"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

time to feel myself up

this is the part where i almost died.
date: jan 2001, a wednesday night



i'm very cavalier about my health.
i've always been very healthy.
i barely even had a notable case of the chicken pox as a child.
i had a hairline fracture my senior year of high school.
no other broken bones.
a major car accident my senior year of high school.
late for play practice.
wet roads.
stupid 18 yr old (me).
two lane highway.
speeding (about 10 over)
hydroplaning.
smooshed beneath a flatbed truck.
hit a tree.
life flighted.
that was not a great year for me.
nonetheless, i consider myself to be an incredibly healthy person.
no major illnesses or complications in life.
it is rare for me to get a cold or the flu.
although i have had both this year.
as a teacher i never got the flu shot, and i never got the flu.
i've never missed work due to illness.
the only forms of cancer in my family history are skin cancers.
all treatable if caught early on.
thus my annual trips to the dermatologist.
so when my OB asks if i'm doing monthly breast exams i say,
"no, not really."
translation: never.
although when i'm nursing i am constantly checking for anything hard that could cause mastitis.
he smiles and reminds me that breast cancer is possible at any age, even when pregnant.
i always feel like the scary stuff doesn't apply to the mother in pregnancy.
before you start worrying, no, i don't have breast cancer.
it's always about having a healthy baby.
mom should be exempt from all scary "other" illnesses.
sheesh, being pregnant and birthing a baby should be enough for one year, don't you think!?
this of course is extremely ignorant.
as is my cavalier attitude about breast cancer.
did you know that you are at risk for breast cancer?
small ones, big ones, lopsided ones, augmented ones, and the list goes on.
you're a women, you're at risk.
there have even been cases of men with breast cancer.
rare, but still, they have the breast tissue.
"i don't have any history of breast cancer in my family."
this is what i tell myself.
"i eat very healthy foods and exercise regularly."
then i think of lance.
then yesterday, i hear of someone close to me who's mother has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
without any family history of it.
i guess it's time to go feel myself up.
oh goody:-)
i hope you do too.

8 comments:

Brooke said...

so true about the age thing! I had a lump removed when i was 18 and thankfully it wasn't serious. but man did i learn early about those self exams! I remember the night of your accident! you scared us all pretty good! we're so glad that night turned out well!!!!

Sue said...

Good advice, Em. And thank heavens you're all right. You kinda scared me there for a minute.

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Lisa said...

I remember when that happened, so scary! you were a real trooper though and just sucked it up and kept on dancing and singing. We were all so worried... and look at you now ... all grown up...with babies of your own!

Emmy said...

You can always have your husband check for you ;) That car picture is so scary!! I am so glad you survived that.

Lydia said...

Thanks for the reminder, Ill go along with Emmy and have the hubby "help".

Tiffany said...

I just found out about a girl that lived on my floor my freshman year at BYU that died of breast cancer 2 days ago. She is my age-32!!!! Not old. So tragic. She had been fighting it for 2.5 years. She was married with 2 kids. So sad and such a reality check! I am not good about doing exams either, but I need to shape up.

Fiauna said...

I a naughty, naughty girl. I haven't been to the doctor for four years. Yikes. I guess it's time, huh?

Missy said...

Em, why did I NEVER know this about you? Even during my "deal" last year... Or maybe you did tell me and I wasn't coherent at the time. Good reminders...