yeah, that got your attention, didn't it? A post title of "boobies" is probably always going to get attention :) and, this post is going to be about 'my boobies' :) 

A week ago I received a letter inviting me to attend a "breast cancer screening clinic". Typically women between the ages of 50 - 70 have regular screening. No, I've been telling porkies about my age (ok, so I'm not really 25 but you all knew that anyway 😂) they've just been running a trial where they are now inviting women from the age of 47 and up to 73; apparently they pick the people invited at random, although I do wonder if maybe I flagged up because I went to my gp earlier in the year when I found a lump - she told me it was all part of that joyful experience known as menopause!! (which of course, you all know I've not suffered with / am suffering from, at all!! 😳😳😳😳 Actually, having said that, the 'tropical moments' aren't as bad as they were which is even more surprising when you take into account the hot weather we are experiencing; I'm certainly not complaining about that, although the cheeks still flare up around the 2 - 3pm mark every day, still. 

Anyway, let's get back to what this is all about. Boobies!!

The 2nd biggest cause of death from cancer, in women, is breast cancer (men get it too, so if you're a guy reading this, make sure you check yourselves weekly - it's always better-to-be-safe-than-sorry). Sadly, lung cancer is still the number one killer (I gave up smoking to try and reduce my risks of that one). Breast cancer however, well, there's not really a lot to be done to reduce your risk for that one, which is why checking yourselves regularly (it takes 10 minutes - or less - to do so) is the best way of spotting something that's not-quite-right. I check once a week while in the shower - I have to scrub all my bits and pieces at the time so figure I just as well have a prod and poke while there; that's how I found the lump I went to see about earlier in the year. My doctor was impressed I'd gone to her with one so small, telling me that if it had been anything sinister, I would most likely have picked up on it early enough, and that's the really important part - detecting it early enough. That doesn't by any means guarantee you will be cured, but it sure gives you the best chance. 

My Mum warned it me it wasn't the most pleasant experience (neither is having a smear test but I've always had those every 3 years and while it's not pleasant, it can hurt, and you will feel uncomfortable, it is so worth it - my best friend might still be here had she kept up-to-date with hers!!). Other women I've spoken to (it's amazing how many people want to know why you are closing your shop for a couple of hours during a working day - never one to keep things to myself, they've been told) then all offered up their own experiences for me. Each and every single one of them mentioned it being painful; by the time I arrived at the portacabin (what a great place to house such a thing) I was beginning to flinch at the thought of having it done - not once did I ever consider not going through with it though. A few minutes of pain could mean my life not being cut short; I'll take that any day - or so I thought. I was wrong, very wrong.

I arrived 30 minutes early (I overestimated the traffic) and was going to sit waiting in my car, however, with 32 degree temperatures there was no way I was going to cook so I made my way over to the unit, so happy to find they had the aircon  on - full on 😅 I never got to enjoy it though for no sooner had they run through the health check with me, so I was taken through to the room where you have to whip it off. Again, so quick, I had only just taken off my bra when she called me into the room with the machine that does what it's been designed to do.

Did it hurt? Abso-bloody-lutely; way more than I thought it would but not how I thought it would. I thought it would be the fleshy part of my boobies that would hurt as they were sqished; I felt nothing from them. What hurt was because I have such tiny ones the machine basically scraped in a load of skin from around my boobies so it had something to clamp in between the metal plates. The only way I can liken it is to you having really bad sunburn (we've all had that, right?) Then get a really heavy handed rough person, with the coarsest of sandpapers and get them to drag that across your sunburn and keep rubbing against it for 10 seconds (or longer). That's what it felt like - it still hurts now, some 5 hours afterwards. Everyone warned me, yet they never once even got close to explaining what it was like. I guess though it's different for everyone, for someone else has told me they felt as though their nipples were being ripped off; I guess that's because their boobies are bigger, so their experience would have been different.

However, for less than a minute (in total) the pain is more than bearable and it could be the difference between life and death. Ladies, if you get the letter, make sure you go. Do not leave it to chance. We only get one life.

The only thing that I didn't like - and which left me slightly concerned - was as I was leaving, she said to me "You will probably get a recall as it's your first time and they have nothing to compare the results to". It was only when I got back to the car I thought about what she said. If there is nothing there, then there is nothing to compare it to so a recall wouldn't be necessary!!!! The results will come through in 2/3 so I guess that's when I get to find out what she meant 😨😨😨

Since originally writing this post in early 2017 (I've pinned it to the top so it will be here for as long as I decide it needs to be seen) I have been extremely lucky enough to receive the All Clear, however, 2 women I know have not been that lucky and are currently in the throes of some pretty intensive treatment, and another friend has lost her Mum to this disease.

Please Ladies, and Gentlemen - you can get it too - check yourselves regularly. The slightest difference, no matter how small, could mean you get treatment early enough to cure. Do NOT leave it to chance.