“Oh my, a lumpy bumpy. That doesn’t seem like it should be there. We better send you for additional testing right away. But don’t worry. It’s just a precaution.”
I’m calling BULLCRAP on that one! You can’t tell someone that a lumpy bumpy looks concerning, but don’t worry. That’s like telling a woman who is enjoying PMS, “Here’s some chocolate. But don’t eat it.”
So last week I discovered an unusual lumpy bumpy on my 10-year-old basset hound’s leg. She has lipomas on her chest, which are benign fatty tumors. It’s not unusual for older dogs to get them. But the one on her leg looked and felt different.
I grew up with basset hounds and was always told that anything after 10 years is a blessing with them. So now that my long dog is ten, I immediately think the worse whenever something is wrong. I got her in to to see a veterinarian the very next day.
The Waiting Is the Worst
The vet agreed that it indeed was different than the lumpy bumpies on her chest, so she biopsied it. But then she told me it was too wet to get a good result and it would take a while, so I should take my poochie home and she would call me. It might be cancer, but don’t worry. No, she didn’t actually use those words. Veterinary medicine school taught her not to say that; but that was implied.
Her appointment was at 10 a.m. but the Dr. didn’t call back until after 5 p.m. That was the longest wait wondering if I’d have to start picking out a dress for my hound dog to wear after she got dead. The news: A benign cyst. Hallelujer! Hallelujer!
Like Mother, Like Doghter
Three days later I scheduled a girlie party. Okay it was an appointment for a pap and to get my boobs felt up. It’s been about oh, five or seven years since I did that, so I figured I was probably due for another look up my ol’ address.
Self-employment medical insurance is basically nonexistent, so I only go to the doctor if I’m in a world of hurt, and even then, I usually don’t go. Anyway… I put on the sexy paper vest, yes opening in the front, and draped myself in a paper tablecloth and waited for a stranger to enter the room. I know that sounds like a scene from a cheap porno, but I assure you it was anything but. There wasn’t even any cheesy background music playing.
“How long have you had this lumpy bumpy in your knocker?” I’m not sure those were the exact words, but it was something along those lines. Actually I think she called it a mosquito bite. Huh? I know not of which you speak. Then she pulled the marionette strings and helped my left hand feel myself up. Nope, no. Still don’t feel it. That? Oooooh, ya, I feel THAT. Didn’t know that was there.
It Might Be Cancer, But Don’t Worry
“I’m going to refer you to the Betty Ford Breast Cancer Center. You need to get additional testing right away. They’ll be in touch with you to schedule that.” Those were her exact words. This was on a Thursday.
Did I mention self-employed medical insurance is basically non-existent? So, my first thought was not, “Cancer!” but rather, “Great. How much is this going to cost me?”
Friday came and went, no phone call from the Betty Ford Breast Cancer Center. Which, by the way, the name of the places is the Betty Ford Breast CARE Center. I’m pretty sure she called it the breast cancer center though, because she further explained that they do all things boobie there, not just cancer.
Saturday and Sunday came and went and I was still ruminating on it. It might be cancer, but don’t worry. I was trying to decide if I should sell my house before I got dead or just leave it for my daughters to take care of.
Should I have a living estate sale? Or will they just get a dumpster and pitch all my worldly treasures, including my prized Laverne and Shirley collection when I’m gone? They know I want to be cremated. What they will do with my ashes is up to them.
I won’t be having chemo. Nope. I watched both my parents, and all of my grandparents die of cancer, and I wasn’t putting myself or my daughters through that. Plus, I had just read a study that showed chemotherapy might not be the best option in the fight against cancer, as up to 50 percent of patients are killed by the drugs — not the disease, itself. All this was dancing in my head since she told me “It might be cancer, but don’t worry.”
Finally, on Monday I decided to clear out my business phone voice mail. It’s 99.874% robocall spam, so I rarely answer that phone. Plus, I had given the doctor my cell phone number so that I would not miss the call. Lo and behold, unbeknownst to me, Friday morning they had called to schedule a mammogram and ultrasound “right away.”
Report to the Cancer Pavilion
Alrighty then, so I sat with the news that it might be cancer, but don’t worry, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and part of Monday. Special. “Tomorrow morning at 8:15 a.m. report to the Lemmen- Holton Cancer Pavilion.”
Ooh, pavilion… that sounds nice. I wonder if they will have finger sandwiches and fruity drinks with little umbrellas. Oh wait, I think that was the Libido Deck on the Love Boat. Never mind. No Julie McCoy here.
I pulled into the parking garage a few minutes after 0800 and made my way to the designated cancer parking. Then up the elevators, transferred to another set of elevators, to the pavilion, and off at the 4th floor where all the other melons would be waiting for a photo shoot and a squeeze.
