast Cancer Awareness Month: The “C” Word). Here is my story for you….

I was 24. It was early summer of 2007. I got up out of bed and headed to the shower to get ready for work. For some reason I thought, Hey, I should probably check myself. I found a lump. In disbelief I walked out of the bathroom and said to my husband, “I found a lump. I should probably call the doctor when they open”—and then went about my morning getting ready.

Being alone with my thoughts in the car on the way to work was when my brain started to actually process what this could mean. Do women this young actually get breast cancer? Does my family have a history of breast cancer? We had just decided to start a family—at least we didn’t already have children to juggle along with whatever this meant.

Self-Breast Exam: The Importance of Checking Yourself

Not until I called the office and the scheduler answered did the tears start. In my car in front of my office building, sobbing, I explained that I needed an appointment because I’d found a lump.

I was scared. I was thankful. I was a lot of emotions that I can’t even explain.

Through my appointment and an ultrasound it was determined that it was not cancer. It was a benign tumor, a fibroadenoma. Hearing the nurse say, “It’s not cancer,” was a relief. Surgery was scheduled but I would be fine. It was not cancer.

Friday, July 13, 2007, I had the fibroadenoma removed. I now have a scar that reminds me every day that doing that self-exam is for a purpose. It is real. And it is scary. But you—you are the first line of defense in finding out something is wrong with your body.

So moms out there—let this be your wake-up call, your reminder, to check yourself.


Every month.


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