Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Day I Faced Larry the Lump....

I've met a couple of the Larry the Lump nasties before, but somehow always managed to escape unscathed. I’m not a very confrontational person. In fact, I’ll do anything rather than make a scene or get into an argument. I will, when pushed, stand up for my rights, but I’d rather walk away than stand my ground if it means stirring things up….

But today I had to face down Larry the Lump. He’d been bothering me for a while, with sharp little barbs and promoting a general feeling of discomfort.

So I finally bit the bullet and visited my medical team. “Uhmmm, I think I can feel the edge of something here,” the nurse practitioner said, palpating my tender left breast. “I think we’d better do a mammogram.”

”But I had one less than a year ago, “ I argued, happy to miss another round of crushed and flattened boobs..

“Well, even so, I think it won’t do any harm to have another look.”

So I had another mammogram. Followed by an ultra sound.

And because everything seemed fine, we went out for lunch at a new Chinese restaurant to relax.

Then a call back from the hospital early the next morning – could I come in  for another ultrasound? The radiologist wanted to take another look.

Uhm. So another ultrasound, with me lying on the examining table furtively watching that little screen without understanding a single pixel of what I was seeing. And that little prickle of unease starting to niubbble….

"That’s good. If the doctor wants to do a biopsy we'll call you this afternoon."

The afternoon sped by, and at four o'clock I hadn`t heard anything. "I think I ducked that bullet," I said to my Better Half as we drove home.

And right that moment the phone rang.

"Doctor thinks we should do a biopsy. Would you be free to come in?"

Swallow. Deep Breathe. "Sure, sometime in the next couple of days?"

Silence on the other end of the line. Then, "Actually, we`d like you to come in first thing in the morning."

And that`s when I knew I’d have to face the reality of Larry the Lump. And he wasn`t going to be very co-operative. There's a form of pain management that encourages you to name your pain, which as far as I can tell allows you to befriend it because you recognise that pain is your body`s way of letting you know there`s a problem,. By befriending, naming, talking to your pain, you can learn what your body needs to heal.

Except that Larry's thick skin interfered with the anaesthetic and that needle hurt. Round one to Larry.

Fortunately it was all over quickly and the radiologist was kind and gentle.

Now it`s a matter of waiting, something I don’t do well. Five to seven business days to get the results. Within the next few days I`ll know just how much of a disruptive influence Larry is going to be in my life – or whether this is just a fleeting acquaintanceship…..

Note: Three business days after the biopsy, after I had written this blog, as we headed out for lunch with our daughter who was on vacation, the cell phone rang. I knew even before I answered that it was bad news. That nasty little lump was cancerous.
I'm getting by with help from my wonderful family, some good friends, and Facebook friends, many of whom have defeated their own Larry the Lumps.

So now I can't ignore him but Larry, if you're listening, you're going down. There's a nice lady surgeon just waiting to meet you....

I'll post again to let you know progress!


  1. You will take down Larry with a knockout blow, Glenys. My mom went through this and came out stronger than before. I have every confidence you will, too!

    1. Thank you for the kind words,Jannine. So many people have contacted me to give encouragement and relate stories of the times they, or a loved one, dealt with their own Larry the Lump. There are so many brave woman out there! I've been moved to tears and really appreciate every word.