Britt LaThrece [pro-nounced La-Tree S sound]. Is the influencer and content creator behind BrittLaThrece.com, a digital destination for lifestyle, fashion, and holistic wellness; mind, body, and soul. It empowers women to be yourself, love yourself, and accept yourself for who you are, where you are, right now in your personal journey. BrittLaThrece.com offers tips, inspiration, and ideas for creative and mindful living.
I would like to share a very personal story with each of you that I was never really comfortable sharing until now. Wellness is a very important part of my lifestyle, and something that I pride myself on is my routine health and wellness practices.
Generally, summer tends to be a more relaxed season in my industry due to vacations and Summer Fridays, so I really like to take advantage of visiting each of my doctors during this time, especially my for my well-woman visit. The great part is that most insurance providers cover annual woman’s exams, and it gives me a reason to visit my OBGYN, an amazing woman of color!
During my Summer 2016 visit, while my doctor was doing my breast exam, she came across a lump in my left breast. She asked me if I’d noticed it at any point prior to my visit, and I admitted that I had not, because the truth was that self-breast exams weren’t part of my self-care practices. She had me examine my left breast myself to feel the abnormality that she was referring to, and it was extremely obvious that something wasn’t quite right.
As a precautionary measure, she advised me to get a breast ultrasound to evaluate the lump. While my doctor was optimistic during my visit, I remember leaving feeling completely devastated. So devastated, that I cried right on Michigan Avenue, and called my mother to share the news!
If you can imagine, I felt a lot of shame and overwhelmed with fear. Shame in the fact that someone else discovered an irregularity in my body before I did…and when I tried to figure out how this could happen, the truth was that prior to that moment, it never really occurred to me how important self-breast exams were for my health! My fear came from the unknown – what would happen in one week when I had my ultrasound? What kind of news would I receive, and how would the news impact my life? I couldn’t help but think, I’m only twenty-something for crying out loud, and I came to realize that my youth didn’t exempt me from health conditions.
At that point, the only thing to do was to face my fear and find out what was going on, because if there’s one thing I’ve realized in life, it’s that avoiding problems neither solves them nor makes them disappear. The next week, I went to my ultrasound appoint feeling vulnerable and anxious. However, my sonographer was really kind and had a calming energy that made the experience other words, cancer free. She said that it was nothing to be concerned about, but an area that we should continue to keep an eye on. I was relieved – HALLEJUAH! After a week of having my smooth and painless.
Within the next 20-30 minutes, my sonographer was able to tell me that my cyst was benign, in very active imagination run wild with tons of scenarios, it was great to put my curiosity to rest.
The most important lesson that I learned from this experience was that I needed to establish a better relationship with my girls, and check in with my body more regularly. It also helped me not take my health for granted and made me take a more proactive approach in my preventative health instead of a reactive approach, which has been and will continue to be beneficial for my overall self-care. Now, I monitor my body regularly for changes and know to speak up with confidence if I do feel anything out of the ordinary. It’s not always the most convenient thing to do with a busy schedule, but Bright Pink’s has a really great resource called breast health reminders that can help you do so once a month. Sign up for these reminders here, and Bright Pink will send you a monthly text so you’ll never forget!