The Lump

If my mother were still living, she would be aghast that I have not personally reached out to you — my friends, colleagues, and blog followers.  You may know of me or know me personally, have read my writings or just started following me.  But I want to make the time to say “THANK YOU” for allowing me to share pieces of my life, and for your willingness to listen and reply.  It is my desire to inspire others, and in doing so, help myself to grow into the finest human I am capable of being.

Last week was a rough week.  My daughter got her first job, which is wonderful news in this economy, my husband’s company is downsizing and sending jobs overseas (he’s still ok, thankfully), and me, well, I found a lump.

To some of you, that may seem incredibly personal, but sitting here in my early 50s, I really have nothing to hide and everything to share, especially if it can help others.  The week was filled with “what ifs” and dread.  I let my imagination run wild, and I have one incredible imagination, if I do say so myself.  Then I got scared.  I mean really scared, and not much spooks The Estate Lady®.  I called the doctor immediately.  Truth of it is, I should have taken better care of myself a long time ago.

I found myself crying in the shower, and the best I can figure, it came from guilt.  Guilt because I have not taken good care of myself in years.  I have not eaten well, not exercised diligently.  I put on weight and am stressed out just like everyone else, still grieving the loss of my parents, etc.  My imagination suddenly threw me years into the future, where I so desperately want to be a part of my daughter’s life and see grandbabies grow.

Then I prayed.  I asked friends to pray for me.  It brought a calm over me when I needed it most.  There’s nothing easy about dealing with things that go wrong with our bodies, and medical stuff is scary.  I sat and waited my turn for the mammogram and other tests with other women in a small room, and I realized that not everyone in that room would get good news.  I prayed for them too.

Long story short, the news was good!  It was just a lump that will stay with me the remainder of my life … a calcified thing.  I got the wonderful news and my legs made it as far as my car in the parking lot when I broke into tears of great joy and heartfelt gratitude.  It seemed only right to give thanks for this blessing, and to pray for those who are also living in fear or receiving less than good news.

If you know someone who is in the midst of this kind of scary experience, just be there for them and offer support.  Everyone needs good friends to walk them through and keep the “what ifs” at bay.

“Taking our lumps,” unfortunately, is a part of life, but it sure is frightening on the literal side of things.  On the figurative side, we carry them from injuries, past experiences, and lessons learned; we live with them emotionally, mentally, and physically.  They are a part of how we become “us.”

I came home that day, and in a very uncharacteristic manner, took a selfie.  I have much to smile about and I am wishing you the same!


©2014 The Estate Lady®

Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising.  She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation.

No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent.  Email her at

16 thoughts on “The Lump

  1. Glad for your good news. Your posts have been very helpful to me in dealing with my inherited items, my own clutter and coping with grief. The quote I use the most is “admire don’t acquire.”

  2. What a treasure you are, Julie Hall. Your wise words and experience have helped me countless times in my work as a residential organizer. But what is most powerful, and most valuable, is when you share yourself – your heart and soul, fears and tears, and joy and laughter. Sometimes I believe Life, in all its wisdom and mystery, sends us a “scare” just to jolt us back onto the right path, but not destroy us. Blessings on you, and I will add you to my prayer list…for thankfulness.

  3. Thank goodness it worked out for you! I was only 32 when I found my lump and it turned out to be benign. But as I waited for the biopsy I worried constantly about whether my children would remember me if it turned out to be very serious, I was lucky and you were lucky. I wish everyone would be so lucky! We need to continue to take care of ourselves and have regular exams.

  4. I just got back from the doctors right now and your email was on my list! I also got good news! The lump under my arm is an infected lymph node, which caused all kinds of problems for me, but it is going away now. Hooray!! Mammogram again in 6 months, but should be fine from now on. So glad you got your good news 😀

  5. I’ve been through that scary scenario twice and was lucky both times. You can think of this as a wake-up call to work on being more healthy. Your selfie turned out great.

  6. That is GREAT news Julie! Now enjoy life and especially your children. We have five grandchildren and I can’t tell how much we have enjoyed them.

  7. Julie, I’m so glad you received such good news and that you’re okay! Thanks for sharing your story – and for the reminder to live each day to the fullest and take care of ourselves too!

  8. Dear, Dear Julie, I am so happy and praise God your lump is ok. Thank you so much for sharing. You are a blessing to so many, me included. I want to let you know how much your blogs, e-mails, books and you have meant to me. Please continue to take care of yourself. Blessings and love Linda Kozel.

  9. Glad to hear it, Julie. We’ve had enough heartache in the family. Now you can just worry about your daughter’s job and what she’s going to do with all that money she’s earning…..

  10. You are a very smart and kind person,you treat people with so much kindness and concern. You have a large caring heart and are extremely knowledgeable about things. Very happy about the results of your test. I thank Eva for introducing me to you. You know your antiques and lots of other stuff which is so helpful . Wonderful,smart lady with a tender heart and kind spirit.That is you. Betty Knebel

  11. Julie,
    Thank you for sharing your story as it makes me realize that I too have taken my health for granted and I need to make a change right now. So glad you are ok. The “what if’s” certainly can take us to places that we usually don’t even go. Prayers to you and your family.
    Lisa Powers

  12. Thank you for sharing your clear and kind perspective. Your writing always gives me much to think about. I am so glad your news is good!

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