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It was hard and irregularly shaped...
It was mobile and pressurized...
I can vividly remember the first day I felt it. I was on my bed watching a movie on my laptop. It was my fifth watch of "Think like a man". I remember running my hand over my breast trying to smoothen my shirt and i felt something. It was something strange. There for a minute and it was gone. I couldn't find it anymore. It seemed it had disappeared or it was a figment of my imagination. There had to be nothing there.
And it came back a second time. I was adjusting my bra when i felt its irregular shape again and this time i was confused. What did this mean exactly? I remember searching till i fund it again. Buried deep near my breast muscle, constantly coming out to peek and say hello as i massaged my breast. I remember searching my second breast fervently looking for a similar thing. Something to assure me that such irregularities were perfectly normal. And after fifteen minutes of prodding and poking. I gave up and became utterly afraid.
I was designed to denial. Maybe if i ignored it for long, it will just disappear the way it came right? WRONG! I prayed and prayed for it to go more than anything. And i kept checking monthly for six moths after before it finally occurred to me and i realized there was no going away for my mammary gland friend. I did not know who exactly to talk to about it. My parents who would never believe there was anything wrong with their child or my siblings who would not be able to handle such information. Even my boyfriend would not have been able to handle such information. How could I think i was sick. I could not afford to go for consultation myself. I would never be able to afford such a bill on my already meager allowance.
So i waited for another 3 months. Patiently bidding my time. Feeling my left breast daily for any changes.. smaller or bigger... And it finally came. 9 weeks later, rubbing two fingers over my breast when i realized that it had finally moved and grown. It was right there staring at me. Beside my left nipple, a noticeable abscess to me. It had grown a little, it was definitely more detectable. And so the panic came again. I couldn't remain calm. One week i brooded, thinking and suffering. Pondering on what to do. And then i decided to tell my brother. Nobody else understood me better and even if he couldn't help me, at least i would have shared it with someone else. Wasn't the saying "a problem shared is a problem half solved?"
And everything after that was a blur... My brother couldn't keep his mouth shut about it and told my other siblings who in turn told my parents. Then it was a series of tests and appointments. Different doctors telling us the same thing. We had to get it out. If it was growing, that makes it very dangerous to keep. I had wasted enough time keeping it a secret from everybody. It was a mobile breast lump-ball. It could spread to other body parts. They called it one of those medical terms... Fibrio-something-something... It was all very fast to me. Surgery date was set and preparations were made. A very expensive procedure for my family but as they said, "Health is more important than Wealth."
And then as they wheeled me into the theater, anaesthetic slowly kicking in as everyone waved to me shouting words of encouragements, mum holding on to my hand, kissed my head, muttering silent prayers and my boyfriend on the other end staring deep at me with eyes laced with emotions. And then we reached the double swing doors which signified there was no entry past the doors for family or relatives. And then i realized everything became slow again. And then i felt the tears drop from my eyes and wet my cheeks just as my eyes started to close. All the silent piercing pain for the last 14 months reduced into tear-droplets. I knew immediately how this would go.
I can just imagine how the doctor said it to them 3 hours later. I had watched enough Nollywood movies to know how it was done.
"I am sorry sir, Ma, we tried our best but i am afraid your daughter couldn't make it. The breast had become infected and the procedure was compromised, there was nothing more we could do. Very sorry for your loss"
" With over 3 million women battling breast cancer today, everywhere you turn there is a mother, daughter, sister or friend who has been affected by breast cancer"
"Every woman needs to know the facts. And the fact is when it comes to breast cancer, every woman is at risk" -DEBBIE WASSERMAN
"There can be life after breast cancer, The prerequisite is early detection"
"I have to admit, like so many women, I always knew there was a chance. But like so many women, I never thought it would be me. I never thought I'd hear those devastating words. ' You have breast cancer" - DEBBIE WASSERMAN
"We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have"
"When life kicks you, let it kick you forward"
"Giving up is not an option. When someone has cancer, the whole family and everyone who loves them does too"
"Whoever said winning isn’t everything obviously wasn’t fighting breast cancer. My mom may not wear dog tags and combat boots but she fights like hell everyday. I wear pink for my HERO... my MUM.."
"Supporting the FIGHTERS... Admiring the SURVIVORS...Honoring the TAKEN... And never, ever giving up HOPE"
ITS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, LETS GET EDUCATED, LETS GET TESTED.