Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a fibrocystic mass, which means that it’s almost certainly not cancer.
As in “I am ninety-eight…point nine…percent sure it’s not cancer. This mammogram is to cover my ass. Also so you don’t lie awake at night going “Oh god, what if she’s wrong?” (I love that my doctor will admit these things.)
It’s also so that they have a record of the size, because this sucker is BIG. The whole “grape” thing was overly optimistic. It is, in fact, the size of a golf-ball, which I have an easier time imagining as the equivalent of a large mouse curled up inside my right breast. (I don’t play golf. Mice, I know.)
Assuming it does not get ridiculously bigger and isn’t painful, no treatment is required. If it gets much bigger and/or painful, it would require surgery–this is a fibrous mass, not something one drains. “I mean, if you’re up two cup sizes on that side, then yeah, we can take it out. But if it doesn’t hurt, don’t worry about it.”
Perhaps most relief-inducing, the mammogram is for “Eh, whenever. Next few weeks? Get it out of the way. Whenever’s convenient.”
I almost didn’t GET that far, mind you, because I tried to explain about the boob-clams and that led me to lawn-crayfish and at that point she closed my chart, stared at me, and attempted to disbelieve.
I assured her that lawn-crayfish were a real thing. She left the room and I heard her through the door demanding to know if the nurses knew about lawn-crayfish.
I stuck my head out the door. “They won’t! Nobody does!”
She waved me back in. “I’m doing a scientific survey! Go put on the little paper gown!”
I put on the paper gown and pulled up pictures of lawn-crayfish. Then I had to show said pictures to a group of nurses who came into the room to demand to know what the hell was going on.
“Well, I believe you,” the doctor said. “But for a minute there I was afraid it was cancer and it had metastasized into your brain and now you were seeing lawn crayfish.”
“This is completely understandable.”
When she finished filling out the various forms, it occurred to me to ask if it would go away.
“It…might…” she said, in a tone indicating that it probably wouldn’t. “More likely it’ll shrink down to marble size and then get inflamed occasionally and swell up. Stress. Caffeine. You now have a mood-boob with your very own mood-nodule.”
“And I shouldn’t lie awake weeping and eating potato chips?”
“No. Also don’t call your family tearfully to say “We have to get together…sob…one…last…time…” You’ll be fine.”
I’ll take it.