Minding My Mammaries

self-exam

Breasts are strange things. As the ultimate feminine accessory, they make outfits fit better, give us fabulous curves and restore wavering confidence. They can be worn to be oggled or stuffed away in a t-shirt and overlooked. Miraculously, after our bodies mix some crazy internal hormonal cocktail, these “accessories” can become endless kegs of milk at the ready for an infant looking to party into the wee hours. And then of course, they can be objects of intense and sobering concern.

I had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, fun, children and food. Even my breasts got a piece of the action. My mother took me to buy two new bras from Victoria Secret. Now you must understand. My underwear is the least of my concerns. I have two boys – I am focused on them and dinner and bills and keeping gas in the car. Fancy bras just seem silly and frivolous. And I hadn’t bought a new bra since before my two year old was born. I mean, get real. My other ones seemed just fine – they kept the girls in check and who needs all the lace, the fra-la-la and the frippery anyway. 

But into Victoria’s Secret we stepped. And I found the BEST. BRA. EVER. I am now the proud owner of two Angel Airbras. Putting one on does not *poof* turn me into Heidi Klum. (Snorting my morning tea as I write this…) Yeah, not at all. But you know what? They have truly given me a little pep in my step. What an unexpected and welcome surprise to be sure. For so long, I have overlooked the shape of my chest thinking there is really nothing more I can do to give the girls any more “oomph” at this point. But whadda ya know. I have got myself a little “oomph” afterall. Again, there is no miracle involved. And similar to my wee but rallying chest size, the change is so subtle it may not be even apparent to the naked eye. But *I* notice a change and *I* feel better about myself. And that is worth its weight in gold. So here I write, smugly puffing out my somewhat puffy – but better shaped – chest.

However, in the midst of this little breast ego trip, I have been quietly concerned. You see, something seems a little …off… with one of my breasts. It’s probably no big deal. No lumps (phew, phew, phew, phew) but one is sore and just feels a bit different. I don’t understand why there would be any pain in one and not the other. I had convinced myself over the past couple weeks that maybe I had pulled a muscle from coughing or from running. But its still there. One boob. And I’m “aware” of it.

Honestly, I am fairly sure this is an over-reaction. But my over-reaction is comparable with a knee jerk reaction whenever “irregularity” and my breasts are concerned. With my family’s breast cancer history, I am am perpetually on watch – wondering when my turn is up. I almost don’t consider breast cancer an “if”, I consider it a “when”. So if something now seems awry – well, it’s time to ready the girls. Even as they are tucked peacefully in their padded lace, we need to prepare for anything. We’ll see what the doctor says in a few days but, in the meantime, here’s to hoping I am making a mountain out of a molehill… so to speak.

So, if I were to turn this post into a public service announcement, what would it be? Um, how about: “Don’t ignore your breasts”. Breast cancer is a real possibility for every woman. And ignoring something “not quite right” is never the answer. If you’re worried, just call your doctor. Rather walk back to your car after your appointment, hugely embarrassed, but with healthy mole hills than find out too late that your molehills are actually mountains.

And certainly don’t ignore your girls and forget to give them a fancy, fabulously supportive bra once in awhile. It’s good for them, it’s good for you, things fit better, you look better, it’s just a good idea all around.

Be well, my friends. I’ll keep you posted.

**Update**

No lumps. Phew. Next stop? I get to have a  mammogram next week. And I am even kind of looking forward to it. Once again, I’d rather over-react than not react. Plus… I’m gonna blog the whole experience anyway. In an effort to promote further boob health to all my readers, stay tuned for a breast by breast walk through of what a mammogram is really like. Don’t expect any pictures though…

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10 Comments

Filed under Breast cancer, Educating myself, Family, Health, Holidays, Panicking, Raising Awareness, Reality check, Women

10 responses to “Minding My Mammaries

  1. Good on you for not procrastinating. I’ll be thinking about you and hoping for good news and a sigh of relief!

  2. kathy r.

    Wise choice to get checked out. One of our coworkers went in for breast pain that she thought was a softball injury, and it turned out to be cancer (she’s cancer-free now). It’s more likely it’s not, but better safe…

    #hugs#

  3. For sure. What a great reminder, I don’t think I have done a self-breast examine since OCT.

  4. Please keep us posted. My scare a couple years back was nothing, and I hope yours is too. In the mean time, enjoy the pep in your step. You’ve reminded me just how awful my bras are.

  5. I also had a scare recently and it turned out to be nothing. I don’t think any check is a waste of time, though. Shall be thinking of you.

  6. Here’s to hoping that everything is okay! I’ll be thinking good thoughts.

  7. Thanks for all the well wishes everyone! (I’m sure its nothing but feel better not ignoring it!)

  8. Wishing you all the best, and I hope it turns out to be that molehill.

  9. I will be thinking of you! Good luck, sweetie. And thanks for the important reminder. Got to check my ladies.

  10. Oh come on! You know we want pics. Seriously, C, you know we’ve got your back…and your boobs. I hope I can joke since we’ve talked about this together elsewhere. I hope it’s nothing too but you’re being proactive and you can’t go wrong with that! My sis had a massive lump in her breast and it turned out to be nothing — the doc said she was drinking too much soda. Sure enough, it went away and no problems since. That was 10 years ago. Here’s hoping you’ve been hitting too much caffeine lately. 🙂

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