"I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to 'cut back.' From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible."
(Erma Bombeck)

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Being responsible

I visited my nurse practitioner on June 4th for my annual gynecological exam. I mentioned to her that I'd had some breast pain and wondered about it. She checked the breast for any lumps and couldn't find any, so she referred me for a regular, screening mammogram. Since I felt relieved that no lumps were found, I didn't make the appointment for the mammogram until a couple of weeks later.


A nagging pain

My saga with breast cancer began about this time. I began feeling a kind of "achy" pain in my right breast. It seemed to be far down inside and was different than the type of glandular, premenstrual pain I'd experienced before.

The pain was most noticeable at night and in the morning, but I also noticed it occasionally during the day at work. I remember wondering if it could be breast cancer. The thought was too much to consider, so I repressed it and chalked it up to premenopausal symptoms.

However, it was nagging me enough to check out "breast pain+premenopausal" on the Internet. I was fairly assured when I read that oftentimes, premenopausal women experience breast pain for unexplained reasons. After about a week and a half, my period started and the pain seemed to subside.

I decided it was hormonal, but made a mental note that I should make an appointment with my nurse practitioner since I was already overdue for my pap and mammogram tests. I gave myself the "be responsible and mature about this" self-talk (what I really wanted to do was go into denial and forget about it). A couple of weeks passed before I made the appointment.

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