We dream about, click on, and talk about them at the water cooler more than many other circular subjects. Some people even choose to finance a pair over a new car. Men and women alike, mostly men I found, are captivated by the powers of this dynamic duo.
I have my own so I’m not as easily excited as some, but I see many humans becoming unglued should they ever see them uncovered or in their natural state. Be it at the beach, pool, quickly shown on a Jumbotron, or jogging along on a neighborhood trail.
They bring joy, cause fights, break up marriages, and entertain people late at night on Instagram, magazines, and social media. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about it’s none other than easily “boobs.”
There’s sometimes referred to as tits, titties, bobbies, tatas, melons, hooters, knockers, and even coined my own word for these majestic creatures, yam yams. Their technical name though are breasts.
You may enjoy touching, squeezing, gazing at, or even laying your head on your partner’s mammary glands, but when is the last time you really thought about their overall physical health? Have you asked the one that you love, be at your wife, girlfriend, sister, daughter, or friend, “did you have your annual exam?” Can I take you? May I watch your kids so you have time to go?
October, referred to for many years now as Pinktober is “Breast Cancer” awareness month. The whole month is dedicated to making sure that we are paying attention to signs and signals that maybe our breasts and those of the ones we care about are being looked not just admired but properly examined by a PROFESSIONAL. I’m not just talking about you peeping them on social media. I mean, breasts that are cancer-free and healthy.
I remember my dear friend’s mother having a tumor the size of an orange protruding from the bottom of her breast that was so advanced she could see the blood oozing out. Her bra and shirt would many times have a reddish color to it. We never thought to ask if it was more than just a stain. She didn’t want to go to the doctor because she was too terrified of dying and what was going to happen if she was positively diagnosed. She ended up passing away anyway because her fear prevented her from ever getting the treatment she needed. Please don’t let this be you or someone you know. It haunts me to this day.
There are self-breast exams you can do. But to those reading maybe you can kill two birds with one stone and make four play into something life-saving? Self-breast examines can be done standing up, laying down, and or in the shower. A wonderful resource and simple instructions can be found on my own website: www.icancer.life/breast-self-exam-symptoms. I created this site and the I CAN cer movement to educate and comfort those and the ones that love them going through any type of cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms and warning signs of breast cancer can be:
- New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
Keep in mind that these symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer.
If you have any signs or symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.
And when you make your annual appointment please go in like a warrior. Do what the x-ray exam technician needs you to do. Leave your pride at the door and your modesty on the shelf and if you can handle not even wear the gown while doing the exam, then leave it on the chair. The female technician has seen her share of sets and is more concerned with doing a great and thorough job than looking at yours.
I’ve heard patients go off on different technicians stating they felt that their privacy was being invaded at a mammogram screening. For the love of God, it’s her job to handle your “girls” with the best and most professional care that she can. It’s uncomfortable for the technician so remember that. I learned on a recent exam that the woman helping me has her hand is bruised daily when the compression plate comes down on top of it. I saw her trying to hold my breast at the specific camera spot and having to painfully scoot her hand out to not move or disrupt her positioning. It’s not fun for her. Not to mention the risks and danger the radiation wreaks on these professionals. Even with a lead proof vest, they can still be affected. Think of how difficult it is for them to perform this on paralyzed or quadriplegic patients? Be that compliant warrior.
So just go put your game face on, make your appointment and get it done. Stand there and don’t complain and do what they need you to do. Don’t wear deodorant the day before so you are over-prepared and way in the clear. And leave your jewelry earrings and necklaces at home. How many years have they been telling us this yet I see people failing to remember every time? Be smart.
Most places do 3D breast exams now. If your insurance doesn’t cover those I would suggest finding a carrier who does. Especially those with implants, if you’re not getting a 3D exam there are many signs that can be missed. Push for it and sincerely consider switching carriers if they can authorize a 3D thorough exam.
Be prepared to be smashed, poked, and prodded. You will be bruised more than likely the next day. So men or partners, be sensitive to this. Remember that Georgia Sattalites, “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” till your lady friend is feeling up to it. We females don’t talk about these things so I’m letting you know here. And also a reminder for the males out there who have a family history of breast cancer or fall into a high-risk category, you should perform self-breast exams. Less than 1% of all breast cancers occur in men. In 2020, about 2,620 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease, and an estimated 520 men are expected to die from breast cancer according to www.breastcancer.org.
Remember October as an invaluable month for education and advocacy. Don’t forget male breast cancer patients who may feel left out. Be mindful not to let ridiculous awareness campaigns distract from the conversation we need to have. Pink is only a color and cure is an illusion. We desperately need more research to turn breast cancer into a manageable disease for all women, not just some. BE PREVENTATIVE. Make the time to do the self-breast exams I’ve listed above.
A reminder to us all who have friends treating cancer. “A cancer diagnosis totally turns your world upside down. No two cancers are exactly the same and everyone’s treatment decisions are their own. So now is not the time to weigh in with your opinion or offer advice. The patients are getting plenty of sound information from their doctors. Now is the time to just listen and love and remember that the mental battle against disease is sometimes equal to the physical battle. And keep chanting the mantra I-CAN!” – My cousin M.M.M. who is a survivor
If you are in need of some kindness, inspiration, and resources, please visit www.ICANcer.Life. I created it EXACTLY for you. Remember every day that you CAN and you WILL get through this. Sending you strength, power, and light from Goldy’s Corner. #YouGotThis
Thank you to friends and patrons who support the www.ICANcer.Life movement. I’d like to dedicate this article to my cousin M.M.M. & Lisa Droban for being so fearless, supportive, and paving the way as survivors.
Also thanking my friends and Patrons Jackie Cash, Rick Vamos, Lisa Torch of the Goofy Blonde Chef, Brittany L. Burtch, Rick Howell & Ashley Cheadle for your beautiful support in this movement.