Which part of this is priceless?

By Mir
January 31, 2006

I’m breaking it down by the numbers, folks, and there is no redeeming bottom line (yet) that I can see. I mean, I’m looking for it. I am. But mostly all I’m finding is that I’m crabby. Which is not, strictly speaking, a discovery.

On the one hand, everyone keeps assuring me that I probably don’t have cancer. Which is great! I mean, I’m PROBABLY not going to get hit by a bus today, either. Or come down with a flesh-eating virus. Just knowing that these things are IMPROBABLE is enough to keep me from worrying about them. And so it ought to be with this, except that the whole slightly-puzzled expression that tends to come with this assurance is throwing me off my game just a tad.

The surgeon I saw this morning was a pip, though. After she’d finished her poking and prodding and hrming and drawing pictures (another one that draws cartoon boobs! perky! excellent!) she said, “Well, I don’t think you’re dying.” And that was… probably reassuring.

For those keeping score at home, let’s review the current standings.

Weeks since the beginning of Boobpusapalooza: 2.5
Number of times I have consulted Dr. Google about my symptoms: 6
Number of doctors I have visited about my symptoms: 4
Number of people who have felt me up in conjunction with said visits: 5
Number of lumps discovered and deemed suspicious: 3
Number of lumps the latest doctor insists I actually have: 1
(Reason for the confusion: 1 big lump! Previously assessed as 2 different lumps! Am SPECIAL!)
Number of ruptured cysts suspected: 1
Number of “highly inflamed ductal channels” suspected: 1
(Number of times you will now ponder the potential market for a new “Flaming Duck Bills Channel”–from the fine folks at The Discovery Channel–today: Results may vary)
Number of monstrously enlarged lymph nodes taking over my left armpit: 1
Number of antibiotic pills I will have ingested as part of this adventure once all is said and done: 48
Number of “good bacteria” that will remain in my intestines: 0
Number of pounds I have inadvertently shed thanks to said antibiotics: 5
Rating of general helpfulness of these antibiotics on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best: -42
Number of doctors who insist I have an infection: 2
Number of doctors who insist I show no signs of infection: 1
Number of doctors who freely admit they haven’t a clue: 1
Number of ways in which I am ready to be all done with this nonsense now: 12 (from Sunday)
Number of days I was told I’d have to wait for my mammogram: 70
Number of messages on my machine when I got home: 2
Actual number of days until my mammogram, which was bumped up to “urgent”: 14
Molecules of warm fuzziness I gleaned from the accelerated scheduling: 0
Number of plates in my body: 0
(Why that is important: Because apparently my boob is hoping to have an MRI, too. I think perhaps it has Munchausen’s! Can’t we just call a shrink specializing in melodramatic mammaries?)
Number of times I winced while the surgeon explained galactograms: 3
Number of times I thanked her for deciding not to do one: 2
Number of snappy one-liners and otherwise lame jokes I cracked at my appointment this morning: about 10
Number of times my mortified inner voice begged me to PLEASE STOP TALKING: about 8
Number of times the surgeon asked me if I’m a writer: 1
Number of times I had to wonder if I should be flattered or insulted by that: 1
Total copayments shelled out thus far: $100
Percentage of my month’s earnings that works out to be: Shut. Up.
Number of definitive diagnoses: zilch, zip, ZERO

Oh, WAIT! I’ve got it!

Having a date on Valentine’s Day with two large plexiglass paddles and a chart that reads “unidentified mass in left breast”: Pricele–

No. I can’t even type it with a straight face. Not priceless. Sucktastic, I believe, is the correct term.

Oh, pardon me. PROBABLY sucktastic, I meant.


  1. alektra

    You are in my prayers. Does Monkey have a good hug for you? (And a box of candy to add on the weight that went away?)

  2. DebR

    Damn. DamnDamnDAMN, Mir, I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through all this. Have they mentioned the idea of a needle biopsy? It seems like there should be something they should be able to do sooner than two freakin’ weeks from now. Damn!

    Sending good thoughts your way and “do something fast and USEFUL” thoughts toward all those various doctors. {{{Mir}}}

  3. Sharkey

    The waiting really is the hardest part. As scary as the ‘urgent’ tag is on the mammogram order, can you imagine waiting and worrying for 70 days? Two weeks is bad enough!

