About four years ago I was watching one of our foster kids play hockey in a tournament out of town (of course it was out of town because our town had only 305 people living in it. To do any sports, we travelled). Anyway, at some point that weekend, I noticed a lump in my breast. Now, typically I was not the type to do monthly breast exams. Occasionally I would check but never the same time of the month and certainly not every month. I mean really, why bother? It wasn’t like I was actually going to get breast cancer right? I was young (at that point 32), I had breast-fed 4 babies, I had no family history of breast cancer or evencancer really, and (for the most part) my family ate pretty healthy and was very active.
You can understand then that upon finding this lump, I was floored, not to mention mesmerized. I couldn’t stop checking it out (but not in a Divinyls’ “touch myself” kind of way – get your mind out of the gutter!).
I thought to myself that I would have to make an appointment to see my doctor on Monday morning. The problem was that I started to worry. I was worried to the point of wanting to get it checked right away. So I walked in to the Urgent Care centre in Okotoks, AB.
Of course, I was still hoping and believing that the doctor would say it was nothing. And he did, kind of. He smirked and laughed at me as he told me that the lump was nothing to be concerned about. I felt embarrassed and ridiculed. This is not the first time a doctor has laughed at me for being proactive about something that is constantly drilled into us.
“Do your breast exams”
If these exams are so useful in early detection, I would thinks that doctors would be more sensitive to the findings of women. Instead, the doctor’s reaction to me entirely wiped away any chance of proactivity in me. I stopped doing monthly exams altogether after that but still occasionally noticed that lump.
Have you ever had an experience like this with a doctor? Shouldn’t doctors care for patients with the utmost compassion? Without judgement? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.