I remember this really nice lady coming to talk to the 7th grade class that I was in about our bodies. We discussed our periods, body changes, sex and more. I specifically remember her teaching us how important it was to do a breast check while in the shower.
Raising your arm above your head, while using your index and middle finger to circle your breast and check for lumps and even under your arm pit, is how you do a breast check. Any abnormalities you may find, you should report to your doctor. I understood and did it everyday while in the shower.
One day, my right breast started to burn right around my areola. I peeked inside of my bra and noticed a small bump right on its side that resembled a boil. It was white, looked like it had blood in it and burned. Afraid, I laid my shirt back to my chest and ignored the pain and the abnormality. I hoped that it would just go away.
Returning home from school about a week after, I felt a moist substance inside of the padding of my bra, on the right. I took another peek and noticed that the abnormality had burst! It oozed and was super gross, but I was happy that it was gone and figured everything would go back to normal.
I took another peek a week later and this time the bump was up under my skin and a discharge came out from inside of my nipple. That’s when I got really scared.
I found myself at Henry Ford Hospital’s Breast Cancer Clinic here in Dearborn, Michigan about to get a mammogram at the age of 15. I was getting teary eyed as they told me what a mammogram was and what my issue could be.
I was so adamant about not wanting to deal with this crap, that I didn’t even want my boob anymore! Laughing, the nurses looked at me and told me “Young lady, you know there are women willing to die to keep their breast?” I was more concerned about my health, I didn’t care about my appearance.
Finding out a little later that my breast issue was a cyst and that I was too young for a mammogram, my nerves calmed me down a lot and I felt a whole lot better. They gave me some antibiotics to cure the infection and I was told if it progressed, they could make a small incision and suck it out.
Breast cancer is becoming so common in young women and women in general, that I felt led to document my experience with my breast. I may have been able to avoid the increase in pain if I had not kept the issue away from my parents who would get me the help that I needed.
Preforming a proper self breast examination is important! Here is a visual to show you what steps to take
If anything seems abnormal, it is wise to contact your doctor immediately for further examination and help! The key to knowing how to take care of your body is to find out whats wrong with it! If insurance is a reason why you cant see the doctor, here is a link to a website where doctors are available 24/7 for you virtually, to answer any questions that you may have! Check it out
Lets stand together on creating awareness to others on how to care for our bodies and create a comfortable space to speak about them.
I hope this helps someone.