I am very fortunate that everything turned out the way it did. I don't know if you would call it luck - I call it blessed - but in any case there is something I want to pass on.
I found the lump.
Not one of the mammograms I have been getting from the time I was 30. Not my ob/gyn during my yearly exam.
I found it.
I found it because believe it or not I was pretty good about doing self breast exams. The better you know your own body the more easily you will know when something is wrong. If you do monthly self breast exams you will know the difference between normal lumpy and bumpy tissue and something else that doesn't belong there. If you take the time, and it is only a little bit of time, you could save your life. You remember to pay your bills, fill up the car, wash your hair - make it one of those things. Put a reminder on your cell phone. Write it on the calendar. Anything to make you remember. To do this is free. You don't need to make an appointment or write a check. Sometimes the best diagnostic tool available is our own intuition and logical thought process.