I'd like to exit the roller coaster, please.

The doctor has said not to be scared.

“It’s probably NOT cancer, really, only about a ten percent chance. Don’t worry.”

But I was scared.

It started two weeks ago when Bitchy spotted a lump the size of Cleveland on my back. It was kind of below the shoulder blade, in a spot incredibly hard to reach but easy to spot when one wears a nightgown with spaghetti straps.

It was a Friday night. On Monday I called the doctor’s office, and was chatting with the good doctor by 10:00 a.m.

“That is definitely a fatty lipoma. We will schedule a sonogram, and then take it out.”

I smiled, and after a witty exchange, slipped out to the nurse’s desk where she arranged the sonogram for the next morning.

I continued to think nothing of it- and was amused when the sonogram technician didn’t even look old enough to drive. She smiled, her braces shouting out at me as she proceeded to inspect me with her machine. She was quiet during the procedure, and managed to brush of my interrogation techniques with a shake of the head and a wag of her finger. Honestly, it was my grandmother disguised as a pre-pubescent child labor dodger.

I left the office and made my way to the Amish Farmer’s Market across town. My thoughts of fresh peaches, blackberries and watermelon had sufficiently distracted me from the bothersome cyst that was hitchhiking on my back.

I walked in my front door only about 30 minutes after my procedure and my husband was waiting for me in the kitchen.

“Where were you?”

“At the SONOGRAM. Oh, and the Farmer’s Market!” I said, holding up my incredibly scrumptious purchases.

“The doctor’s office called. You have to call them.” He looked at me.

“Okay. Just let me……”

“NOW. You need to call….now.”

And then it registered. The phone call 30 minutes after the sonogram was PROBABLY not a good sign. I sat at the dining room table and called. The nurse got on the line.

“Well. It is NOT a lipoma. It’s a mass of some kind. So….as soon as we get approval from your insurance, we will schedule an MRI.”

My eyes widened, and I could feel them fill with tears. What? WHAT? I asked her to explain again, because surely I had misheard what she said.

Nope. I hadn’t misheard. And it was at that moment a memory came flooding back.

Last summer, while attending the BlogHer conference in Chicago, I had stumbled upon a booth that just HAPPENED to be giving massages. They coincidently had a cancellation, and I could slip in for a quick massage if I liked. I LIKED.

The talented masseuse (It was my FIRST massage, people) stopped at one point on my back and he asked, “What is this little lump in here?”

Yeah. I had forgotten about that.

I called the doctor’s office back, hoping to speak to the doctor. He called a bit later in the afternoon and I told him the story. He, in turn, tried to explain what they were looking at.

“It still COULD be a lipoma, but it just has some odd characteristics. It's deeper than we thought, and bigger, and the edges appear odd. But don’t worry – probably NOT cancer. Only about a ten percent chance it could be.”

So, the MRI was scheduled for the Monday following the conference.

I don’t think you want to hear about me attempting to slide into submarine-like tube, only to be unsuccessful. (And by that I mean crying, perhaps screaming a little, and saying some words that they assured me they've heard before.) They called in a prescription, and arranged for me to have the OPEN MRI that Thursday.

So, one tiny orange pill and one adorable blue sleeping mask later, the MRI was done.

I didn’t get the call until Monday.

I had just opened my email, and was shrieking with JOY when I discovered that the Today show had picked up a piece I had posted at the BlogHer website. The joy in my heart was overwhelming! Honestly, I was over the moon. I emailed my brother, sister, aunts, friends and coworkers to share in my joy.

Then, I went down to the basement to grab something from our office when I noticed the answering machine blinking. I played the message.

“This is the doctor’s office. Please call us right away.”


I sat down. In one moment I soared from the top of the moon down to the scary place where no one likes to go alone.

I thought, for a brief moment, that this is surely how it happens. You have a brief glimpse of pure happiness, and then are thrust into despair. I'd been there before- he's like an old friend I never want to see again.

I dialed the phone, and waited. The nurse came on the line.

“It’s a lymphoma.”

“WHAT?” I asked.

“A LI-poma. A fatty LIPOMA.” She cleared up what she said FIRST (heart attack, people. HEART. ATTACK) and went on the tell me about scheduling with the surgeon so he could remove it- and have it evaluated, but that it was definitely a fatty lipoma.

And never, never has fatty sounded so damn sweet.


only a movie said...

