July 30th, 2003


In Which the Evil Doctor Concocts a Nefarious Plot to Steal My Favorite Breast Lump

Today I paid $15 to have some old man look at my breasts and tell me they're ugly. And that with a scalpel and some anaesthetic he can rearrange them to match his preconceived notion of beauty.

I don't like this doctor! Sure, yesterday's appointment wasn't terribly pleasant either, what with the gynecologist lady sticking big cold metal objects into my private parts and all; but at least she didn't insult me. In fact, she went out of her way not to - she observed that I have "fairly lumpy breasts in general" and then hastened to add "but some people do, that's okay." Today's doctor, however, informed me that the big golf-ball-sized lump in my left breast is not only not a tumor but not even in my breast tissue; it's a skin cyst that could every bit as easily have occurred anywhere else instead (as, indeed, one has occurred on my back also); and then he said he could easily remove it with a little Novocaine: "You would definitely have a scar, but it'd still look better than this."

Excuse me, that's my breast you're talking about. Kindly do not speak of it in that tone of horror as though it's one of the top 10 most hideously disgusting things you've ever seen in your entire medical career. I did not come to you for advice on aesthetics. Um, I said, I do not feel any need to have it removed. Frankly (and this part I did not say because then clearly he would have just wanted to refer me to the psychiatric ward), I like my breast lump. I've had it ten years, I'm used to it, I've grown fond of it. It's a familiar landmark on my body that I can always reach for to make sure I'm still me. And it's always been there for me every time I reached for it. I don't know what I'd do without it. I'd feel I'd lost something.

But then when he saw that his offer to surgically carve me into his preconceived notion of "beauty" was not tempting me, he resorted to other arguments. Previously he'd taken one look at it and said, "Oh, that, that's just a cyst in your skin, that's not even in your breast at all"; but now when he saw I was not eager to have it removed he changed his mind and said, "Oh, well, I think it's just a cyst but the only way to know for sure is to remove it, and anyway it will just keep growing bigger and bigger until you do get it removed, and it's already rather, ahem, humongous, and it'll block you from being able to detect actual breast cancer lumps underneath it because you can't feel a thing through that huge cyst attached to the underside of your skin there, and the bigger it gets the more cutting will have to be done to remove it, and, and, I just really really advise you to get it removed."


Truthfully, considering that it's approximately quadrupled in size in the past ten years, if it's really destined to keep growing at its current rate for a few more decades it could end up being as big as my entire breast, and then I guess I would be The Amazing Three-Breasted Woman, one of whose breasts is a very hard lumpy thing sitting atop one of the other breasts. Only, well, why should I take this doctor's word for it that it's really going to do that when as far as I can tell he's rather the scalpel-happy type who just wants to remove any old thing at all for the sheer sake of his lack of appreciation for its aesthetics?

But yes, after he argued the point like that I gave in and let him schedule me for surgery to have my poor faithful breast lump removed. The removal is to take place on the 11th of August. Poor Mikie shall be deprived of the opportunity to ever even meet my breast lump.

I think I shall hope that the removal of the lump leaves a massive hole behind in my breast that never fills in or goes away ever. That way I can still have a familiar odd shape to reach for through my clothes to verify that I'm still me, and I won't have to feel that I gave in to a stupid purely aesthetic surgery, because having a big weird hole in my breast is at least as out of sync with mainstream beauty standards as having a lump there is.
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