Even as I type this I’m not sure how comfortable I am being so public about it, but a sentiment stronger than my privacy scruples is motivating me to continue.
I had day surgery today, to remove four lumps from one of my breasts. Although one was biopsied last year (needle, boob, OW OW OW) and found to be benign, they said it was best to take them all out for testing, just to be safe.
I don’t know the test results yet, and will only find out on 20 July.
I am only twenty-five years old.
None of this is written to get your pity, although for those of you who pray, I’d be grateful for your prayers. I’m writing this because I’m pretty sure that many of the females who read this blog are around my age, and I want to say to you: please don’t think you are impervious to these problems just because you’re still young. Please learn how to check yourself, and do so regularly. Lumps aren’t at all uncommon in young breasts, and are more than likely to be benign, but you owe it to yourself and everyone who loves you to make sure anyway. I know it’s damn uncomfortable to do, but don’t do it half-heartedly either – I only found one lump on my own, but a thorough scan revealed four.
I’m still quite uncomfortable in writing all this, but this is where I’m coming from: despite anti-breast-cancer messages more than amply publicized both in women’s media and mainstream media, despite all sorts of celebrity campaigns, despite the background awareness most of us have that breast cancer happens to a lot of women and kills some of them, I was still pretty cavalier about it. Irrationally, it took a distant relative’s death from a totally different cancer to get me worried enough to check myself, and then to consult a doctor.
I don’t mean to overestimate the influence my Z-list blog could have on any of you, but it seems from your emails and comments over the years that I have at least influenced some of you in terms of music and reading. And even if I didn’t influence you there, please listen to me here.
Girls: you already know what you should do. Do it.
Guys: do all you can to make sure the women you love take the time and trouble to protect themselves.
[Edit: By the way, I have no objections if any of you link to this post in order to promote its message.]
[Edit: I have received the test results, and thankfully, all is well.]