I was almost 30 years old and I had already been married for a couple of years at that time (it’s hard for me now to think that I was so young when I got married).

We did not have children and we were not even in the contraceptive regime. However, with my size two, and 52 kilos and 173 cm, with which I often could do without the bra, I received two balloons of size three those days. No, I’m not pregnant. It was a nice image, but not good for my movement. I dared not to touch my breasts, and I could only dream about sleeping on my stomach (if I could fall asleep).

As a child of a healthcare professional, I decided to go for a medical examination without any predefined fear. With the salary of a high school professor, I could not easily afford a private doctor, so I bravely tried to go to the public health center. I would never recommend this to anyone, even today, because these centers have never done any good to anyone except that you get sick with it because of the poverty and hardship of the atmosphere, because of the gloomy faces, and especially because of the perception of where you are living and, luckily, that with your 400 Euros professor salary, you do not live  badly at all…

I gave up public health institutions because they could only inspire me to become an alcoholic, or to leave the country, as I hadn`t done that in time.

I went to a private clinic, a cheerful lady doctor, the oncologist raised my hands and started touching… I, of course, began to sink and, as in the moments of madness, wonder if it would be better for me to be cremated or buried at the old Orthodox cemetery in the center of Pancevo in Serbia, because I love this city, no matter how stinky it is sometimes. The last will has already been written in my head. The reaction of the family has been considered if I take the place next to my grandfather… Hah.

“Are you self-examining?”

“No, every knot seems deadly to me and I do not think, therefore, there is an excessive purpose for self-examination.” (thinking in myself: “Do I need to verify the last will in the court or is it enough to write it personally?”)

“We will do an ultrasound, I cannot make diagnoses by palpation.” (Thinking to myself: “Palpation, uh, sounds like some incurable disease…”)

“Yes, I agree, you will still see what it is about.”

“Yes, so that we still know what to do.” 

I’m sinking. “So that we know what to do.” 

The ultrasound probe, whose strokes cost me about 25 Euros (and in the heat of the moment, I’m thinking that I should have gone out with my friends and spent it in a cafe), presses my swollen boobs and I start thinking about pain only, not about cemeteries, yellow roses, and the last will, too.

“Tanya, someone will have to massage this!” the delighted doctor exclaimed.

“Massage? Well…, they have already been massaged. “

“Not enough! You have hormonal dysplasia, nothing terrible, we’ll check it in six months, and you’ll put pomace brandy cloths so that your breasts shrink!”

(Thinking to myself: “Shrink?! I have just got tits!”) “Ordinary pomace brandy cloths!?!?”

“Yes, and, please, find someone to massage your breasts, the more – the better.”

“Well, I’m married, they are getting massaged…”

“Obviously not enough, see you in six months!”

Thus, for 25 Euros Tanya realized that she would not die, that the pain would not be dangerous if the issue was kept under control and checked regularly, but also that it would be proper to find someone who would massage her better and act preventively on her spiritual and physical health.

And so it was.

Today, ten years later, I am 40+ years old and I have regular medical examinations every six months. My breasts are size three again these days, the massage is OK, I am calm, but only after I regularly went to the ultrasound examination. The doctor did not recommend a massage (he is a man, what does he know), but he gave me a real verbal, simple sedative:

“Dress up, everything is fine!”

Hormonal dysplasia of the breast is not a “wicked disease”. They say that these changes on the breasts are harmless and that more than 50% of women have them. You will recognize it as a gritty, granular breast structure. The change usually occurs in the form of sensitivity and pain that is repeated cyclically. It’s about hormones, what else?! By self-examination, you will feel a great number of nodes, which is a very unpleasant feeling. Still, make yourself peaceful and go for an examination. Check only if hormonal nodes are the only ones that bother you. Maybe your doctors will prescribe you a massage too, and it will not only appeal to your breasts…

My breasts are ok, and yours?


  • Tanja Tatomirovic

    We do not have to take everything seriously in order to do the job well.

    Author of the book about WW2 fascist radio propaganda. PR, MSc, PhD researcher. A character from one novel. Works for Microsoft, writes for Thrive Global, Forbes and Medium. The statements [or testimony] I offer today represent my own personal views. I am speaking for myself and not on behalf of my employer, Microsoft Corporation.