Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Feel it on the First

As a quick update, Nin is doing very well.  She gets a little wrecked a couple days after chemo but overall she is handling everything like a champ.  Today her nurses told her that they concluded "she was the most beautiful bald person they had every seen."  Quite the compliment considering they see bald people all day every day.  She just completed her 6th of 12 chemo doses.  HALF WAY DONE with this final chemo round!

Thanks for the balloons and gift Tori!

The rest of this post is going to be dedicated to breast exams.  I know I did one back in April but I felt it appropriate to post another.  We've been blown away by the number of people close to us that have recently done breast self-exams, only to find tumors.  Most of these lumps weren't cancerous but a few were.  A few too many.

There is a great movement promoting monthly self breast exams called "Feel it on the first."  It simply suggests that you do a self breast exam on the 1st of every month.  I know what you're thinking.  "Well Derrik you done messed up because it's not even the 1st, it's the 7th."  Lucky for us all, your boobs can't tell time.

Take this opportunity to get to know your boobs.  You can even let your significant other pitch in.  As they say "Many hands make light work."  If you aren't comfortable doing a breast self-exam call me, I'll lend you my hands for the greater good.  

A bold strategy, I know.  But in all seriousness I'm no breast exam expert.  For that reason I have copied and pasted some of the key tips from Nalie Agustin's Website below.  Take the time to read them over.

If you're wondering where to start, I'd suggest taking some pointers from my feline friend below.  He looks like he knows the proper techniques.

And yes, I had to Google "cats giving breast exams" to find this gif.  

Here are the tips from Nalie's website.  Happy groping:

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 any changes.
Here’s what to look out for:
Breast Changes:
  • Size or shape
  • Deformation
  • Lumps in the breast, upper chest or armpits
  • Swelling of the breast or arm
Skin Changes:
  • Redness
  • Orange peel skin
  • Thickening
  • Discoloration
  • Dimpling, pitting or puckering
  • Localized feeling of warmth
  • Ulceration or wound
  • Visible vein
  • Skin shrinkage
Nipple Changes:
  • Appearance
  • Spontaneous Discharge
  • Inversion
  • Deviation
  • Eczema or ulceration of the nipple
If you find anything, visit your doctor immediately! And from experience, if you find a lump demand 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!