Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week 21 of 522: On My Health Scare and Breast Cancer Awareness

Back in July 2016, they found 2 lumps on my left breast.

All is well now and after several trips to the doctor's, we found out that they are benign. But it was a harrowing 2 - 3 weeks of not knowing and trying not to think about it.

So why am I sharing this?

Well, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I hope my story will at the very least push one person to get herself checked. According to the Breast Cancer Network, 1 in 13 women in the Philippines have breast cancer. And Dr. Maria Kalserin Santos-Liapana said that the best protection against this monster of a disease is early detection.

Here are the 7 things I learned from this whole experience.

1. The company's annual physical exam should be taken seriously. I was about to skip out on it... for the nth time might I add, but am thanking my lucky stars something in the universe forced me to take a day off to go through my exam.
I was not feeling anything bad so I initially thought about skipping.

2. Bringing a book while waiting for all the tests and lines and numbers you hafta go thru in the hospital was a good idea. Phone batteries die but books are forever.
Lower left bag shows my book peeking out. My book then was Sam Palmisano's Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?

3. Initially though I was hard headed enough to rely on my phone so I had with me a charger and a power bank. #AGirlScoutIsAlwaysPrepared

4. This was not my first hospital rodeo and I knew how huge the hospital was so in order to cut on time spent and map out the best route possible, I went to the information centre of the hospital where I had my tests.

5. Brought with me a jacket and a shawl. It may be so #TitasOfManila but I embraced the Auntie-hood over getting colds.

6. It was a shock when I was asked to go thru extra tests because of unknown lumps in my lovely lady lumps (Fergie reference!). It was also crazy tough when I was going thru all the tests alone and was in limbo of not knowing the results. It interfered with my focus both at work and my personal life. I was lucky I had a person I could talk to about it all.

If you are going thru the same thing, my humble suggestion is you find your person. Or if you feel it being so debilitating, seek professional help. There is no shame in asking for help.

Sad Christia is sad.

7. I shared my experience to a friend and urged her to get tested even though she was not feeling anything particularly wrong.
And I hope if you are going through the same thing that you also support breast cancer awareness by sharing your story with a girl friend. Even getting one person thru the door and getting herself checked is enough.

That's it for my lessons learned! Are YOU going through the same thing now? Or have YOU gone through the same experience? Share via the comments down below.


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