Dear Friends, Family and Strangers with Breasts,
One year ago today I decided to Ditch the Poof in my shower routine. After a friend and a family member were diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the same month my husband asked me, “You do breast exams, right?”
My answer was cloudy at best. “Well, yes, of course. Every time I shower I check. I mean…I intend to check…I guess I just kind of wash that general area…with the poof.” It turned out I wasn’t doing self-breast-checks at all. My shower poof was coming between me and my breast.
So, I ditched the poof that same day and got a really nice bar of soap. I have been happily lathering up my ladies and checking them thoroughly for a year now and I’ll never go back.
If you aren’t sure if you should ditch your poof, I offer you this: two months ago while soaping up I found a lump.
In my right breast, just under the areola I had a lump about two inches long by ¾ of an inch high. Those were the measurements from my doctor who didn’t like the feel of it and sent me for an ultrasound. It was tender to the touch and once I knew it was there I could feel it without even touching it.
For a week I went through my regular routine with a silent drum beat pounding in my head, “I have a lump, I have a lump, I have a lump…”
“Sweetie, can I help you open that juice box?” I have a lump.
“I have those paper you need to sign.” I have a lump.
“We can’t do dinner on Tuesday, how about Saturday?” I have a lump.
At night the drum beat became percussive and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I’d feel the lump and will it to go away, to be smaller, to be my imagination. I’d fall asleep with my hand under my shirt, afraid it might grow when I wasn’t paying attention.
Thankfully, it didn’t grow. In fact, it did get smaller. Eventually, it broke up all together. My lump turned out to be a collection of cysts which went away on their own in about two weeks.
I was lucky. I was damn lucky. Too many women that I know have found out that they weren’t cysts. Which is why it is so important to check your breasts EVERY SHOWER. Because the lump was not there one day and it was there the next. And the earlier you can catch it, the sooner you can get it the hell out of you.
Join me and #DitchThePoof