Do you see it? Look close. On the right side of my body just down from my arm pit. It’s not a muscle folks.
The larger than life squishy tumor like mass on the right side of my body is not a hard earned muscle. It is a blushing non-cancerous growth called a LIPOMA. A very common fatty lump most often situated between the skin and underlying muscle layer.
More than 3 million US cases per year
Treatable by a medical professional
Requires a medical diagnosis
Lab tests or imaging rarely required
Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
Lipomas are slow growing and usually harmless. Rarely, they can be cancerous. Some people have more than one.
Lipomas are just under the skin and move easily when pressure is applied.
They commonly occur in the neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms, and thighs.
Treatment generally isn’t necessary, but if the lipoma is bothersome, painful, or growing, surgical removal may be needed.
Thrilling right up to the point when you find one growing on your body.
It was about 12 years ago when I first noticed this small oval-shaped growth just to the outside of my shoulder-blade close to my arm pit. At first glance, I thought I had somehow built up a protruding lat muscles until I made a close comparison to opposite side of my body. It was evident that this mass was NOT a muscle. Afraid it could be something serious like cancer, I made an appointment with my doctor almost immediately. I was assured that this funky foreign mass was just a lipoma. I had never heard of a lipoma before.
Now nearly 13 years ago it was much smaller and barely noticeable to anyone but myself but as promised, my lovely lipoma has continued to grow and affect my body.
Lately, I feel like it’s a glaring beacon on the side of my body. I’m constantly reminded of it and all of its glory when I shoot a workout videos or pictures for the blog. I’ve since learned how to hide it when taking pictures or position myself on a different side but it’s annoying. Due to the area where it is located, it has become sometimes sensitive to touch. Like when the teen queen comes up from behind me and tugs on it.
The fact that most people think I have some incredible pronounced lat muscle it as first flattering until they notice that it’s uneven and ask me about it. Then suddenly I’m reminded that it’s there and how it looks in public.
After all, I’m in tank tops and workout clothes year around so it’s not easy to disguise. About my strappy cute functional workout top, it’s called Free To Be Serene Tank by Lululemon. It is a sports bra and light weight tank combo and it comes in an assorment of colors.
As my lipoma has expanded so has my level of sensativity to it’s unappealing I’ve grown visual appearance.
Six years ago I was ready to have it removed. I conjured up the courage and scheduled an appointment with a highly recommended dermatologist. The problem was of course our lovely health care coverage. We had an expensive package with a high deductible coupled with the fact that I don’t get sick. Hence I put it off and waited…and waited and I guess six years slipped by.
But this is it, this time it’s a go. I have an appointment with Dr. Alison Black of Las Colinas Dermatology in July. I assume she will reavaluate the lipoma, measure it and solidify a removal date. Oh Happy Day.
I have no idea what my down time if any will be. What I do know is that I’m likey to have a nasty nasty scar but it’s better than a lop sided tumor right?!?
The content in the “to be continued” post might be sensative to some young less mature auidences. I want to see this fatty tissue extracted from my body so bad that I’m willing to share my victory with the world. It might be bloody and gory, like Dr. pimple popper but bigger….eat your heart out honey.
Until then, I’m open to hearing any and all lipoma stories. Good or horrifying, bring them on. Tell me what you know or just send me some encouragemnet.
Love, live and be FIT!