I apologize for such a heavy post, but I’ve been contemplating on whether or not I should even talk about this issue, but hey, maybe it could save someone’s life. Here goes!
Over a year ago, I went to the doctor for an annual check-up. It’s not like I absolutely love being poked and squeezed while lying half-naked in a cold room that smells like hand sanitizer and moth balls, but I know that I’m going through the agony for a good reason. I knew I was healthy and had no worries. At that time I thought hey, I’m young, healthy, sexy, and smart, there is no way that the doctor will find anything. My college career was booming, I was single and loving it, and I thought I just may win the lottery. I’m not narcissistic, but I try to stay positive. I lived life in a dream, but I was 27 years old and almost done with grad school. What can I say?
“Do you drink a lot of caffeine?” the doctor says, as she performs a breast exam. “No, I only drink soda a few times a year and I don’t drink coffee, ” I said. I don’t remember the next thing to come out of my mouth, but I can still see the look of worry on her face. “I recommend that you get a mammogram.” WHAT, WHAT, WHAT? I know it’s her job to say that it could be nothing to worry about, but this wasn’t supposed to happen on such an awesome day. How dare she ruin my groove? I should have been freaking out, but instead I said okay, signed my patient release form and walked back to class.
Now, over a year has passed and I have yet to get the mammogram out of pure fear. I’ve only told a few people about it, but just last week I made an appointment to see what’s really happening. I’ve been sore a lot lately where the lump was found and I know that something is happening. I’m not panicking, but worried. This could be life shattering or an intense wake up call for me and you. I’m aware that statistically speaking more white women are diagnosed with breast cancer, but more African-American women die from it for these very reasons: delayed diagnosis and developing a much more aggressive form. One more reason to get healthy now rather than waiting for something to knock you on your ass and force you to do it.
So there, now that I’ve depressed you I promise to write something more positive next time, but this is another “truth” moment for me and a major step along my journey. I’ve been following many blogs and I know that some of you have battled with cancer or know of someone who has. Unfortunately, many of us don’t talk about these things with our loved ones or friends. I’ve been very quiet about this, that is until now. As usual, I’m going to stay positive, put one foot in front of the other, and continue to accomplish my goals. Right now things are very tough, but what’s life without a few battles. My bruises will be my tattoos of honor and bravery.