Cleaning out my drafts and this one looked like a good start.
  1. When I was a baby, my mom found a lump in my chest.
  2. It wouldn't go away.
  3. It turned out to be a lump of baby fat.
  4. It was the size of a soft ball!
  5. After many consultations with many experts, they elected to have it removed.
  6. The timing had to be right. I had to be strong enough for surgery but young enough not to remember it.
  7. So as a little toddler, they had it removed.
    It was called a lipoblastoma.
  8. The doctors told my parents I may not survive the operation and that they should try to have another baby to replace me.
    Can you imagine???
  9. My parents have not told me many details about this time.
    Especially now that I have children of my own, I really want to know how they dealt with this. It must have been horrendous.
  10. But I survived.
  11. I have a huge scar around my torso.
    I have told people it was a shark bite before. 😉 The scar was that big because it had to be big enough for the surgeon's hands to get into my chest.
  12. I am missing part of my sternum.
    The best place to feel for my heart is the center of my chest.
  13. But now that I've, ehem, developed "airbags" if you will, my chest is protected.
  14. I did had a fear of white coats for a long time, apparently.
    I remember spending a lot of time in children's hospitals and seeing children undergoing chemo.
  15. But I grew up normally.
    They placed staples on my ribs to mark where the lump had been and I went to the hospital often to make sure nothing was growing back.
  16. I wasn't allowed to do any martial arts.
    So said my mom...
  17. It didn't stop me from scuba diving or long distance cycling or sky diving or really anything I wanted to do.
  18. But I often picture my poor mother waiting in the hospital for her tiny baby getting major surgery. And being told that her baby might die. And not being allowed to sleep in the hospital overnight.
    Things were different then.
  19. She acts like it was nothing now. But does she ever look at me and remember?
  20. The only story she will tell me is that once I was released from the hospital, we all went out for Chinese food. My chest was wrapped in bandages and everyone was exhausted. But they were so happy to see me eat. Even if all I did was throw rice all over the restaurant floor.
    Sounds like something my baby would do!