It’s Valentine’s Day Weekend 2017. I’m happy but not ecstatic because the last few months have already tough on my family. My mother lost her mom and her best friend within 30 days of each other. Yeah, life was pretty rough.
It was on this weekend, doing my regular in-home breast exam, that I discovered I had a lump in my right breast. Now this discovery can be scary for anyone but it was especially scary for me due to family history.
Breast Cancer had claimed the lives of my paternal grandmother and two great aunts. My step-grandmother had beaten it. My cousin, who was the most active person I had ever met in life, was diagnosed at such a young age. I don’t think she was even in her 30s yet. I remember watching her go through chemo and losing her hair. I was young enough to understand what was going on but not young enough to really understand everything she was going through. Luckily, she kicked cancer’s ass and is living life to the fullest.
But now you see how intense my reaction to this lump must have been.
At the time, only my ex knew. I think it took me a few days to call my step-grandmother, a nurse and breast cancer survivor, and ask for her advice. I called her phone and I was wishing so badly that she wouldn’t answer so I didn’t have to say the words out loud. But just like a grandma, she answered the phone and could immediate sense something was wrong. As I tried to get the words out without crying, I just fell apart.
Now, my Granny Joann is a very dramatic person. She is the grandma that throws a fit if you tell her you haven’t eaten in an hour. I expected her to scream and cry for Jesus but she was so calm. She simply told me to call my doctor and make an appointment for an ultrasound.
I couldn’t get in for another two weeks and it seemed like the longest two weeks of my life. I had never thought about my own death so much. I was probably being dramatic but I couldn’t help but think about all the women affected by cancer in my family.
So the two weeks went by and it was time for my appointment. My grandma agreed to go with me. It’s good to note that only my ex and my grandma were still the only two people to know what was going on. My demeanor had changed and people noticed but I just told them I was tired and stressed from work.
The morning of my appointment, I sneak out of the house early to pick up my grandma. My mom is a light sleeper or has ninja senses and calls me to ask where I’m going. I don’t know why I didn’t lie and say an early day for work but I told her I was going to the doctor. She asked what for. Again, why didn’t I just lie? She, another dramatic woman in my life, remained calm. I could tell she was upset I didn’t say anything but I didn’t want her to think of my mortality when she was already dealing with the loss of the two most important people in her life.
Fast forward through my appointment and they discover it’s just a cyst. I don’t think I have ever felt that relieved. They said it would go away on its own or I could get it drained. It took me a few months but I finally got it drained and they sent whatever was in there for a biopsy just to be safe given my family history. The tests were clear.
I had the biggest scare of my life. Luckily I was fine but had things been different, I believe my quick action would have saved my life. It can save yours too.
This blog was written in memory of Edwina Jackson, Louise Williams and Betty Canty. It was also written to honor breast cancer survivors Joann Jackson, Tracey Lewis and Jayleen Pompey.
The Nomadic Blogger is The Blog About Nothing. Created on the idea of networking and promotion through sisterhood, The Nomadic Blogger makes her home on the platforms of other established bloggers. Through guest blogging, The Nomadic Blogger hopes to spread her world views and messages while bringing attention to her #SisterBloggers. Follow #TheNomadicBlogger's journey on Facebookand Instagram.