That's a hell of a ride. xoxox

stace41971 said...

So, SOOOO happy to read this!!!! Now get off that damn ride! :)

Sprite's Keeper said...

Never before has a post scared the h-e-double hockey sticks out of me. Don't DO that!
Just glad you're okay, happy your piece got picked up, and waiting for my heart to stop thumping out of my chest.

Joanie said...

When I saw Lymphoma, my heart sank (that's what John had). I was soooo happy to discover you misheard and it was a lipoma! Whew!!! Thank God!!

By the way, his first birthday is coming up... Aug 28. Then he'll be 58 on Oct. 23.

Sara J. Henry said...

You rock, VM. (And now we KNOW to get all odd little lumps checked out earlier than later, right!?!?) Glad to hear the good news.

Irish Gumbo said...


Okay I picked myself up off the floor and made it back to the keyboard...

I'd like off the coaster, too :), so very glad to hear the good news. Congrats on the Today show piece, and many blessings to you, VM!

The Only Girl said...

So glad to hear it's good news!

Notes From ABroad said...

Oh my fatty friend, I am so relieved for you ! and for everyone... we like you, we want you around for a very long time.

Congratulations !!!!
on the fatty-ness but on the Today Show piece !!!!


Eternal Lizdom said...

Off to check out the Today Show piece...

but so glad you're a fatty. so, so glad.

Malisa said...

Answered prayers, my friend. Answered prayers.


Carrie B said...

Whew! Fatty - it's a good thing! :)

Anonymous said...

Don't you EVER do that to me again. EVER.

“It’s a lymphoma.” - I read that line TWICE to make sure I hadn't misread it, before I read on. And my heart stopped.

Anyway, I'm so relieved, as I'm sure you are. Now, if I can just get my heart to start beating again, I'll be fine, really.

lisahgolden said...

I held my breath while I read this.

And congratulations on getting picked up by the Today Show!

I see good things ahead for you.

Maggie, dammit said...

So scary! SO glad you're okay. xo

Missy said...

You are such a talented writer. I was so engaged that I got a lump in my throat! That was a roller coaster ride for your readers! So glad that it is something minor and fixable!

duffylou said...

Congratulations! Twice. So very happy for you.

My word verification is backb...Your backb just fine!

CSY said...

SO glad its a fatty! Riding roller coasters is fun...but the emotional ones wear you out EVERY time! Going on my own ride, thanks for the kind words! You ROCK VodkaMom!

Sue said...

For once "fat" is good! I hate those roller coaster rides. Seems like I ride them daily. I've been on them for so long these past couple of years, I've gotten kind of use to the bumps & scares along the way! Fat is good!! What hell for you to go through, especially while having such awesome stuff going on as well. I haven't figured that one out yet!

Take care, Sue

Jill said...

I just had the biggest lump in my throat reading this - and am now tearing at the end...

So scary - and so glad that all is going to be OK.

Ooph said...

I have chills all over my damn body. I HATE roller coasters. HATE. THEM. Congratulations on the good news and on the fabulous post you wrote for BlogHer and now the Today Show. You go girl!

Shannon said...

big crocodile tears here....happy ones, of course.

sending ♥

shrink on the couch said...

So glad for your good news AND your today show notice (will follow link next).

My husband has several fatty cysts - on chest, thigh, back. No sonograms or MRI's, just a doc's reassurance that he's seen thousands just like it. Still, makes me wonder.

Mo Diva said...

wow! what a relief to not have to worry about that anymore!
Im glad you got good news!
Lets celebrate! DRINKS!!! lol


Sandy (Your life, organized) said...

Thank goodness everything is ok! We have battled cancer in my family for many years!

I love it when fatty is good!

Helping you store what matters most.

Anonymous said...

That is great news! Don't google what a fatty lipoma looks like before you go in though. shudder

Aspen Real Life said...

I've been through a similar scare - it only helps to understand the fear that so many other women have endured.

So glad that you're okay.

rach said...

jesus you had my heart in my throat reading this! so happy its not cancer!

Teresa Dawn said...

So glad everything is okay :)

Brian Miller said...

ok seriously you had to drag that out just to make me feel terrible...smiles. yay!

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Would it make you feel better to know my golden retriever just had a fatty lipoma removed from his chest and he's doing GREAT?


(So glad it was good news!)

Diane J. said...

