It’s the begining and the end

We’re starting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of that I’d like to direct you to this article at Parent Dish. Heather Craven and WhyMommy do a wonderful job of shining a light on our rarely seen Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I would only like to add that not only does a breast not have to have a lump to have cancer… but there also does not have to be skin changes to be Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC).

My IBC did not present as the picture in the article. Oh, one breast was grossly larger than the other, all right. However, it was NOT red. Nor was the skin thickened or orange peely, nor itchy. In fact, I had no skin changes whatsoever until the evening before my first chemo treatment (3.5 months after I first noticed a hardness in the center of my breast). Even then my breast was only the slightest bit pink – not even as pink as when I leave a hot shower.

My advise to any woman is simply this: If there are any changes in your breast whatsoever – particularly if it is in one breast and not both – see your doctor.

Or… If you…

  • feel a certain heaviness that was not there before
  • feel small shooting pains in one breast on a regular basis
  • one breast seems to be growing larger
  • there is unexplained tenderness in your underarm or across the top of your chest

Or, if you are nursing and…

  • your child suddenly stops nursing on one breast for an extended period with no explaination
  • you feel engorged constantly – even after pumping or nursing
  • your breast is red and angry looking without any pain

Any and all of these symptoms are not normal. An unnaturally high number of IBC diagnosis’ are of women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

*******

Today is also the end of the Federal Government’s Fiscal Year. Also known as The Day Imstell Gets Her Life Back. Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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