Saturday, April 11, 2009


I think people tend to compare growths in our bodies to spherical objects. A coworker who had a painful fatty deposit in his upper arm described it as golfball-sized. Another coworker whose wife passed from ovarian cancer described the tumor at the time of diagnosis as grapefruit-sized.

My tumor was never really even sort of spherical. I was describing it as pear-shaped after my first meeting with my oncologist, due to it being thinner in front of my heart and thicker to the right of my heart. My father has described it as potato-shaped when giving updates to his relatives.

After my last CT scan, I was describing the current dimensions to the partner. "I had a CAT scan," I said. "Meow meow cat scan?" he asks. "Was it bigger than a mouse?"

That conversation lasted all the way through dinner. We decided that while it was very much shaped like one, it was bigger than a mouse. Still, it is smaller than a hamster.

The kind of cancer I have leaves scar tissue behind; I will always have a residual mass. Now I'm going to go through life with the image of a small rodent having made a home in my chest. Ha. Thanks, husband.

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