    I’ll say a few prayers for you and hope that these scary symptoms turn out to be no big deal.

  4. Karen

    OK, I’m going to address the only part of this that I can actually help with: Please go buy a bottle of probiotics (get the ones with the most critters possible) and take one an hour or two after each antibiotic. That will restore all the “good guys” to your gut, so you won’t end up with diarrhea or a yeast infection on top of all your other woes. {hugs}

  5. Nothing But Bonfires

    Man, does it help to hear “number of times I laughed out loud and wished we were Real Friends and not just Internet Friends: seventy billion”?

    Seriously, how sucky. If there are typos, it’s because I’m writing this with my fingers crossed for you.

  6. Jen


    How brave of you to share this part of your life with all of us. How very, very brave of you.

    I’m such a chicken. I have a blog that I don’t ever let anybody set eyes upon. And here you are putting your life out on the World Wide Web for all to view.

    Sending healing vibes and wishing away Boobpusapalooza…

  7. Mike Ashley

    I was touched by your bravery and openness. Good luck to you, and may God bless.
    (Nice site, by the way.)

  8. Monkey loves Kitten

    Number of boobs in North Carolina aching for you: 2 (that I can personally vouch for)

  9. daysgoby

    Oh, honey. Big hugs and know that we’re thinking about you.

  10. Cele

    Mir, you need doctors with a sense of humor (even if it is only one – they can share.) Think about all the people they see and at least you try to entertain them while you are there. Also something is wrong with that much touching and no satisfaction (on soooo many levels.)

  11. Em

    My money is on cysts. You know, if you start a pool or anything. Not that you need MORE advice but maybe you could request a breast ultrasound as well. They may be able to do it sooner and I have heard that they can see different angles than from a mammogram.

    One more question, I’ve been sitting on this blanket on the cold hard ground for a WHILE. Are any bands going to be playing at Boobpusapalooza or what?

  12. Bob

    I know what will take your mind off of things – one of my vests. It will be all-consuming in its intensity totally taking your mind off minor details like impending boob smashing. I have some material left over from Christmas…..

  13. Sheryl

    I can’t believe they were going to make you wait 70 days, gah! I hope the mammogram’s results are easily diagnosed and easily cured. Hugs to you!!!

  14. Amy-GO

    Sucktastic certainly sums it up, Tulip. SO, SO SORRY. And feeling your pain about V-day, as I have a little out-patient surgery of my own scheduled then. Nothing compared to your saga, tho – gotta get that pie out this week, I think! Hang in there. *HUGS*

  15. Jessie

    That sounds like, well, no fun at all. I hope they figure out what is going on soon.

  16. Zuska

    Totally sucktastic, I agree. I truly hope you have some answers soon – the kind of answers that don’t contain the word “probably” and that will allow you to exhale and smile. Hugs.

  17. chris

    Mir- First, my disclaimer- I am NOT trying to freak you out further. When I was diagnoised with cancer I *knew* something was wrong so I called my doc and said I was on my way and did not leave his office until they did everything they needed to. Needless to say, I’m glad I did. Don’t let them push you around, your health is too important (even if it is just the relief you will feel when you find out it IS NOT cancer).
    Keeping you in my thoughts-

  18. Dipsy D.

    I think I know how you’re feeling, having been through this before – and gosh, the waiting is such a horrible thing indeed.
    You are in my thoughts, I do wish you the very best, and good luck to you!

  19. Aimee

    Sucktastic, indeed. I hope it helps a little to know that you have so many people pulling for you. I’ll have all my digits (and my boobs) crossed for you.

  20. wheelomatic

    Aw gee, no galactogram? But it sounded so, so , so … JETSONS!
    Ok, maybe it is for te best if the actual description was so wince inducing.
    Hoping hoping hoping your boob returns to being your own (healthy) personal property soon.

  21. Theresa

    Holy crap! I just left to google that galactogram! Thank God she changed her mind about it! Mammograms sucky big time, but maybe this is will give the surgeon the definitive answers she needs so this call all be dealt with and done!

