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The Lump
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Wow. Nothing like a lump to focus my mind. Forget the pages I just sent to my agent, forget my son’s virus, forget ordering the seersucker pants I have an ad for beside my computer. I have a lump.

I found it in my sleep. My right hand curved around my left breast, my brain woke with a WTF? And I was at immediate attention. What is this? It’s huge! I checked the other breast - nothing.

My body is changing--fast. These last two months I have put on ten pounds. I have never put on ten pounds (except when I was pregnant, when I put on 23) but they fell off with the baby. Also, my cycle has changed. Last month it wouldn’t stop, this month it won’t start. So, I figure - menopause. I expect mood swings, hot flashes, brittle bones, wrinkles. Not a fricking lump.

What to do?

No one is up. I can’t call my best friend/midwife for at least another hour and a half. So, I make coffee. I know caffeine - yikes. Still, I make it. It sits here beside me steaming. A friend saying, type, breathe, take a sip. Good.

I feed the cats. Then the dog. I search for bird food.


I add this to my list. Go to doctor, have them tell me I am fine, go to Wilco, get bird food.

Focus. I tell myself. And do not think about the golf ball sized lump in your left breast.

That’s the other thing. Golf ball. Not pea. Not walnut. Golf, fucking ball.

I swear it wasn’t there last month. Or even last week. I swear it appeared out of nowhere. Some remnant of a bad dream. I swear it belongs to someone else.

There is no breast cancer in my family. I eat well. Exercise. I breast fed my child for three and a half years. I think you are suppose to get extra credit for that, or something. Not lumps.

So, there is it.

My morning wakeup call.

Good morning, Naseem. You’ve got mail…..

5 Comment count
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damned lump

What a rude awakening! Hopefully it is just a cyst, benign and ephemeral.
Keeping you in my thoughts,

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Could be nothing -

I am trusting you are off to the Dr. For what it's worth: I had a golf ball lump as well. I know the feeling. The hard part is battling fear.

There are several reasons for a lump - and a sudden appearance. Don't panic. But do realize, you may have to wait a day or two for a complete report. Find something you absolutely love to do to busy yourself.

If at all possible - don't think.

I will keep you in my prayers.

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Well, Naseem my friend, you

Well, Naseem my friend, you can call ME. Or email. Or any combination at any time because, remember, I am the ‘Mistress of the Lump.’ No reasons behind my lump either, just a lime-sized very-easily discernable ‘it-wasn’t-there-yesterday’ lump. As you know, mine was not benign, but as you also know, that was over ten years ago and I am fine today.

This is why I wrote the (still unagented) book --- to enable others to reach for that friend in the night who has been there. Read ‘The Foe’ excerpt from HTO on my page here. (Don’t read The Biopsy yet, and when you do, remember how very ‘special’ my experience was.) I guarantee yours will not have the same drama.)  I can email you some chapters from HTO whenever...

Reach for me, Naseem. I --- and Patina --- will walk you through it.

Love, Mara

PS:  Just checked; the diameter of a golf ball is 4.25cm.  Mine was 5 cm, so hey, keep saying “And Mara’s still fine, and Mara’s still fine…”  There are mantras involved in this process.  Use them.



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I do hope this will prove to be a cyst only and down to hormonal changes, or maybe a new 'pecs' exercise - not always good news for women.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.


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I am sending your lump

I am sending your lump thoughts--such as, be nothing. Such as, be nothing and leave peacefully.

Keep us posted.



Jessica Barksdale Inclan