October is here, which means the spooky season is coming (hello Halloween)! It’s a really exciting time of year, but it’s equally as important to remember that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is something that a lot of people, including myself, are very passionate about. For me, several family members have had their own battles with this disease. Both my paternal and maternal grandmothers bravely fought the battle and so have other family members. It’s something I’m very conscious of being proactive about when it comes to my own health.
I’ve been particularly aware of maintaining awareness because earlier this year I had my own minor breast cancer scare. I say minor, but nonetheless, it was a terrifying few weeks. I had a spot on my breast that the doctor could not identify the cause of. It was a dark purple spot about 2 cm wide with a yellow and blue bruise looking spot the size of a quarter surrounding it. I hadn’t actually bruised it and it didn’t hurt to press on, so I had no clue what it was. I took skin lesion antibiotics that helped it slightly but it still stuck around and scared me for several weeks. After multiple visits to the primary care physician, the words “breast cancer” got thrown around a bit. This wasn’t a typical symptom, but with my family history, we wanted to be extra careful. I went to the dermatologist about two months after discovering the spot to see if they could solve the mystery of what it was before we moved onto looking deeper into breast cancer.
I am lucky to say that I was not diagnosed with breast cancer. It turned out to be an abnormal cyst that the dermatologist was able to drain. I was so relieved and thankful to find out, but it also made me remember that so many other people aren’t so fortunate. To know how scared I was, having panic attacks at night, at the slight possibility of having breast cancer made my heart break for everyone who didn’t get the same turnout that I did. It also makes me realize how strong people like my mammaw, grammy, and great aunt are to go through so much.
So please, remember to be proactive and check yourself! Make sure you’re giving yourself monthly self-examinations to make sure everything seems well. If you are of age, go get a mammogram. Talk about it too! I know it can be awkward to talk about boobs sometimes (thank you stigmatization) but do it! Raise awareness and potentially save someone’s life. Also, there are plenty of ways you can donate. A lot of retailers have partnered with organizations such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to raise funds throughout the month. Isn’t time we find a cure?
Side note, I will be participating in the American Cancer Society’s Tri-Cities Making Strides 3k fun walk at Founder’s Park on Oct. 28! If any of my Tri-Cities friends would like to join me I’d be happy to walk with you. I’ve done this walk in the past and it’s a super fun event. It would mean a lot to me too. You can register here.