Lumps in my Oatmeal

Posted on: 4 March, 09

I wish I could say the lump I found was in my oatmeal.  My emotions went from denial (oh, I’m sure it’s nothing) to near hysteria (who will take care of my boys) in the span of about three seconds.   

Making a doctor’s appointment was harder than I expected.  Saying the words “I found a lump” aloud gave them more validity than I wanted.  The chatty nurse suddenly fell somber.  She asked if I could be there in thirty minutes. Part of me wanted to say, “No, tell me you don’t have an opening for a week.”  Knowing the rules of triage, the sickest are seen first, I did not want to be pushed to the front of this particular line. 

The receptionist was chipper when she greeted me, until she pulled up the reason for my appointment.  Again, it was the somber tone, averted eyes.  The nurse reacted the very same way.  I know they were trying to be sensitive, but it only intensified my fear. 

My regular doctor was out of town, but fate intervened.  The new doctor is a no-nonsense-let’s-just-deal-with-it doctor.  My kind of doctor.  We share the philosophy of “Let’s not panic until we are sure we need to panic.”  There was no hand holding and soft words, which I appreciated.  She scheduled me for a mammogram and ultrasound the very next day. 

The radiology clinic reception was exactly like the doctor’s office.  Everyone was all smiles until they read my chart, then a dark cloud consumed the room.  The radiologist who did my mammogram handled me as if I were made of glass, until it was time to tighten those plexiglass panels.  She was impressed that I did not cry or pass out from the pain.  The location of the lump made it difficult to get good films.  The ultrasound technician was a mom I know from the elementary school.  That was a little weird for both of us.  We tried to talk about everything but the elephant in the room. 

Waiting to hear from doctor was torture.  The biggest challenge was to not let my mind wander to dark, scary places.  Hubski was out of town.  Right or wrong, I chose to not tell him anything until I had something to tell.  He could not do anything from across the country anyway.  A good friend picked up the boys from school and then let me ramble.  She was returning the favor.  She went through the same thing a couple years ago.  Fortunately, like her, it turned out to be just a fluid filled cyst. 

It was a surreal three days.  I am grateful the doctor was so matter of fact.  If she had been all soft and comforting, it would have been too easy to fall apart.  I understand that the staff was trying to be sensitive, but they made me feel like I was already diagnosed.  I am grateful it was nothing serious.  I am grateful that I did not panic, but dealt with it swiftly. 

Ladies, do those exams and get those mammograms.  The only lumps I want to find are lumps in my oatmeal.


20 Responses to "Lumps in my Oatmeal"

I have the same philosophy as you – don’t panic until there’s something to panic about – but yes, the unknown is most scary. I don’t know why the instant reaction is to treat the patient like they’re dying. I had a cyst a couple years ago and was also very scared and tried not to think about the fact that my biological mother had a double mastectomy after cancer diagnosis and I had a great UNCLE die from breast cancer. So I am very high risk. It has taken me a long time to accept that I need to go every year for my checkups – I’d rather put my head in the sand because I have this strange belief that acknowledging the risk makes it actually happen. Wrong, I know, but still the way my head works at times.

Oh, and PS – I’m so glad you are okay.

And now, you can breathe easily again. Regardless of how many times we’re told to get the mamms, get the exams–it’s always a heads-up to hear it again. Thank you for that.

I hope you have good dreams tonight.

Thanks for the reminder … and I’m so glad that all is well with you.

Oh thank goodness. My sister and mom both have cystic fibrosis. They constantly find cysts and it is a very scary thing.
Good for you to post about it. So many women choose to ignore it.

So happy everything turned out and thanks for the reminder.

how scary Teri! I’m glad you’re ok. 🙂

Thank goodness you are OK.

(sent an email to your g-mail account)

I”m so sorry you went through this, and so glad it turned out to be nothing serious.

What an ordeal! I’m proud of you..I don’t know if I would’ve faced it head on. I wonder if part of the reason the ladies you were meeting in the medical field avoided eye contact and became serious is because it’s a fear for all of us.

Knee surgery (been there, done that) very easy to be matter of fact.

Lumps in my oatmeal ? No clue how I’d react.

I’m so glad for you it was just a cyst !


Thankful for the right kind of doctor. . .and a big sigh of relief for the test results!

wow – so glad to hear the diagnosis, but I can’t even imagine the wait – is that why you wanted peeps?

I’m so glad to hear that everything is fine. So sorry to hear that the medical community wasn’t a bit more professional. Hope you can get a good night’s sleep tonight as you breath easier.

Oh Teri, how awful for you. I’m sure your sons sensed your fear and I know you will feel better when you can talk to your hubby about it. (((HUGS))) to you and hope you can begin to relax a little. You are right that the unknown is the worst. I do like “matter of fact” doctors which I am fortunate to have. Will keep you in my prayers and I’m glad that it was only a fluid filled cyst.

So glad that things turned out well. Kudos for doing what needed to be done. Sadly, I’ve known women who didn’t.

Oh T – I’m just getting caught up. First I’m so glad for you and your family that the lump was nothing serious.

Second, I agree with you that while the staff was trying to be considerate, it would have felt very condeming. I wish there was a better way to deal with it. Glad the substitute doc was fabulous. g

I’m so happy everything is okay Teri!!!!! How terribly scary!

I’m so glad it was nothing –and I’m glad you wrote this as a reminder to us all.

So glad all turned out well. I don’t always get to read your blog in a timely manner. -r in central Ohio

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