About this blog

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.

Friday, May 25, 2012

What every woman should know

What every woman should know is....what her breasts feel like.

I'll be honest-I never was good about doing breast self exams. I never even considered breast cancer a possibility for me. None of my female relatives, save one of my dad's sisters, had it. I was young, I had breast fed three babies at least a year each. I figured I was "safe." I would fib when health care providers asked me if I did them.

But no one is safe.

I even had a clear mammogram!

When I did feel the lump under my arm (two years ago this weekend), I didn't know what to make of it. I didn't know what "normal" was for my breasts. Part of it was because I had lost 50 pounds and went from a D cup to a B. I figured that a good bit of the fat melted away to reveal lumpy breasts like I had heard my grandmother had.

But it was a cancerous lymph node. One of five, as it turned out.   The mammogram and its interpretation missed a 3.5 centimeter tumor in my left breast.  While I am in favor of mammograms, they are not the be-all and end-all in breast cancer detection. I know way too many women who had clean mammograms like I did and had breast cancer.

So feel your breasts, gals. Do it regularly. Know what they feel like so if you notice ANY changes, you can alert your health care provider.

To learn how to do a breast self exam, check out this link.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! Being familiar with our bodies is key. Since I was still in my mid-30s, I was a few years away from a routine mammo. I noticed a change - no lump - just a different texture. It was a very subtle change, but a change.