Lumpy Lefty

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  My month of acute personal awareness of breast cancer was actually last March when I was diagnosed, and now every day is Breast Cancer Awareness day for me. I think it’s something all women think about and most are eventually touched by through someone we know. But even if it never actually happens to you there are sometimes little scares.  Lumpy little scares.

I have always been lumpy.  I think I was about 16 the first time I went to my GP with a lump that had been scaring the crap out of me for weeks until I finally showed my mother, who dialed the doctor’s office even before I had my shirt back on.

My doctor always examined my lumps very carefully and even sent me to specialists on a couple of occasions, but I was assured that lumpy breasts are normal for some women.  However, my doctor and I had a deal that was as serious as it was simple: If I find them, I bring them to her, and she decides if they need further investigation.

Last March, 20 years and many benign lumps later, I noticed yet another little interloper in Lefty.  It was a hard little almond-shaped thing and I wasn’t concerned.  When the day of my appointment rolled around, it was a workday like any other – I had a mind full of to-do lists and was distracted by thoughts of anything but cancer.  I sat in my doctor’s office believing this was merely the latest addition to Lumpy Lefty.  Then she examined me and said, “No, this is not one of your normal lumps,” and my whole world shifted. 

Or began to, and hasn’t stopped shifting since.  To the left.


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Filed under Living with Breast Cancer

0 responses to “Lumpy Lefty

  1. Inspired

    Congratulations on for your first entry…you writing this blog is UNBELIEVABLY inspiring!

    Of course if anyone is going to take a couple of lumpy lemons and make the most glorious pitcher of lemonade, (a Mid Century Brastoff pitcher of course), it’s you Leanne. Can’t wait to read more from you and the folks that write to you… {HINT: write to her people! she’s dizzyingly intelligent and very clearly COURAGEOUS and unselfish too.}

    May this Breast Cancer Awareness Month be the last one without a cure. Admiringly yours, DC

  2. Babette

    Dear Leanne,

    I am a friend of a friend of yours. I have seen you on pictures with your full head of Marlene Dietrich hair and a glass of champagne in hand (or at least, if I am confusing pictures with stories, this is how I picture you from all the good, kind and glamorous descriptions I heard from your friend in la belle province).

    I do not have breast cancer and I can’t imagine what you and your close ones are going through, in spite of your incredibly candid, humble and inspiring récit. But I must say that hearing that you are remaining truly yourself through it all, that the reflection in the mirror that beckons you to confront your life in an odd yet honest way, gives me much hope. Hope that you WILL get through this. Hope that your husband, your daughter, your parents, your friends, will toast to the last treatment and the permanent remission that awaits you. Hope that your immense generosity in sharing this tiring and demanding story with others, will also carry many other women through their own battles and inspire their close ones to believe as much as you. May you continue to plunge so amazingly into your keen, intelligent and intuitive mind, exploit in a grander way your talent for writing, turn your battle into a victory, and spread that glamourous and sincere look and vibe around you! That silk scarf looks fabulous. Magnifique!

    Élisabeth from Montréal, a true admirer and believer

    PS When your book comes out, (because I can’t imagine a publisher not recognizing a talent in you!), I will be there for an autograph.

  3. lumpy allover

    I also have had fibrosistic breasts for years, despite breastfeeding 3 children, avoiding caffeine etc…. They’ve always turned out benign. Fine needle aspiration would do wonders for lumps, sometimes the size of golf balls. But today the big “C” word was discussed at the doctor’s office as there is now a lump which is not fluid filled, but solid. Apparantly I have to wait to see if it will continue growing and tests will be taken in a few months. I just finished a mammogram and ultrasound. I feel as though I just aged by 20 years and life might never be the same again. I am scared of the outcome and don’t have a clue as to how this will end. The waiting I just don’t understand. I wish they would just do a biopsy and I could stop worrying. Thanks for your blogs. It makes me not feel alone.

  4. Seestor

    How can I possibly be enjoying reading about breast cancer, and especially when the author is someone I care so deeply about? Could it be that I love you, so no matter what you write I think it’s great? No, that’s not it. Maybe it’s because I feel like in some way I have shared this experience with you in some strange surreal way? No, that’s not it either. I’ll tell you what it is – your incredible talent coupled with your truth, humour and humility – more potent than any chemical concoction – this is the elixir that is keeping you strong and brings this whole thing to life for those who read it – whether they have met you or not.

    Even though I have first hand info about what’s going on, I find myself eagerly checking this blog each day to see what new poignant witticisms you reveal. Laughing and crying in tandem is a good thing. You know how when you love and admire someone so much that is almost pours out of you and you think it can’t get any bigger or more powerful and then it does in such a pleasantly amazing way? That’s where I’m at with you – so proud, so hopeful and so !@#% glad I know ya!

    I know with treatment and everything else posting every day is probably a challenge, but it’s so worth it – your words help people – whether they have breast cancer or not.

    All I can say is it’s going to be one hell of a birthday party this year . . .

  5. Susan

    As all consuming breast cancer is when you go through it, there will be a time that you will curse having a bad hair day! 6 years later and I am there.
    Now I feel comfort in identifying with those friends who journey down that crappy road! At least I can be an inspiration so they do know they can be normal again. The best medicine is a positive attitude and getting up everyday and being the best you can be!
    Soldier on! I look forward to your 5 year anniversary edition.

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