Do you remember how I was diagnosed with breast cancer? It was March 25, 2015 and I was 36 years old and found a lump in my right breast when I had rolled over in bed that evening and thought I rolled over on a dog bone/toy but when I turned on the light and saw NOTHING there, I knew right then, something was wrong and I started to freak out. I called and made an appt to see my GYNO the following morning and then called my mom asking if she could go with me and what I had found. When I saw my doctor and told him what was going on and he examined me, he told me not to worry, “It’s probably just a cyst!” but he wrote a note for me to call and make an appt for a mammogram and sonogram.
March 27th, I did my ultrasound and mammogram in which they saw a mass on both breasts. March 30th I had biopsies done on both breasts. And on April 1, 2015, the results were in: I had breast cancer.
Not only did I have Breast Cancer I had stage 1 grade 1 in my right breast which was VERY good to have caught it this early! It was 1.7mm in size. The left side was just a cyst thankfully.
After the diagnosis, I met with the Breast Surgeon and we discussed my options. He told me that with the results of the biopsies, it showed I was HER2 Positive. That means my body was positive for the hormone protein that was feeding the tumor. Apparently I produce TOO much estrogen and that caused my tumor to grow. SO, because of that, we decided to do a DOUBLE MASTECTOMY. Surgery was on April 21, 2015.
After that was done, I met with my Oncologist on May 1st. We talked about chemo and what treatments I will be doing and for how long. SO, after 3 rounds of Carboplatin and Taxotere, 6 rounds of Taxol and currently still doing treatments for Herceptin (hormone protein blocker) I sit here thanful I listened to my gut feeling and acted quickly on this.
I always wonder… what if I never got checked at all and just blew it off??? Would I still be here today? Could this have been an aggresive tumor?
Well.. I’m here now: Cancer Free! And I made it my mission to remind you how important it is to check your breasts and take control of your lives! How?
FEEL IT ON THE FIRST!
Here’s the secret to examining your breast:
It’s not about doing it right, it’s about doing it REGULARLY!
So on the first day of every month, I want you to feel yourself! Yeah girl. Both literally, and figuratively.
Get to know your breasts and remember what they normally look and feel like! Look out for anychanges.
Here’s what to look out for:
- Size or shape
- Lumps in the breast, upper chest or armpits
- Swelling of the breast or arm
- Orange peel skin
- Dimpling, pitting or puckering
- Localized feeling of warmth
- Ulceration or wound
- Visible vein
- Skin shrinkage
- Spontaneous Discharge
- Eczema or ulceration of the nipple
If you find anything, visit your doctor immediately! And from experience, if you find a lump demand for an ultrasound! If you’re under 40, remember… an ultrasound, not a mammogram! A clinical examination just won’t suffice!
Keep in mind, that not all changes are breast cancer! In fact, it’s quite normal for our breast to change due to the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, lactation or aging. But it’s better to be safe than sorry!
DONE FEELING YOURSELF? Prove it! Post a picture with a purpose!
Snap a selfie of you feeling your breast! Post it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter with the hashtag #FeelitontheFirst. Tag at least 3 of your girls and encourage them to do the same!
The more women are comfortable “feeling themselves” the more lives we save!
Join the Movement! Help me share this campaign as much as you can! And don’t forget to snap a picture! Feel free to tag me @the_jen_gundlach so I don’t miss it!!!
Thanks for your help! Be kind to yourself.