  22. Melanie Lynne Hauser

    Mir, I can’t believe you have such a great sense of humor about all this (I know, I know – laughing in the outside, crying on the inside). You’re definitely in my thoughts and prayers. Let me know if there’s anything I can do….like, um, blog about…something…Sigh. OK, so there’s nothing I can do. But I’m still thinking about you!

  23. Ei

    The perky cartoon boobs are priceless.

    The rest is sucktastic. Feel bettah soon.

  24. yet-another-chris

    Sucktastic is right.

    Not exactly the type of feeling up you hope for on Valentine’s Day.

    That’s my attempt at a lame joke. I know…shut up.


  25. Christy

    //Number of times I have consulted Dr. Google about my symptoms: 6//

    Wow– you have so much more self-control and patience than I would. I would be more like 6 PER DAY!

    Hope things look up for you soon.

  26. bon

    Now I remember why a plugged duct while nursing, while painful and frustrating does not merit a “sucktastic” lable… as fun as it would be to call it that.

    seriously…praying for you.

  27. Mit_Moi

    Dear Mir, I can do nothing to make the suckage any better. Like everyone else, I feel so helpless. :( I will get on the prayer bandwagon and hope HE is listening to all of us!

    On the otherhand, as a single girl I started a Valentine’s Day tradition of the, “All Singles Valenitine’s Day Dinner”. I will be hosting it once again this year.

    If there’s any way you can:
    1.) Find “previously un-notice” money laying around your house, buy a ticket to N.C.
    2.) Find someone to cover the Monkey and Chickadee care for 2 days
    3.) Consider yourself invited!

    Here’s the menu, it will help with the 5 lbs you’ve lost:

    Appetizer: Spiced Nuts and White Wensleydale Cheese w/ Cranberries – and Vodka Cranberry cocktail.

    Salad: Red Lettuce Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

    Main course: Roast Pork with Apricot and Shallot Stuffing

    Vegetable: TBA
    Starch: Fettuccini with Rosemary and Gorgonzola sauce

    Dessert: Chocolate Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake

    Well, I know it’s just a pipe dream, but I hope it took you to a “Happy Place” for just a moment.

  28. laura

    Oh, dude. I am so sorry. I said a little prayer that you would be heartily felt-up for Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t mean it like that. (((gentle non-squeezing hug on your good side)))

  29. Fraulein N

    Damn. Just DAMN. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts, of course. Hope this is all resolved SOON.

  30. Stephanie

    I don’t have anything witty or reassuring to say. I just wanted you to know I’m hoping the best for you.

  31. Angela

    Blessings to you Mir. We love you…all of us. You are a part of all our families.

    *hugs* Blessings to you Mir. We love you…all of us. You are a part of all our families.


  32. Mom

    You will be fine. The antibiotics have it in hand. All that is needed now is tincture of time. A mother knows these things.

    Besides, I simply WILL. NOT. ALLOW. Any bad stuff to happen. You’re totally bad stuffed out.

    I have spoken.


  33. Contrary

    Mom, let us know if you need a hand whippin anybody into shape. I’ve just finished all the archives, I’m invested in this family now!

  34. Shiz

    We hate sucktastic.
    Rooting for you.

  35. Cyndi

    I will be thinking of you on Valentine’s Day. No, really…I will.

    Mine is scheduled for that day as well. Some kind of sick joke, that is. They ought to be closed on that day.

    Mine will not say the same thing on my chart…it will say “Loser that forgot and is two months late having it done.”

    Anyhow, I’ll be there with you in spirit…good thoughts, Mir.

  36. Coleen

    Mir, I think you and I might actually be boob twins. Recently had a doctor find a mass, got the mammogram and ultrasound, nothing showed up, but now I have to go see a breast specialist surgeon type, and I am freaked right the fuck OUT about it. I’ll keep my nippes crossed for you.

    (Also, email me – I have a GREAT 3Day PDF that someone recently sent me, and it truly should be shared…)

  37. Janet

    I can relate…I had a biopsy for microcalcifications in my left breast on Valentine’s Day a few years ago…spread out on an operating table in a brightly lit, chilly room is SUCH a fun way to spend that holiday ;-)…hang in there!

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