Taking Charge of the Girls | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans


You know how when you go to the gynecologist, they always ask if you check your breasts? Well, I’m one of those people that lies and says YES to avoid a lecture.

Well, today, I’m here to lecture you.  DO YOU FEEL YOUR BOOBIES? Because if you don’t, you need to start. (To our Brothers, well, bear with me. I know you have a woman in your life you love. And male breast cancer does exist.)

Yesterday, I got some terrible news that one of my childhood friends, Colleen,  passed away.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer about five years ago. No matter what her doctors did, it kept coming back.  She was 31 years old and absolutely amazing. You can read more about her over here.

Coincidentally, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  If you do not give yourself regular breast exams, well, now’s the time to start.  Go here to find simple, step by step instructions for a self exam.

What are some symptoms of breast cancer? The most well known and obvious is a lump.  Some others you may not be aware of are:

  • Any new, hard lump or thickening in any part of the breast
  • Change in breast size or shape
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Swelling, redness or warmth that does not go away
  • Pain in one spot that does not vary with your monthly cycle
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly and appears only in one breast
  • An itchy, sore or scaling area on one nipple

What else can you do as far as prevention and early detection? I, for one, am going to start getting mammograms.  I am only 31, but I have a family history of breast cancer. For those without a family history, mammograms are recommended yearly or biyearly after the age of 40.   Go here to find out where you can get a mammogram.

Last night, I took a long run and thought about Colleen. I swear, I felt so alive, running and crying.  Appreciating my body and how hard it works for me. And I realized how important it is to really take care of myself.

I can make the commitment to do self exams and get mammograms. I hope you do the same.  Let’s honor Colleen and our other fallen sisters by taking charge of our health.

Category: Heather