Little did you all know, but last night’s post was an exercise in happy distraction for me.
Last night, before writing that post, I found a hard little lump under the skin in my stomach, just above and to the left of my belly button.
I couldn’t think of any reasonable explanation for its location (no lymph nodes nearby, no surgery or recent trauma to the area to cause scar tissue), so of course it was scary. I sat in the bath, Peter sat on the bathroom floor next to me and we just talked.
Remarkably, wonderfully, all of my previous lump-related scares have ended well, so I was WAY less freaked out than I was after my first one (wherein I fully spiraled into a deep, unshakeable depression, even if it only lasted a day, until I was able to get some hope). I have to say, I was even impressed with how well I dealt with it.
A LOT of it was denial. I simply refused to allow myself to think about it, and when I (inevitably) did, I was able to stop my anxiety from spiraling too far out of control. This was part of the reason I didn’t tell anyone about it until after we saw the doc today, because I knew if I had to talk about it without any real information, it would be too hard to talk about.
I didn’t allow myself to think as I went to bed (HARD because my go-to tactic for going to sleep is saying prayers to myself over and over, and two of the three I say feature death explicitly (“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take” and the Hail Mary, which ends “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” Yeah.). So I think I ended up breathing in and out and said “Ommmmmmm” in my head like a prayer (do NOT tell me if the Om chant really says something about death!) and/or very very slowly counting my breaths. I don’t remember. Which is awesome.
I was able to call this morning and get an appointment for 4 PM today. I was nervous about making it through the day, but again, I did pretty well.
I gave myself a break, let Emmie play on her blanket with her toys (so great she is into that now), and did some sewing and other happy things.
When I sew or do housework while Emmie is sleeping, I like to listen to NPR podcasts, like This American Life. For whatever reason, Every. Single. One. had some mention of death in it. Honestly, it was ridiculous. One was about “loops,” and it had a story about the acrobatic pilot who perfected the loop-the-loop. And died in a plane crash. Then I picked one about “Games” because how could that possibly have anything to do with death? And then they told a story about a guy who loved sports. And then his dad died. Seriously??? I just stopped then (this was literally probably the 5th podcast I listened to, and I specifically was avoiding sad ones, like the Tom Waits interview that mentioned death in the 10 word summary).
So I finally made it to 3:30, with really only a few tears in the last 30 minutes. At the last minute, I picked Peter up so he could come with us, which was AMAZING. It just felt so much better to have him with me.
We ended up having to wait a while, a known hazard of late-in-the-day appointments, but Emmie was amazing. She was, again, such a trooper.
When we got in to see the doc, he palpated my stomach thoroughly, and told me he thought it was likely a cyst or a lipo-something (fatty deposit, mmm!). He said if I weren’t me, that he would say it’s nothing to worry about, but since it IS me, there is a slim chance it could be something. Peter and I opted to get it biopsied, since aesthetics aren’t exactly at the top of our list, and then we can “move on again,” as he put it.
Emmie started fussing pretty much exactly when I was getting the thing cut out of me, so I was SUPER happy Peter was there to play with her (I’m pretty good, but I’m not THAT good). Once the doc took it out, he said again that it looked like a cyst, and we should know in about a week the final answer.
Peter and I both feel a LOT better than we did last night, but I’m still wondering why in the world I, of all people, am getting so many bumps and lumps in the past few months. I really don’t think it’s just a case of hyper-vigilance either, because I think I would have been freaked out by this last lump, no matter what. I’m hoping my lumpy body will calm down a bit soon, but for now, I will be happy with the hopeful news we got tonight.
And for those keeping track, this is the 10th hole I’ve had cut into me in the last 6 months (I think…). W00t!