October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and this year it is really forefront in my mind due to a personal experience I had a few months ago.
I wanted to share my story with you, but before you read on please be aware there is content ahead that touches on breast cancer, medical procedures, IVF and pregnancy loss.
Photo by Amorfo & Styling by Petrina Turner Design
In June this year, I found a lump in my right breast while I was in the shower and it scared the shit out of me.
I went straight to my GP, then was referred to the breast clinic at St Vincent’s hospital in Melbourne the following day. When things movethat quickly, you can’t help but worry that maybe it’s not good.
I had a tissue biopsy and it was brutal. I was by myself, because thanks to Covid my husband wasn’t allowed to come with me, and have never felt so alone in my life.
The procedure involves multiple incisions, where they insert probes and suction hoses and basically root around in your boob. With only local anaesthetic, there was no pain as such, just this horrible feeling of people pushing, pulling and cutting away parts of my breast.
I was in tears as I lay there, not because it hurt, but purely out of fear. I couldn’t help thinking to myself, what if this is only just the beginning? What if I'm really sick? My baby has just turned 1.
Thankfully it turned out to be totally fine, but the entire experience really frightened me; it was the first time anything like this had happened and it really opened my eyes to how important it is to pay attention to what's going on in your own body.
I’ve been poked and prodded enough in my 40 years that I'm not delicate when it comes to medical procedures: multiple rounds of IVF, a miscarriage and 2 vaginal births - butthis one really knocked the wind out of me.
It was terrifying to imagine all the invasive testing and treatment that must come after that initial procedure if you are found to have abnormal cells and that in the end, it could very well kill you.
I knew the grim stats about breast cancer before this happened - I’ve lost people in my life to it - but that experience was distant and abstract in some ways. Laying on a hospital bed put the reality front and centre, in full focus, in my own life.
Which brings me to you Lady, I wanted to tell you all this because I want you to be Okay. The sooner the bad cells are found, the sooner they can be treated.
It might be nothing, it might be something and as scary as that is, ignoring it can only impact the outcome in a negative way.
So what are we going to do?
Well I’ve bought 50 Courageous Ladies Breast Awareness Hangers and I’m going to send them out with the next 50 Puzzles that get ordered (including the pre-orders of our 2 new designs).
These babies can be hung in the shower or bathroom, they’ll last forever, they tell you how to correctly self-examine your boobs, what to watch for and serve as a reminder everymonth to carry out this important task.
Will it make a difference?
Well that’s up to you I guess.
100% of the funds from the hangers I’ve bought have gone to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, so that’s a start!
All I can do is share my story, encourageyou to be a courageous Lady and remind you that sometimes part of self-care is having to do something a bit scary in order to be worry-free or cancer-free, because early detection does save lives.
PS Founder of Courageous Ladies, and the genius behind the hangers, will be right here on the blog next Sunday night, so make sure you pop back to meet Amanda...