On Facebook and twitter you will have noticed the numerous selfies posted with the #daretobare or #nomakeupselfie tag with a nomination attached. There have been many arguments as to what this actually achieves for cancer and whether it is just an opportunity for vain individuals to post a makeup free photo and have the compliments flowing in.
I strongly disagree with the last statement. I know the official #daretobare campaign was actually in October during breast cancer awareness week, but for all of those getting on their high horse about why the selfies matter, is it hurting you? Is it offending you? Or is it starting a conversation, a conversation between young girls encouraging eachother to check those boobies and encourage their friends to do the same.
I myself have experienced a scare and so I wanted to share my experience to encourage others to so the same.
I was in the bath one night and I don’t know what encouraged me to check, I think I’d recently been to a festival and had met the coppafeel team, but there it was as clear as day, large enough that I could find it immediately, a lump.
I remember being terrified. I confided in my two best friends at the time and they assured me it was probably nothing but I should go and get it checked immediately! Both of them asked me if they could feel where it was and although it was slightly weird, I obliged because they both wanted to know what to look for.
I went to the doctor and they sent me to the hospital for some scans, because of my age I wasn’t on an emergency appointment but all appointments for lumps are generally fast tracked so I didn’t have to wait too long at all.
When I arrived at the hospital I was asked to wait in the waiting room in a gown. Luckily most of these areas are men free zones, so there is no need to be embarrassed!
I was seen by two consultants, but because of my age I was only given an ultrasound. Luckily both of the consultants were happy that what they found was a fibroadenoma, a small, harmless growth. I could have it removed if it got uncomfortable or I could happily live on.
I have to remind myself that the story could have been so different and that’s why it’s so important to keep an eye out and report anything unusual to your gp! Don’t be embarrassed, it’s what they’re there for.
With that in mind. Here is my makeup free selfie and if just one of you remembers to check or tells your gp of any changes, then surely it’s more than worth it!