But pay close attention, because I'm about to use a word I may never use on here again: The "N" word:
I had myself a little scare a while back in which my (here it is, folks. Brace yourselves.) n*ipple inverted. What. The. Hell????? That had never happened before! I told The Man. He gave me a weird look and told me to go to the doctor. I told my mom and she gave me her patented, "Honey, I'd go see a doctor!" So that's just what I did. I saw my gynocologist. The same man who made me wait an hour and a half (on a good day) for routine pregnancy check-ups. The same man who was always dragging students in to check out my womanlies. The same man who blushed when saying "v*agina." (GASP - A two for one!)
After my customary Waiting Room Nap, I finally saw my doctor (and his student, of course!). I told him what had been going on and he uncomfortably asked me questions, felt up my b*oob and said, "I ... think ... that's normal."
"You think it's normal???"
"Ah, yeeeah. I think it is. Come back if you have any more problems."
"But, Doctor H, I was kind of scared that it might be IBC."
He laughed. (He FRICKEN laughed!) "What's IBC?" Asked his student.
"Inflammatory B*reast Cancer." I stated, hoping my snotiness was noticed.
"No...no, I don't think so." He said. "Come in if you have more problems."
And just like that, my $200 worth of my doctor's time (five minutes) was over. And I felt no safer than when I walked in the door 95 minutes earlier.
That was a while ago. I never showed any more symptoms. But I did switch doctors - to a woman who readily answered any questions I had about IBC and checked me over again for it just in case.
You know how I heard about IBC? A chain email. One I actually had to check out on Snopes because it sure looked like one of those hoax diseases made up to scare women.
It sure isn't a hoax. WhyMommy knows that all too well.
I know I'm awfully late jumping on this bandwagon and I hope they don't mind. But now that I have the chance, I'm spreading the word here at the Garden. It's too important to put off any longer.
WhyMommy has a form of br*east cancer that was not found by her monthly exam and feeling a lump in her b*reast, like most of us would think. Hers was more subtle than that. This is her story:
We hear a lot about brea*st cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with b*reast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of b*reast cancer?
I didn’t. I thought that br*east cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly b*reast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.
Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have b*reast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/*GYN because my b*reast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a b*reast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory b*reast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.
Inflammatory b*reast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/*GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your bre*ast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one b*reast, persistent itching of bre*ast or n*ipple, thickening of brea*st tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the n*ipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your G*YN is familiar with inflammatory br*east cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.
There is more than one kind of b*reast cancer. Inflammatory b*reast cancer is the most aggressive form of breas*t cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our bre*asts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones.
It’s important not to miss this one.Inflammatory b*reast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their br*easts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.
You don’t have to have a lump to have b*reast cancer.
P.S. Feel free to steal this post too. I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.
PS - You can read an interview with WhyMommy from Parents magazine's GoodyBlog!
And, in other br*east-related news, Worker Mommy told me about a new contest from our girls over at 5 Minutes For Mom! Dyson has introduced their Pink Dyson exclusively at Target, where they donate $40 from every purchase to br*east cancer research. If you're poor like me, take a chance at winning one at 5 Minutes for Mom by leaving a comment and spreading the word.
And this will conclude the usage of words such as Br*east, Va*gina, Nippl*e and the likes at The Butrfly Garden. For the most part, anyway.