I got to put on a beautiful mauve, or maybe it’s a maroon, nay burgundy, karate gi. This place was fancy. No paper napkins here. I’m sure the bill will be fancy too. Ya, ya, I know, opening in the front. I’m not a moron, thank you. Fortunately, I don’t have back boobs, so I got the idea that the opening should go in the front.
I earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, so I’m no stranger to this costume. I had an overwhelming urge to break into some Koryo (Korean for forms, like katas for Karate). I tried to get some of the other ladies waiting for their squishies to spar with me, but there weren’t any takers. Wussies.
I still cannot believe it’s 2019 and I had to bear hug a machine so that my itty-bitty titties could reach the vise grip platform. I recently lost 60 pounds, so my chest pretty much looks like a transboy with nibbies now. That little tidbit seemed alarming to the technician. “Ooh, let me make note of that”, she said as banged away on the keyboard.
I lost track of how many people between last Thursday and today asked me my name, and when and where my last mammogram was. Hello, I think I mentioned “maybe 5-7 years ago, on a bus somewhere.” Sorry, that’s the best I can remember.
I can’t remember where I left my glasses, and you want me to think of a bus in a parking lot where I danced around topless five, seven or 30 years ago? But you gave me a bracelet at the door with my name on it should I forget that.
There aren’t too many medical conglomerates in West Michigan, so I would think it wouldn’t be too difficult to track down those films from the last touchy feely party involving my jugs.
Warm Jelly, Wands, Oh My!
Next up, I got to go into another room for an ultrasound of my lumpy bumpy. The tech told me to lay on the table. I had to really fight the urge to say, “Lie. People lie down, not lay down. Chickens lay eggs. People lay books on tables, but people themselves don’t lay down, they lie down.” But you’ll be happy to know I only thought that.
Then she put a wedge under me, the kind like babies in cribs have to keep from lying on their backs (lying, not laying). Also, she didn’t say so, but at 53 years old, and having breast fed two children, and the 960 ounce weight loss, I suspect the wedge was in order to get what-was-formerly-known-as my boob to get out of my arm pit area and back where it used to be, so it could pose for the photo shoot.
I’ve had ultrasounds before, but each time there was an adorable little baby shown on the image. This time, I watched as she rolled the wand over my lumpy bumpy, showing a 3 cm elongated mass on the screen. “No baby in there” I reported to her. Perhaps it was nerves, or me just being a smart alec, but humor has always been my go-to in challenging situations.
Remind me to tell you about the time my friend Robin and I couldn’t stop laughing at my great auntie’s funeral. We had to bury our heads in our hands to feign sobs. But I digress.
The Doctor May Come In Here, But Don’t Worry
This time I was relieved that she told me in advance not to worry. I think if I were lying on table and the tech returned with a doctor to talk to me, I would start inventorying my closet to pick out a cremation dress after I got dead.
Dr. I-don’t-remember-her-name-but-I’m-sure-I’ll-see-it-on-her-Bill, returned to the room, approached me as I was still lying on the table to once again ask me about when and where my last vise grip was. Sweetie, all I remember is that it was on a bus somewhere. Now, can we move on? How does my breast-boob look?
She said, “The mass appears to be a lipoma, which is ….” Then I interrupted, because I sometimes have that bad habit, and blurted out, “JUST LIKE MY BASSET HOUND!” She wasn’t really sure how to respond to that, but nodded and then said, “Yes, a fatty tumor. We’ll keep an eye on it and make sure you get your ta-tas flattened like a pancake in between two pieces of medical grade plastic every year. None of this “5-7 years until the next one, please.”
So there ya go. That’s how my week has gone. Seriously, if someone says, “It might be cancer, but don’t worry.” Then don’t worry. Get scheduled for the next set of diagnostics, but at that point, it already is what it is.
I also read that 80 percent of all lumpy bumpies on your funbags are benign. So that is definitely an optimistic statistic to cling too while you’re waiting.
Worrying won’t change it and will only make you prematurely pick out your dress for when you get dead. Remember, 90 percent of the things you worry about never happen, and the other 10 percent you can’t do anything about.
We should all be living each day like it’s our last, because none of us are promised tomorrow.
Laurie Laughlin: Funny Motivational Humorist Speaker
Laurie Laughlin, is a Funny Motivational Speaker who lost her parents and her home at a young age, lost a job that she truly enjoyed, lost her health, her entire life savings, and she even lost the ability to trust and to feel safe. But the one thing she never lost is her sense of humor.
With a degree in Homeland Security, background in lie detecting, direct sales, and stand up comedy, she now enjoys her days as a corporate keynote speaker.
In her most requested program about resilience, Laurie shows audiences how they can use laughter to push through difficult times to keep going despite setbacks and challenges.
Laurie loves her basset hounds, strong coffee, crossword puzzles, and witty banter.
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