Monday, July 25, 2011

feel your boobies...

This month has been fraught with appointments, waiting rooms, mammograms, ultrasounds, core biopsies, more mammograms, hook wire insertions, an open biopsy and more waiting rooms...

... and all I have had to do is sit and hold her hand amongst this.

My soul sister has breast cancer.


I'm angry. At me. I'm an educated, reasonably intelligent woman who likes to think she knows about her body. So ... When I discover that I actually don't know all I thought I did... I feel a tad pissed off at myself.

Did YOU know that there are different TYPES of breast cancer?

I didn't. But I do now. While I sat in the waiting room at Breast Screen (for those of your living in other states google breast screen - it will display your states services. If you are 40 and over you are able to have mammograms for free every two years.) armed with the information my soul sister had been told by the doctor, and what was shown on her mammogram that had sparked the onslaught for more investigation, I goggled on my smart phone. Me being the person that I am, I need to KNOW stuff.

I found an incredibly informative site at Cancer Australia . This is where I discovered that there were different types of breast cancer.... It isn't enough that there is breast cancer?? There has to be different types of the god damn friggin thing!!! Even one that has no symptoms... What the fuck is up with that???            

The type my soul sister has been diagnosed with is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS for short). The one that has no symptoms.


I met my soul sister nearly 13 years ago. My daughter was her daughter's "I'll show you were everything is" friend at the day care they both attended. She had a 6 week old baby boy - just like me (minus 10 days). Our daughters were weeks apart in age, our sons, days. And we connected instantly. She was in the midst of her marriage breaking up, and rebuilding her life. And rebuild she did. With dignity, and integrity, and grace. She inspired me with her strength and dogmatic determination. She is an amazing mother, and her children are two walking, talking tributes to her mothering. When I met her I had no idea just how important she would become to me.

When the door of my own pandora's box ferociously flew open she was there for me. She brought my daughter to the hospital to visit me, she gently picked me up from the corner of the toilet floor at the police station where I had fled to as the clutches of panic set in, she sat and heard all the ugliness of my story as I vomited it out, she looked after my children as I went off to fight the demon and put him in jail. She has been beside me, championing me, encouraging me, listening to me.... never ever judging me.

Now its my turn to champion, encourage, listen to....


If you don't know how to do a self examination here is guide from :
(If you are unsure ask your GP for a How to demonstration. Remember -  knowledge is power!)

Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here's what you should look for:
• Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color

• Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:

• Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin

• A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)

• Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Breast Self-Exam - Step 1Breast Self-Exam - Step 1

Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

Breast Self-Exam - Steps 2 and 3Breast Self-Exam - Steps 2 and 3

Step 3: While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.
Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.

Breast Self-Exam - Step 4Breast Self-Exam - Step 4

Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in Step 4.

Breast Self-Exam - Step 5Breast Self-Exam - Step 5


  1. Oh Vicky... cannot think of anything nice to say about this disease.. I am one of the 'lucky' ones whose mammaries are littered with microcalcifications. Feels like a time bomb at times and there is no way I would miss my annual mammogram. Occasionally they find a change and investigate ... one year there was bleeding and they operated and at times I would be happy to have both breasts sheared off from the chest wall... Particularly feel that way today. Received an email [sent last night] informing me that a friend with one of the rarer and most invasive types of Ca is reaching end stage and my heart is very heavy. Her name is Sharon. It sucks..really sucks. Love and hugs to you and may we both learn from the plight of our friends. ♥♥

  2. Thank you so much for such a moving and informative post. I can guarantee that there are so many women out there who have never been shown how to do a breast check. I'm lucky that both my Mum and my GP have been very particular about teaching me. I hope and pray that everything turns out well for you and your friend.

  3. It stops your heart for a second doesn't it... when a friend says them words.

    My friend survived. She can survive this. Holding your hand will help her fight this.

    Strength & courage to your friend.
    Strength & courage to you.

  4. This is excellent advice, it really is important to do this. Thank you!

    1. Its hard to believe that 12 months have gone by since my soul sister was treated, and we are about to go back again, to do it all again. I'm praying that this time there is nothing to find.

  5. Best phone call I've had all year Vicky!!


Thanks for stopping by... Leave some love :-)


Blog Design by Sommerfugl Design