Holy freakin' crap! You scared the tar out of me...but then again I'm sure it was a bazillion kajillion times worse for you. So glad you're okay, and I agree, fatty has never sounded so good.

Anonymous said...

i recently had a growth on my forhead...i was never so relieved to hear the word fatty too....i understand, hugs

Steven Anthony
Man Dish~Metro Style

Laura said...

I was so eager to find out the end of the story that I almost missed how incredibly well-written it is! I'm so happy for you!! Congratulations!

Kendra said...

So glad that was the outcome. I've been checking back to see what the outcome of everything was. Happy to hear it was just fat! :) I would definitely take that over the other option!

Vicky said...

Sighing relief....

Anonymous said...

Yeah for your good news! As go for your tweet the worrying burns the calories from the Ben & Jerrys!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Sweet relief.

Malia said...

So, so, so, so, so, so, sooooooo happy that everything is OK!!!!!! You had my heart racing there at the end!



TMCPhoto said...

I'm so relieved for you that I'm sitting at my kitchen table with tears in my eyes and trying to explain to the Peanut that Momma is not crying because she's afraid of her T-Rex but because of some good news. I've been checking in to see how your tests turned out too and couldn't have asked for better news.

Paige said...

Yay! I knew hat was gonna happen but I also knew you did not know it.....so I was anxious all the same. Yay you

Linda said...

Whoot! Whoot! Great news!
Lurking Linda

Mellodee said...

Oh my! That moment of reading "Lymphoma" was an awful moment....probably about less than 1% of how awful a moment hearing it must have been for you! As far as I can tell there is nothing good about Roller Coaster rides, except getting off!

So glad for you!

Scary Mommy said...

Don't go scaring us like that again, you hear? xoxox

flutter said...

I am glad you're okay, mama. rat bastard lipomas

Unknown said...

Girl, you almost made me drop my pop-tart...

So glad you were just making back boobies :)

Peace~ Rene
I love you

Anonymous said...

Oh wow i never commented before, but just had to say my heart went out to you!! Glad everythings ok...

Linda said...

Been anxiously awaiting your lipoma news! Yea for you!!! Can you schedule the removal during one of our boring inservices later this year or will you need to get it out soon??? In my thoughts!!!

SSP said...

WOW, what a freakin' E ticket ride (if you remember those...)!! You poor thing! I am so glad you have a fatty something and NOT something worse...

Leila said...

Oh my god. That was scary as crap. And it reminds me to call the dermatologist. I'm so glad it is not that OTHER thing and that it is the much more manageable THIS thing. I don't know how you didn't freak out while waiting. I would have been drinking the whole time...

Anonymous said...

My hubby has gotten those on his arm before and had to have them removed. He has one right now and when it gets bothersome to him he will have it removed.

Glad all is well for you! Lumps of any nature are just plain scary.


Alana, Author of Domestically Challenged said...

SO glad to hear that! Glad you are ok...

Cheryl said...

I have never been happier to read a post in my entire life! I'm fighting back tears as I thank all the powers that watched over you.

Caroline said...

Oh thank Buddha! AND you get to lose weight (well, a few ounces) without giving up cupcakes! Win-win. Seriously, SO relieved for you!

Gigi said...

I was able to sneak on and read this morning - but was unable to respond (boo Big Brother!). This news made my whole day! I'm so relieved for you!

TexasRed said...

What a scare! So glad you're ok!

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

This was so scary to read, Vodka. Thanking God for fattiness right now. xo

ChiTown Girl said...

It's really not nice to make your friends cry, you know!! Holy hell, you had me scared. I'm so glad it turned out to be just a little ol' lump-o-fat!

This totally reminded me of a story from when Stud Muffin was a baby. He had a long string of ear infections, bronchitis, etc. that went on for what seemed like months. Well, the doctor told me he wanted to do a blood test, at some point, because he thought we could be dealing with "leukemia." I swear, I had such a visceral reaction to hearing that, I thought I was going to pass out. It was so surreal...suddenly the doctor sounded like the adults in a Peanuts cartoon (whaa, WHAA, whaa, WHAA, whaa...) and my vision started to tunnel. I had to take my baby to the pediatric oncology dept., for some reason, for the blood test. When I walked into that wing, I wanted to just start crying. Long story already too long...he was fine, and what the doctor actually had said was something like pneukemia (?), but I spent a couple of terrifying days waiting for the results of this blood test. When he called me with the results, I told him what I thought he said, and he quickly cleared things up. It was the longest couple of days of my life!!

