The Lumpettes And Her Chorus Girls

The Lumpette And Her Chorus Gals.

The 4 AM wake up call wasn’t planned.

The carbon monoxide sector chose to blare, “Carbon Monoxide! Get Out!”

To which Nick and I said, are you flipping crazy? It is COLD out there.

So, we both got up, thankful the The Boy was taken to camp to stay all night since we wouldn’t be home most of the day.

Nick looked, I looked,we sniffed for an odorless substance, opened doors and said, the is a bit ridiculous.

Our ceilings are 10 ft thigh. I meant, high. 10 ft is the diameter of my thigh.

Shorten story. Nick called 911. The person asked if anyone was confused or disoriented? When NIck told me this, I said, “You mean more than normal?”

The fire truck didn’t play its mighty siren. Thank goodness.

New information here. When a battery goes bad … it doesn’t always just do the chirp.

Scrubbed and dressed early and knowing that you can get stuck for three days in Charlotte traffic, we headed to the Same Day Surgery Center at CMC.

Boy, was I bright-eyed and brown-haired.

We smelled Chick Filet as we walked in.

I will speed this along as most is only interesteing to me and I am a bit still under the influence.

They have these new kinds of scales. You walk on them. They look like you are at a cattle auction. And you feel like a heifer when walk onto it. It can hold three heifers and a sheep.

My nurse was Nanette. And she began the parade of my new bffs. Each time I had to declare name, birthday, what I was in for. After the second time, I could barely contain myself from telling them I was there for a hysterectomy, knee replacement and liposuction. But I remained, adult.


I walked to radiology where they inserted a long wire into the tumor, to direct the surgeon where to begin her scavenger hunt.

The doctor was fabulous and fun and excellent. The assistant was, too. I felt like Conway Titty in that room with the spa lights and the zillion-dollar machine.

The radiologist, a cool woman from New York, with dark hair cut in a nifty blunt style, and the the assistant work on my breast, adjusting it this way and that, andit moved like a nice piece of pork tenderloin like you would get at a butcher. I got to sit down as this painless procedure was done. I would never disparage fine male doctors, but I have to tell you, there is something about fine women doctors and medical staff, that get women. They just do.

The banter is easy and they know you are anxious and they know the cost of what you are going through. My surgeon had come into my cube, earlier, and greeted me with a hug, as she went over the procedure.

But back to the radiologist.

After the wire was at-target, the doctor had to complete her notes. One piece of information they needed was the start time. The assistant had recorded that but the information wasn’t at hand, so while they looked for that, my brain knew the start time. My brain that knew the information said, Susan, shut up, but my mouth said, “Half past a monkey’s ass and a quarter to his balls”

They both cracked up. The radiologist had me repeat it as she hadn’t heard that. She dsaid it made her day.

That was my job. Make someone’s day, besides my own.

And, off, I trotted back to my cube. By then, my son had arrived and Nick was there and my sone and I started making jokes and I told them what I had told the radiologist about the monkey’s balls and I think that helped them both feel better. They knew that the force was with me.

My son said, “Don’t do white hair, again. It looks much better, brown.”

I told him it was a blip on the radar screen, something that had to be done. It was my rite of passage into Nutterville.

I had met the resident who would be in the operating room, a delightful woman, who when she walked out of the room, I asked Nick and my son, “Do you think she is out of high school?”

You know, these days, everyone looks young.

My go-to gal, Margo, had visited and asked if there was anything I needed. She had the handy-dandy tube top they would put on me and I needed to wear for two-weeks, so that fluid wouldn’t collect in the new next to normal hole in my breast … golf ball size. Fore! Margo is one of those persons that makes everything fine.

The radiologist came in in his scrubs, which I always find attractive.

Finally, the woman with the drugs came it. It was game time. A shot of a Valium-like relaxer, would get me from my cube to the operating room.

Last thing I remember was scooting myself from the gurney, to the narrow operating table. Someone put an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth and I said, “Is this it?”

And off I went.

The surgeon told Nick and my son that everything went as planned. As long as the margins are clean, which we will find out in a week, I am good.

All I could think about was how grateful I was that I had finally jumped the broom. No one likes knowing that gremlins are lurking in your body.

To say this is a fun experience would be a bit, well, sick. It isn’t what I consider “fun”.

But it is life.

And in a certain way, as crazy as it sounds. At least when the news is good, it is better than what we hear and read about everyday in this world. Here, the people are kind. They want to help you. Their agenda is to heal. Not divide or call people names, not to make us feel less-than. They are educated to do their jobs and there is something in each of the people that I have met on this path, that have reaffirmed my faith in humanity. And frankly, that is huge for me.

That is what I miss most about getting to this pint in life where I know that all is not fair. All is not right. All people are not good. And life is hard.

Being in Cancerland, with the people who show love and kindness and expertise and passion … this is the way I thought the world would be, everywhere. But it’s not.

Many times, we have to look for the good, We have to come to be brought to our knees in illness or despair, to seek that light that shines, and beacons us to not close down our hearts, to seek help and then extend our hands to others.

To those in the medical profession, who I have now had the pleasure of meeting, not only do you save lives, by your kindness, care, knowledge, and attitude, you change lives.

You have changed mine.


PS. I am now a proud member of the Lumpettes.


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