October 24, 2020 10:15 AM | by The Fustany Team
Fustany Talks: How I Coped With Having a Breast Cancer Scare
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I thought a lot about how I could start talking about my experience of getting diagnosed with breast cancer, especially since it is one of the worst experiences of my life, but in the end I learnt a lot of things from it. When I was 16, I noticed some lumps in my breast and because there was no awareness of breast cancer at that time, I didn't know that this was not normal. It was only until I was 28 and with the growth of breast size, these cysts remained present and I once felt pain in them. And because I am a person who getting disease and is afraid of it, the idea of going to a doctor was difficult.
How I felt when the doctor told me that I had breast cancer
One day I decided to break this fear and go to a doctor and do a mammogram to find out the cause of the pain, and then the doctor told me, “You suffer from breast cancer.” The words stood still as I thought to myself, "Is this actually real?" I then noticed how my mom was looking at me, full of fear and worry, especially since she too struggled from cancer, but in her uterus and her experience was difficult with chemotherapy and radiation. But perhaps the strange thing was that I was trying to hide my fear as much as possible in an attempt to keep my family strong and so there was room for fear or even a breakdown, for a while, and maybe this was a mistake. In fact, on the inside I was very afraid of going through an experience similar to my mother's.
I refused the idea of going to another doctor to find out what to do or even if this diagnosis was right or not. For 3 months I stayed silent, not wanting to engage in a conversation with my family about it, just focusing on my work and going out with my friends to have fun, laugh a lot and forget everything that's happened, in hope that it could be a mistake. Until I reached a severe stage of pain that made me take a large amount of painkillers throughout my day. I would only a few hours from the severity of pain and I it was hard to sleep or move. It was then that I decided to go to the doctor again. It started to become more serious because the size of the breast got biigfer than it's normal size.
I went to more than one doctor, one of them advised me to go to 'Baheya Hospital for Breast Cancer. They were vert attentive and most of the doctors who work there are highly knowledgeable and have the ability to deal well with people and be understanding towards what a family can go through. After the tests were done, I found that all this happened because of cysts on my breast that were exposed to infection. The doctor told me at the time that it was normal for many girls whose ages range from 17 to 30 and was surprising considering the first doctor thought it was breast cancer.
Don't let fear control you
It is normal to feel fear, but do not let fear control you, and this is what I've learned the most from my experience. Breast cancer awareness campaigns are there to help, so don't be scared. Most girls gets scared from any changes that occur to the breast from ages 17 to 30 and since mammograms, are usually done for women over 40, you can still check up on yourself by seeng a doctor, most importantly, and you can also help by doing breast self-exams on yourself at home regularly.
Breast cancer awareness
Perhaps the most important thing that helped me with my experience were the awareness campaigns on websites and on social media. They're really helpful for anyone going through this. I also learnt at Baheya Hospital how to overcome my fears that were stopping me from pursuing my health. I knew that it is important to do regular examinations and self-exams at home, and in the event of any problem, I must go to a doctor to ensure that things are safe.
Main Image Credits: Instagram @akvile_trautmann
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