Lumps and bumps. They come up every so often. Sometimes they’re caused by falls or accidents. Sometimes they’re caused by disease. I had one. It confused me. It confused my doctors. It freaked me the eff out.
A few weeks ago, I found a lump in my breast. This triggered the natural course of emotions: panic/sadness/denial/gratitude/curiosity/crying/laughter. After a few tests—as well as yoga, prayer, wine and chocolate—the lump turned out to be benign (thankfully). But it was atypical. And since it was atypical, I had to get it removed. This meant surgery.
After seeing a specialist and getting a second opinion, I found myself at Memorial Sloan-Kettering this week for a procedure that would remove the mysterious mass. The lump, which I nicknamed Lupita, was a bit larger than a chickpea. Doctors said Lupita could have hung out in my chest for a while without worry, but she doesn’t pay rent nor does she feel good in my boob so she had to pack her bags and get out.
E was a great nurse. He helped me relax when I was told I need a biopsy. He took me snowboarding during the days after the biopsy so I could refocus on something other than the results. When doctors said the lump was benign, we celebrated over a nice dinner out.
He did, however, ask if this meant that I would be able to get breast implants since they “have to cut ’em open anyway.”
The night before I went in for surgery, I came home to a perfectly clean house and crisp new sheets and fresh pillows on our bed—the perfect post-op sanctuary. Men don’t freak out and cry with women when stuff goes bad. They find solutions, they take action and they crack jokes.
In honor of Lupita’s eviction, I made a series of hummus sandwiches. The base of hummus is chickpeas, so I made a bunch of different hummuses (hummai? what the heck is the plural of hummus?) for snacks while I healed up. Here’s the basic recipe.
1 can garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from the garbanzo beans
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons seasame tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 whole pita
1/2 cucumber, finely sliced
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 bunch greens (I used mesclun)
Drain beans, then place beans into food processor. Measure out 1/4 cup of liquid from the beans and place in food processor. Then add lemon juice, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and salt into processor and grind it!
Smother hummus between toasted pita, then stuff greens, tomato and cucumber inside the pita. Makes four pita halves.