Sunday, March 21, 2010

the whole long drawn out story

For Valentine's Day, I had scheduled an afternoon for myself at the spa. Thirty minute massage, manicure, pedicure -- all the things that make you feel good without the guilt or weight gain. RL was out of town, so I decided there wasn't any reason to waste a perfectly good excuse to have him pay for a relaxing day at the spa -- so I made the appointment. And just because he ended up coming home 2 weeks early didn't mean I was canceling either. Good thing. While the masseuse was doing her magic, she found a lump in the middle of my back. "Do you have a cyst?" "No, I don't think ... what the crap?" The next day I called the doctor and made an appointment.

It wasn't a big lump, maybe the size of a small pecan (that's puh-con not pee-can) and I've had lumps show up here and there before. One on the side of my neck, just below my ear, was about the size of a pea and removed several years ago. I've even found lumps in my legs (I know that sounds really awful, but you can't see them -- there's too much ... um ... fatty tissue covering them) and the doctor has always asked, "Do they hurt?" "Well, only if I push down on them." "It's not cancer then. Cancer doesn't hurt." But I haven't had those (yes, plural) removed, because I've got enough hail damage and stretch marks on my legs, I don't need scars on them too. So, anyway, I wasn't too worried (at least, that's what I kept telling myself) about the new lump and when RL asked, as he was leaving for work, if he should go to the doctor with me, I assured him it was no big deal and I'd be fine.

But sitting alone in the doctor's office, waiting for what seemed an hour, but was actually only about 15 minutes, the thoughts started running through my head. The bad thoughts. The thoughts you're not supposed to think, because you'll get yourself all worked up over nothing. And then my doctor came in, checked my back, sat down in her little chair on rollers, and looked up at me. "Well, what we can do is take x-rays and find out immediately if it's cancer." She might as well have hit me in the stomach. I sucked my breath in, "Ok." Then she asked, "Does it hurt?" "No." "Hmmm . . . well, we can find out right away." Within 30 minutes or so the x-rays showed everything was clear. No large white mass indicating cancer. The next step was to make an appointment with a surgeon, let him check it out, and have the lump removed.

The waiting was the hard part. Two weeks isn't a long time, but it is when you have an overactive imagination. I kept telling myself it would be fine, there wasn't anything to worry about, the doctor assured me it was not a big deal, he performs this procedure "all the time." But I don't get cut on all the time and just the thought of being "put to sleep" scares the hell out of me.

When the day finally came, I was calm on the outside and a nervous wreck on the inside. And just as we were leaving for the hospital I reminded RL, if I died on the operating table, not to buy me an expensive casket and make sure people don't waste their money on flowers, but make a donation to a charity. I'm weird like that. But, you know, things happen and I wanted to make sure it was said.

Of course, everything went smoothly and I only had a minor breakdown just before I "went under." The surgeon and his staff were great about it, though, and I fell asleep with the feeling these complete strangers genuinely cared for me. Thirty minutes later (amazingly) I woke up and it was all over. I was still alive. I survived.

7 comments:

Cocotte said...

I'm so sorry that you have been through all of that. Two weeks seems like a REALLY long time to wait. When will you have the results?

Sailor said...

The time does go slowly, when you are waiting and waiting. I'm glad it all went well- and that we don't have to make donations!

Phyllis Renée said...

Cocotte - I received the results last Thursday (guess I should've mentioned that) and everything was clear.

Sailor - You can still make donations, but they can be in my honor instead of my memory. :)

luke said...

Sorry you had to go thru all the scary uncertainty. :( Glad to know all is well though! :)

Phyllis Renée said...

Thank you, Luke.

for a different kind of girl said...

Forgive me for how bad I am when it comes to traveling around the Internet. I get on and I read a bit and then I have to go. I've just been kind of tuned out of late. I read this when you posted it, and kept up with when you had surgery and all, and I'm so, so happy you had a positive outcome. It's scary to think of what we could be dealing with in life, and that you had to deal with it, but that it was a good outcome is fantastic.

Kristi said...

I massaged a lady once and had to tell her the same thing--I found a lump in her back. It ruined her massage. She tensed up and could not relax after that. I had scared the poop out of her. But I am glad I mentioned it, because you never know what you my find out.

See, massages are important!!!