I’ve been doing shower checks for longer than I’ve had breasts. My aunt who I spent summers with growing up had a print out of instructions and I obsessed with acting like “una señorita”. But on that day it was different, there was something foreign there – a lump. Not wanting to worry anyone unnecessarily I immediately made an appointment with my OBGYN. As she started feeling around my left breast I saw her face visibly change as soon as she touched it. She quickly confirmed it, there was a mass. She assured me that due to my age and medical history the chances of it being serious were relatively slim. Her words did little to calm my anxiety.
The days that followed were agonizing, as a woman your mind beelines to the dark place: what if it’s cancer? What if they have to remove my boob? I tried to imagine what I would look like without a breast, what if they had to remove them both?! Long story short my left breast had developed a non-cancerous cyst, but it scared me straight into taking better care of myself. What is all the Gucci and Tom Ford in the world if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it?
Before we can come to know ourselves, we have to become naked; we have to drop all our clothes. We wear clothes on the outside but we also wear them on the inside, in our minds. We are very afraid to see ourselves naked, to see what we really are as to not be afraid of ourselves. So we put on many faces and decorate ourselves in many ways forgetting what’s most important – our health. This October I urge you to not only check your own breasts but also teach a younger woman about the importance of adding that simple shower step into their routine. Early detection truly saves lives.