Congrats, btw, on the Today Show thing. I'm going to check out the link right now!

Anonymous said...

Your right, fat never sounded so good.

anymommy said...

So glad. All my love.

Kat said...

OMGoodness woman you had my heart in my frickin throat!!! I am glad you are going to be ok but I should fly my ass to Oregon and give you what for for scaring the crap out of me like that!! I swear if it wasn't $1000 jaunt across the ocean!!!!

Suzy said...

Thanks for taking 25 thousand paragraphs to let us know you're okay.


Anonymous said...

I don't like how you manipulated everyone with your fake cancer scare. I have always liked your blog until now. My child did have cancer . Not a subject for some kind of a blog post.cht

Vodka Mom said...

I share my life. Take it or leave it. We all have horrible things that happen to us. I am sorry for your loss. But I don't apologize for who I am.

Julia said...

Fatty. Love that word. I have a small one, too...but my dermatologist said they usually have fingers and are hard to remove.

Just another middle age party favor.

Kristen said...

I'm so glad that things ended on a positive note for you. Too much crap in the world to deal with as it is!

Casey Freeland said...

Phew, so happy. Breathe now. :)

Sara said...

Son of a bitch.

Only people with impeccable diction should be allowed to make those phone calls.

So glad it's a fatty thing!

Liz Wilkey (a.k.a. A Mom on Spin) said...

I'll raise a glass to fat of any kind!!!!

Maggie May said...

i really wish that you could have just SAID THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE you meanie!!!!!

i'm too anxious and pregnant to handle a post like that. i'm very glad you are ok.

tamilyn said...

I feel ya. I had a similar type scare this summer when I had my mammogram. got a call not long after I had gotten home from doctor's office that they found something 'suspicious'. Literally sat on the floor and sobbed thinking this was the end and I would never see my girls get married, etc. After going in for 6 more squeezes, they determined that I have over-lapping cells. I know that fear that grips your heart. I'm happy from the bottom of my heart that you are okay!

Elaine said...

Thank God!

Rima said...

Oh, man. I am so, so glad to hear you're OK!

Pearl said...

Riders sporting a fatty lipoma may now exit to the left of the roller coaster...

So, *so* glad that it's just a fatty lipoma.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that you've got a fatty! Hope it made you laugh.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Holy crap and PHEW!!

Cora said...


Those MRI tubes are terrible, aren't they? The dang ceiling of it is like a half an inch away from your nose! *shudder*

J.J. in L.A. said...

WOO!!! HOO!!! What a relief!

Don't medical emergencies ALWAYS happen in Fridays? They do to me.

And I've had MRI's before but the idea of having my latest one (mid-June) scared the crap out of me. So I was prescribed a small dose of Xanax. If I ever need another MRI I'm doing that again. ; )

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As Cape Cod Turns said...

So happy your fat gathered in one convenient place.

Good luck taking Sassy to school. No tears or happy dance until you drive off the campus.

Anonymous said...


LegalMist said...

{{{sigh}}} That was a very heavy sigh of relief.

I'm so glad it is nothing serious! (But I bet you're even more glad!!)


Word Ver: woweela (!!)

Pretty much says it all

MommyToTwoBoys said...

That is great! I have been thinking about you a lot. Even though I don't comment every day, I am here, reading daily. Usually LMAO, but have been worried about your health and bringing your daughter to college. So I am so relieved to hear this amazing news! You might be able to hear the collective sigh from all of your readers.

And I checked you out at the Today Show and left a comment! Go you!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

No idea how I missed this - but better late than never... I'm SOOOO glad you got good news. What a relief!

http://howtobecomeacatladywithoutthecats.blogspot.com said...

Give me fatty any day! So glad to hear this news!

Cheryl D. said...

Congrats! How wonderful!

Alexandra said...


You had my heart pounding. SO glad it was a lipoma.


The Coconut Diaries said...

Oh, yes! We've only just met, I can't lose you already.

Caroline said...

Um, manipulated everyone??? You were sharing what you learned with us in the same way you learned it! Manipulation by its very nature involves forethought and intent. Clearly you were not trying to gin up fake support, just sharing your experience and processing it WITH us. I for one felt a huge rush of relief, happiness, and gratitude for small pleasures after reading that post ... which is something we all should feel every day, but often don't. So if you manipulated me to that end, well, I'm GLAD.

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