In October of 2013, I was enjoying our annual family camping trip and noticed a hard lump on the side of my right breast. I noticed it because sometimes if I lay on it the wrong way, it hurts. I typically sleep on my stomache or on my side, with a pillow to hold. My partner and I both tried the whole breast exam thing but since neither of us really had any clue what we were feeling for, it was useless. I couldn't tell the difference between what was supposed to be there and what didn't belong.
PHOTO: Me (RIGHT) and my friend Dawn (LEFT), during our annual family camping weekend.
A coincidence or a sign? After thinking about it day and night, then coming home and immediately jumping online for more googled information, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. A post on a cancer services site that read "If you notice a dimple in your breast, that can be a sign of breast cancer. Come in for your free mammogram during breast cancer awareness month." Several months back, I noticed that my right breast began sucking itself inward. My partner and I always joked that this breast must be the one that kids enjoyed the milk from most and that is why it is doing this droopy funny looking thing. I had just turned 40 years old so I thought this was part of the aging process.
Well, since I don't believe in coincidence, I pretty much knew in my gut (the gut always knows best) that something was wrong.
After a few pestering phone calls from my Mom, asking if I made the mammogram appointment yet, I finally called. I called Cancer Services of Onondaga County in Upstate New York, since they were offering free mammograms for the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness month.
I had no idea the journey I was about to take...