I felt called to share my personal experience with you because:

1. Obviously, your health is super important and I wanted to remind you of checking your boobs once in a while.

2. I didn’t know anyone in my network that experienced this (at first), so I didn’t know what to think and it was rather stressful. But after I talked to someone who had gone through the same I felt way more reassured, so I understand the importance of feeling supported in these situations.

I hope that with making this blog post I can create awareness around this subject, so if you ever find yourself in the same situation you will already have some knowledge on the topic. Of course you will still have to get it checked by a professional but I hope you’ll be able to feel calm and informed once you do.

When I discovered my breast lump

In November 2020 I was just about to go to sleep when I felt a hard lump in my breast. It wasn’t very big, but it was big enough that I couldn’t believe I had never felt it before. I immediately wondered how long it had been there and what this could mean. You can imagine that going to sleep after this discovery was quite challenging. My mind went crazy. I believe I ended up dreaming about it and woke up feeling quite nervous and stressed.

Against all advice to never Google your symptoms, I decided to get my laptop and… Google my symptoms. In this case, turning to the internet luckily didn’t end up in diagnosing myself with the worst case scenario. Most websites actually started out with saying that most times, a breast lump is benign (not dangerous/cancerous), which was very reassuring.

Many website take you through some steps to discover more about the nature of your breast lump, since there are multiple causes. This can also be helpful to be aware of if you do not have a lump but simply want to keep an eye on the health of your breasts!

I will quickly list some of these steps/questions for you but please know that you ALWAYS have to get a lump checked out by a professional.

So, some things to pay attention to are:

  • Is your nipple (newly) retracted?
  • Are there any dimples in the breast tissue?
  • Is there moist / pus coming out of the nipple?
  • Does the lump feel smooth like a marble? Or does it have rougher edges?
  • Does the lump feel soft or hard?
  • Are the lymph nodes in your arm pit swollen?

Depending on the answers to these type of questions you can get a rough idea of the cause of the lump. It can be a cyst, an abscess, a lipoma, a fibroadenoma, breast cancer etc.

In my case, my lump felt very smooth on the edges but also hard like a marble. Given my age (at that time I was 24), the most likely cause of my lump was something called a fibroadenoma.

I had never heard of it before, but this is a benign (non-cancerous) lump that often affects women under the age of 30. I felt slightly relieved, but I knew I still needed to let it get checked to be sure, so I scheduled a visit to a breast clinic here in Portugal.

The examination of the breast lump

At the breast clinic, the doctor did a manual examination of the lump and examined the other breast as well to make sure there were no other lumps to be found. She told me that it was very possible it was a fibroadenoma with the information she gained from the breast exam, but that I needed an echo to see this better.

I initially thought I had to endure one of those x-rays where your boob will be sort of squeezed between two plates (at least this is what my mom led me to believe a mammography is), but it was just an ultrasound!

After the ultrasound the doctor said that “in all likelihood” it was indeed a fibroadenoma. They say “in all likelihood” because the ultrasound gives a good view and idea of the cause, but only a biopsy can truly confirm the nature of the tissue. However, at this point there was no need for a biopsy. Only when the lump would grow rapidly, I would have to come back to perform a biopsy.


After Care

I was very relieved when I left the breast clinic and I started to check my breast lump daily to see if it had grown, but then I realised that by touching it everyday I won’t “notice” growth. It’s like seeing yourself in the mirror everyday and you won’t notice a change versus seeing a picture of yourself with a month apart and you do. So I decided to release the obsession I had with checking it daily and only check up on my lump every other month, so I could better determine if it grew or not.

I also decided I needed to make a mindset shift. Instead of seeing this breast lump as a “potential threat”, I chose to see it as “harmless” and “a part of me” even though I never got 100% certainty of it truly being harmless without the biopsy. So why did I do this? As you most likely know, I am very into the power of the mind. The body achieves what the mind believes. And that 1% of doubt I still had, could have consequences for the body, so I decided to eliminate it. Releasing my fixation on checking my lump daily and changing my belief about it has been a huge part of what I like to call my “after-care”.

When you decide to check your breasts every once in a while, I would advise you to focus on “maintaining your health” instead of “tracking down any possible disease”. Like I said, I believe this shift in mindset is very important. The choice is yours, are you going to focus on health or on disease?

I must say that this experience has made me appreciate my health and my body a lot more, simply because I briefly feared it would have been taken away from me. For that I am grateful. I am done judging certain parts of my body as “not enough” and want to celebrate the fact that I have a healthy body that allows me to do the things I love. It allows me to walk in nature, dance the night away, travel and chase my dreams. But only if I take care of it in return. It’s time to take responsibility for my health and for me this goes beyond physical health. The mind and body are always connected. Let’s focus on letting them both flourish.






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