"Welcome to Culver's." Her name tag said Kourtney, that's Kourtney with a "K". Moments later from across the counter she handed me two hot fudge sundaes with bananas. One had bananas neatly arranged around the cup, the other had bananas all lumped together on the right side. A lump. How did Kourtney with a "K" know about the lump?
Thursday April 24th, 2008, started out as a nice sunny spring day, not a cloud in the sky. My very dear friend, John, came to pick me up at work so that we could have lunch together. As usual, we went to the Charcoal Grill where we enjoyed a heaping order of nachos, along with Diet Cokes. The nachos were topped with two mounds, one smooth sour cream, and the other lumpy guacamole. At lunch we talked about the lump. What would become of the lump? How would the lump affect me? On this sunny spring day, life was good. We talked, we ate, and tears; they were tears of laughter.
After a fun filled lunch, John drove me back to my office. While we were in the car, the winds picked up and clouds began to appear in the bright blue spring sky. Was a storm coming?
Around 3:00pm that afternoon, the skies blackened and as the storms came, my cell phone rang. The perfect spring day was ending. I looked at the caller id and it was my doctor’s office. Just days before I endured a lengthy mammogram session; images taken, re-taken, and re-taken again.
“Hello Doctor . . .yes I understand. How big do you think it is?” So with the thunder outside, I said, “just to confirm, I’ll be hearing from the specialist tomorrow?” I hung up.
Standing in front of me was Deb, a co-worker of mine who I confided in, as she was once the victim of the lump, in its most serious form. Deb was there ready to give me a hug. While it was raining outside, I was fighting off the rain, rain that would have otherwise fallen from my eyes.
At 4:30pm, I left work. I would have a half-hour to gain my composure before I had to pick up Monkey from her after school program. I had a half-hour to make phone calls to form my support group, yet I didn’t want to tell too many people until I had the results back from further testing.
The obvious first call was to my husband who unfortunately would not be home until very late that evening. I knew whom else I needed to call but making those calls became a bit of a challenge. I couldn’t call my Mom because she was on her way to the theatre. Next, would be my friend John with whom hours ago I discussed the lump, but he was in the play that my Mom was going to see. Well, that just eliminated two calls. After that would be my friend Caroline with whom I have volunteered at the Race for the Cure. No, she was at work and I could not disturb her. Finally, a call that I could make. I called my close friend, Lori. As I began to tell her about my conversation with the doctor, rain fell. Not just outside but also inside the car, rain falling from my eyes and pouring down my cheeks.
I reached Monkey’s after school program. With rain still coming down my cheeks, I sat in the car, pulling myself together. I didn’t want Monkey to see me so upset.
After picking up Monkey, we met Lori at Culver's. I needed to drown my worries in hot fudge. We didn't talk much abou the lump, again to avoid having Monkey become upset. Plus, I didn't want it to "rain" inside Culver's.
Kourtney with a "K" handed me two hot fudge sundaes with bananas. Lori’s had bananas neatly arranged around the cup, mine had bananas lumped together on the right side. A lump. How did Kourtney with a "K" know about the lump?
With our stomachs full, Monkey and I went home. The rain stopped, if only temporarily. After putting Monkey to bed, I went to bed too. It was an exhausting day and I didn’t have the energy to stay up until my husband got home. As I laid quietly in bed - crash! Thunder and rain, both the rain outside and the rain from my eyes returned. The rain put me to sleep.
The next ten days were the longest days of my life. It was a waiting game. Waiting for further testing and results to come back. Would I fall victim to the lump?
A couple of weeks later, John and I returned to our usual lunch spot and ordered a heaping platter of nachos. Again the nachos were topped with two mounds, smooth sour cream and lumpy guacamole. That lumpy guacamole, well, it was okay because not all lumps are bad.
NOTE: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Anyone you know can be affected by this terrible condition; it might be your mother, sister, aunt or friend. Please take the time to encourage them to get a mammogram. Wear a pink ribbon and show your support as we try to find a cure.