My boobs have always been my favorite thing about myself (sometimes tied with my hair). They’re a decent size, nearly symmetrical, and close enough to perky to satisfy me. Even when my skin sucked and my weight wasn’t what I wanted, I had my boobs.
And then they let me down.
At 31, I discovered a rather large and gnarly lump on my left side. In an entirely fitting manner, it happened during October — Breast Cancer Awareness Month — and the night before our local Making Strides Walk that I was participating in with coworkers. It also happened to be just a few days before my birthday. Happy birthday to me, I guess.
I first noticed the lump when my bras weren't fitting quite right for about a week. I chalked it up to my weight fluctuating yet again. Or maybe because I had just finished my period. But it was only one boob that was spilling out of my bra. And this had never happened before. Lying in bed doing a self-check, I found an actual lump that felt massive. It made sense why my boob was suddenly so huge.
And then it started to hurt over the coming days, and all I could think about was my family history of breast cancer. My grandma had breast cancer years ago, and my mom has had a couple of lumpectomies. All I could do was curse genetics and cancer in general, because honestly, how rude. Not to mention my dad currently has leukemia and my family has no time for anything more.
So I got the lump checked out, and wouldn’t you know, it wasn’t one lump but three. Two mammograms, two ultrasounds, and two biopsies later and I have confirmation it’s not cancer, but they don't know what it is either. I’m ridiculously glad there’s no cancer to be found, but I’m not thrilled that this lump has left my boob seemingly a full cup size larger than where I started and a full cup size larger than my right boob.
This whole process has been understandably traumatic, even for someone like me who is so chill that it sometimes creeps people out. It drove me to go to a doctor for the first time in probably five years and now to look into bras for asymmetrical boobs, all of which have thrown off my flow.
Because you know what’s expensive? New bras and doctor’s appointments.
I’m investing in a few new bras that hold inserts in one cup or the other to even out the size of my boobs. They're a great invention for anyone who has asymmetrical boobs. Fun fact: that’s pretty much everyone with natural boobs, and some are more asymmetrical than others. Thank heavens bra companies are catering to those of us with different cup sizes.
Ideally, I’d love to get these lumps taken out. It hurts most of the time, and it just makes me mad. I’m glad she’s not cancer (yes, I ’ve started personifying them). I’d much rather pay for simple doctor visits and new bras than have to deal with any disease. But why did my boobs have to betray me in the first place? I thought we had a good thing going. They wear high-quality bras. And I don't expose my boob skin to anything (no tanning, no people, no nothing). And the thanks I get is a lump and biannual mammograms almost ten years before most women need them.
I shouldn’t complain. I’m lucky that my lumps are benign and the only problem they’re causing is making my boob bigger. Some women would love bigger boobs! I’d happily dump my lumps, though, to be honest. But in the meantime, I’ll settle for specialty bras and mammograms every six months to make sure these lumps never turn into anything more.