Before I begin, MEN, HOLD IT RIGHT THERE. I know some of you are already trying to close the page, and are thinking “This is not for me”. It is also for you. Keep on reading. Then be a good brother, boyfriend, or husband and spread the word. You can read this post How men matter to know more.
Okay, Now I may begin. Where was I?
My name is Lonely breast and I am writing this open letter on behalf of every breast out there. I write this out of a deep feeling of abandonment and loneliness. Of betrayal and bitterness. I am saddened by the fact that, even though we make you feel feminine, beautiful and productive, you hardly bother to say hi once in a while.
Breast cancer is no joke. Many times, we get sick. And our condition gets so bad that treatment becomes both intensive and expensive. And in many cases, we may need to be removed or we may kill you. In Nigeria, one out of every 25 women will get breast cancer. What makes the situation worse is that Nigeria has the highest rate of deaths from cancer. In other words, you do not want to get breast cancer in Nigeria. As you know, the health system is horrible.
I know some of you think you are still too young. You think it’s only Mamas that can have breast cancer. Well, Sisis, think again. There is change o. These days, young girls have breast cancer too. As par Naija girls, I can picture you saying “God forbid, It is not my portion”. You are right. It is not your portion but, God helps those who help themselves.
That’s true. There is something you can do to help. For us and for you. Because, the good news is that we are not needy. We are not asking for money. We are not asking for special skills. We will not take lots of your time. All we are asking for is your friendship. We want you to check up on us. We want you to look at us. We want you to feel us. And most importantly, we want you to know us.
If you do not know us, then in the future, how will you know what is normal and what is not? If you do not check up on us, how will you realize we are sick and go for treatment on time? Once you know what is normal, you can know when there is a change, right? And once you notice a change, then go see a doctor. Because early detection is key to survival from breast cancer.
How do you know your breasts? It’s very easy.
Stand in front of a mirror with your hands raised, so you can check it out from different angles. Feel your breasts, while in the shower or while lying down. Whatever works for you.
For those of you that are shy, you can lock your doors. Maybe you are worried that Mama will walk in and be like, “Ehn, My daughter, what are you doing? You are touching your breasts, I did not teach you to be this wayward”
Or better yet, leave it open, so that when she walks in, you can answer “Mama, I am knowing my breasts o, Do you know yours?” Then you can give her the remaining gist.
These are some of the changes to look out for:
- Sudden change in size of the breast or its shape.
- A hard lump (like frozen peas) inside the breast or the armpit area.
- Liquid discharge coming out of your breasts suddenly.
- Swelling or darkening of the breast.
- Puckering of the skin on the breast.
- Pain on the breast that doesn’t go away.
If you ever spot these symptoms, don’t start freaking out, making some much needed confessions to your loved ones and crying over how your days are numbered. See a medical doctor first.
Do not do this once, just to ease your conscience. We need constant love and attention. Try to call up on us once in a month. 3-5 days after menstruation when we, the breasts are less tender and less lumpy. On that note, I hope some of you have noted this down in your mental, mobile or wall calendars, because it is that important.
I shall sign out now. It seems my owner is already reading this and is about to give me some of her time. *Dancing shoki*
So ladies, as you give your lonely breasts some much needed TLC, say hi to your “breast friends” for me. *wink*