Cancer’s only redeeming value is that it comes in handy for blaming anything that goes haywire. I have blamed cancer for everything from aging to zhingles. I know, but shingles spelled correctly won’t cover the whole alphabet spectrum.
My most recent addition to the blame-cancer game is a lump on my left arm near the shoulder. I noticed it one day while soaking in my five-minute vitamin D quota from the toasty Southern California sun while seating on the only patio chair in front of my privacy-walled minimalist manor. At first I stared admiringly at the lump, delighted that I was getting some muscle definition. But when I looked at the same area on my right arm and saw nothing there to balance it, the lump raised my suspicion. I didn’t think it suddenly appeared but I didn’t know how long the lump has been there. I had been too busy taking selfies.
I immediately blamed cancer, returned to my alma mater, Google University (GU) and revisited my mentor, the founder himself, Dr Google. I asked about “lump in my left arm near the shoulder.” Sure enough, other alumni had already inquired about it. How dare them debunk the myth that the Senior String-Bikini Babe is an original!
Dr Google had a few things to say about the lump. Its location, appearance and texture based on what I saw and felt, describe LIPOMA, a slow growing usually harmless, painless fatty lump that is most often situated between the skin and the muscle layer and located in the neck, shoulders, arms, and other areas that did not matter anymore after reading the shoulders and arms. Any one can get Lipoma at any age. It requires medical diagnosis because the lump may be LIPOSARCOMA, which looks similar but is bad news. I threw some more questions. Dr Google’s answer: Enough already! Stop self-diagnosis. See your doctor.
Grudgingly, I contacted my Primary Care Physician (PCP), a gerontologist who makes a living looking for as much wrong as he can find in me. Of course he has his RN for his first line of defense. I described to her my GU findings. She said she would ask PCP. After conferring with him, she connected me with a surgeon, another young handsome Southern Orange County doctor.
Three days later, I faced the good doctor, Dr Han Sahm. The name sounds fictitious because it is, to protect his privacy. Obviously he had already heard from RN everything about the lump. He jabbed the lump with his forefinger, pushed it around and declared it 99.99999% not cancer. I said, So there is that 0.00001% it is cancer. He said, I have operated on thousands of this over five years and the results have been 100%. You have two options: (1) Remove it, or (2) Do nothing but watch it for some time and if it starts to bother you, we’ll remove it. It will take only minutes. My decision came swiftly: Let’s wait until it becomes the size of a cantaloupe then do the liposuction. He laughed, We don’t want to wait that long. We want the procedure to last only minutes.
So there’s my lump story.
Tell me your own lump story, if you have any.