What A Pain!

Today, I woke up with a pain in my right breast.

There is pain and there there is pain. This pain was not my usual pulled-my-muscle-with-those-100-pushups pain. But I hoped it was.

So I crawled into the shower and tried to wash it away. But it stayed. In fact, it felt worse.

I groped around my breasts. I’d been taught to do Breast Self Exam (BSE) since I was 22, when my mom contracted breast cancer.

I could not feel a lump but over my right nipple I could feel some kind of a hardening. It was just thicker, a little bit, than my left breast. If there hadn’t been pain, I would never have given it a second thought.

I got dressed and decided to go for my exercise class. I guess at this point it already struck me that maybe… this was more serious than I wanted to think. And in the event I got stuck with some serious health problem, I might not be able to hit the gym for months.

(I know it sounds very vain but I worked hard to get back down to 52kg after 2 years at 62kg! Actually I’m a bit annoyed coz I think I’m looking my best in a long time…)

I had a full day of meetings after that, but tried calling my gynae. Prof Tham is the sweetest, gentlest doctor in the world and the only doctor I have met who cares more about his patient’s husband than his patient (no he is not gay).  I jest – he cares about me, but he only answers Mr Threez’s calls.

Anyway, Prof was away.

I called my best friend Karen, whose hubby is the sweetest, gentlest and most reassuring brilliant cervical expert in the world. Alas, he had just flown off to a conference the night before.

Karen suggested I go to my family doctor, but by the time my meeting ended, he was off duty.

Which left me with the 24-hour women’s clinic at KK Hospital. I called Yvette Thomasz, the sweet head of corporate communications. The women’s organisation I run, Women Make a Difference, had organised a fundraiser in July 2009 for the KKH Health Endowment Fund under the Molly Lee Appeal (in memory of Huili). I guess God probably already knew I was going to be making this call today.

Yvette happened to be in a fundraiser meeting with the breast unit and they happened to be talking about Edwin Ho, who had shot the images for our Molly Lee Appeal fundraiser!

“Some divine power must be looking after you,” says Yvette. She got THAT right! My Father is watching over me!

Yvette arranged for me to see Prof Hong GS, the head of the Breast Centre at KK, on Monday (all the clinics were closed). I proceeded to the 24-hour clinic to get a breast exam done to see if I needed a mammogram.

The clinic doctor felt my right breast with the same puzzled look I had on my face in the morning.

“It doesn’t quite feel like a lump, but you know, it could be anything. Better to have that mammogram and find out.”

My poor worried husband finished work just as I was done at the clinic. “You wanna go home?” he asked.

“No, I want to go out and have dinner.”

We went for a steamboat dinner, because honestly I didn’t know if I might have that chance again in a while…

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