Tuesday, January 10, 2023



It's a rather modestly-sized word that contains an entire universe.

Yesterday my beloved PC messaged me even before the doctor from Washington radiology called.

She said the biopsy showed calcium microcalcifications, fibroadenomatous tissue. Benign. No cancer.

I read her message, and tears sprang to my eyes, and my whole body went weak.

Benign. (Even though I had no idea what fibroadenomatous meant.)

She must've messaged me the minute she got the results.

Bless her.

The radiologist called me not long after. I wasn't sure if I'd get a call, since my PC had already told me, so she caught me off guard. I thanked her for telling me.

I asked what this meant for me. Because clearly there's still stuff in there.

I'll be honest with you. I've done a lot of reading, and the first radiologist explained them to me, but I still don't quite understand the relationship of calcification and cancer. Like are the calcifications in the middle? Do cancer cells excrete calcium? Do they build layers around them, like sea creatures making their shells?

But I didn't want to take her time with these questions. Because whatever it was was benign. Also, I couldn't remember "fibroadenomatous," which was not a word she used.

So I said, "OK, so in the biopsy there were calcifications, and then a bunch of random whatever in there, right?"

And she was like, "I think we may have removed all the calcifications, actually."

"And the random whatever?"

"We don't need to worry about the random whatever."

We had more of a conversation than this, and she then referred to the "random whatever" as breast tissue. 

I guess we do have some concern about the random whatever, as I need to have a mammogram in six months. Or maybe the concern is about the calcifications.

The most important word for me was benign. Although I do understand that this doesn't necessarily mean fine forever and I never have to think about it again.

A good friend of mine suggested consulting a breast surgeon, as she said hers was the one who found her breast cancer. Plus, it would be good to have a relationship with one in case.

This seems like sound advice.

But yesterday, I didn't do much constructive. I was just relieved.

It was interesting, though. 

Because of so many incredible women who had taken the time to share with me, I'd gotten to a point of peace. I recognized that what was going to happen was out of my control. And whatever the situation was, I would do what I needed to. 

So many women with a wide a range of breast cancer journeys and stories. And they are OK.

I would be OK.

This is an extraordinary place to be.

Which is not to imply that I was floating in rainbow light all at peace with everything. No. I was still scared. I was still hoping it would go one way and not another.

Because let's be honest: cancer is scary. Dealing with it is trauma, no matter how good your care and how supported you are.

So I wanted to extend and invitation to anyone with a cancer story.

If you'd like to post your story on my blog, if you think this is something that will make you feel good, you are welcome to do so. I'm happy to help you tell it, or to edit it for you, or simply to post what you send me.

You can use your name and details, or be anonymous. Write the highlights or the lowdarks, or anything in between.

Whatever might feel comfortable for you.

Because I know that for me, writingin and sharing is freeing. It takes me from being afraid and alone to realizing that others have had similar experiences and feelings, and gives me the sense that we are in this life soup together.

For writing in a public forum, I have the luxury of my blog. And I long ago discarded the fear of being judged for sharing.

So if you'd like to share, I'll help you do so.

My little blog has been so many things to me over the years, but perhaps most of all a window to friendship and kindness.

(And also where else would I post my poop stories?)


  1. August 2018 my ENT oncologist scoped me and said flat out, “you have tonsil cancer. A biopsy will confirm it but I’ve seen this enough times to know what I see.” I said, what next? He said this cancer has 80-90% successful treatment. Four years later, after a less than pleasant treatment regime, I remain cancer free. I say this because I am SO thankful your diagnosis was benign but I also know, from experience, even though the tactics are barbarian, successful treatment (for some kinds) of cancer are getting better and better. If fears reamerge know that science is getting better. I even know a friend that got bigger boobs after her ordeal. Just saying. Love you Lisa 😘

    1. I am so thankful that you are cancer free and healthy. You had such a positive demeanor through your treatment. And it’s such a pleasure to see you loving such a love-filled, joyful life! And you are right—treatments have advanced a lot. Love you right back!❤️


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