It’s almost the end of October, so naturally that means you have seen pink EVERYWHERE and it’s very likely you have seen plenty of “save-the-boobies” signs. I know many are tired of them. I myself have been tired of seeing the arguments going around social media about whhhhyyy is breast cancer considered so important when there are other, deadlier cancers out there, or about how the money raised from all of the “pink” campaigns you see don’t really go towards breast cancer research and so on. October is exhausting. I have felt pretty neutral for plenty of years on the subject until this year, for this is the year I found a painful lump in my left breast and fear haunted me.
My left breast has given me trouble for the past 5 years. Whenever my cycle is near, it hurts like nobodies business. The vein in it pops out real bright and green, looking completely gross, and I’m a mess. When I was pregnant with Johanna one of my first signs was nipple pain, only in my left nipple, that felt like someone was taking a burning hot ice pick and stabbing me repeatedly. I was in tears often. Nothing seemed to sooth it. It wasn’t very surprising that before I gave birth that was the breast that had milk first, and the one that leaked the most. Thankfully, the pain subsided not long after I had to stop breastfeeding, so I was back to just having the pain around my cycle, which was more acceptable.
Then October hit. It was as if my body new it was breast cancer awareness month and it wanted to play a little game with me. My nipple was incredibly sore and then…the fear of all fear for me…there was a discharge…and then I felt a lump. My whole left breast was on fire, as if it had an isolate fever. I swallowed hard and kept pushing forward. However, I don’t play when it comes to my health, so I also immediately made a doctors appointment with a doctor that could see me that very day. He could barely examine me because even breathing on my left breast had me in pain. He took a look at it and decided it was an infection. Even though I had Johanna almost 3 years ago, somehow I had mastitis:
Definition (via the mayo clinic)
Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that results in breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness of the breast. If you have mastitis, you might also experience fever and chills. Mastitis most commonly affects women who are breast-feeding (lactation mastitis), although sometimes this condition can occur in women who aren’t breast-feeding.
He put in some prescriptions for me, one to help with the pain, the other to clear the infection, and then sent me home. Oh, but not before asking me to go to some website to rate him (rolls eyes). Needless to say I did NOT make a follow-up appointment with him. Oh, but I will rate him. It will be a horrible rating for even asking me to rate him!
Anyway, I got my prescriptions filled and continued to walk around in pain. I was in so much pain that I had a band aid over my nipple just so my bra would stop rubbing against it. The pain medicine did work but it also made me incredibly drowsy, which is no bueno. Trying to explain to Johanna why she couldn’t body slam mommy like she was used to doing wasn’t successful. She just didn’t get it, even with me yelping in pain.
Fast forward 2 weeks. My nipple no longer has a discharge, but it is still quite painful. Fear tried to grip me, but nope, nope, wasn’t falling for it. I remained prayerful. Few people in my life knew about this simply because I didn’t want to tell anyone I thought would just offer me pity, and I wanted to make sure that those who knew were prayer warriors and could help get me through this, no matter what it turned out to be. So with the pain still there, I made an appointment with a new doctor. This one actually sent me to be tested, thank God, but she also gave me stronger antibiotics. I had the test done that very same day.
So began the waiting game. And I waited. And waited. And prayed the whole time. I just thanked God for being God and for me knowing him. That’s all I could do. Monday I got a letter in the mail from the diagnostic center. It stated that my results were normal – benign. Relief washed over me. Thank you Jesus! It so could’ve gone the other way! I am very happy to say that I no longer have the nipple pain and there isn’t any discharge or anything. He (God) did that!
So, what is my point? My point is that I know people are weary of the pink this month, but just bear with it. You never know your neighbors struggle. You never know when it will be YOU. Also, if something is off with your body, go get it checked out. It could be very minor, or very serious, but you won’t know until you go to the doctors. Take care of you!