06 February 2013

A lump is nothing until it's something

When you go in for your well woman exam and the doctor finds a lump in your breast, you do not have a lump. You have nothing, in fact. Until a machine can tell you otherwise, you have nothing. You have so much of a nothing that you walk away completely unfazed and get on with your day. You have a completely unemotional response and get back to your laundry list of things to fix. Fix the lack of groceries and the dwindling coffee, fix the peed on bed sheets, fix the shoes toys papers books pillows dog hair littering the floor, fix the dishes in the sink, fix the hungry belly, fix the unpaid bills, fix the need for a long hard bike ride with music blasting through earphones. Music like Pearl Jam's Spin the Black Circle, Rearview Mirror, Incubus' Nice to Know You, Queens of the Stone Age singing Go with the Flow, Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Nirvana. Bands from my young adulthood who sang fuck you because that was all there was to sing about in the blissful, prosperous 90's when things were great but things were still so very very screwed up man. That's what you do when you have nothing…not a lump, nothing.

Ok that's what I did. I have a well honed ability to disassociate. It's one of my many talents. Right. First Person…

I went to the machine yesterday that was supposed to define the lump that is nothing until it's something. But the machine couldn't define it. Then the sonogram couldn't define it. The radiologist couldn't define it, none of the technicians could define it. The thing is, now it's a lump. It's not nothing anymore because now they want to get needles involved to find out what the hell it is. I'll tell you what the hell it is…it's a stupid pain in my ass is what it is. A stupid pain in my ass that will turn out to be nothing, as I originally said. Nothing, that will cost me a pretty penny now to finally and eventually define as nothing. And now I'm pissed.

On a side note, happy turning 40 to all my girlfriends, it's mammogram time! Wow does that whole process suck! But listen friends, it's actually not as bad as I thought it would be (and if you know me I was definitely expecting the worst because doctors are the spawn of satan and were put on this earth to torture and maim.)

For a variety of really stupid reasons I was waiting around in a short chilly drape yesterday (which doesn't really cover much of anything…why the hell can't they just give you a shortened hospital gown?? Why? Is it so hard to turn a large circular piece of fabric into a fucking shirt? And PS just because it's pink does not make me feel any better about the whole situation. It does not make me feel better to think that you took the time to pick out a nice feminine color for me to wear to a breast smashing party.) I waited for the people at the front desk to call over the request for an ultrasound order. I waited and waited. Finally someone pulled their head out of their ass and informed my doctor that I was in the office waiting in a short chilly drape for the order to come through. So the fax was sent and I waited for another half an hour for them to figure out how to…I don't know what, turn on the sonogram machine? I have to wait another half an hour for the radiologist to have a look at the sonogram because the computers go down. When he finally comes in to speak with me he starts talking really fast about inconclusive pictures and cysts and masses and benign this and that and needle and core samples and biopsies and how sorry he is I waited so long so he won't take up any more of my time and I stop him suddenly and I raise my voice a little and I say slowly, "Whoa, whoa slow down, this is the part I don't mind taking a bit of time to hear mister. Let's sit a while and have a chat because I don't know what the hell you're talking about, and this is actually the part that is important."

It's nothing. This thing in my breast. It's nothing. It's nothing until I think about my kid who needs both of his parents. Alive and healthy. It's nothing until I start doing math. (25 years of smoking. 40 years old. 30 plus years of cultivating a nice slow hot burning rage, in my chest of all places. ) I was never very good at math though. So I stop doing math and I stop thinking about my kid becoming an orphan and I stop thinking about a needle boring into my breast and I stop thinking about my diet for a minute and eat a 1200 calorie dinner. I start thinking about how I need to get a job. I start thinking about how I just discovered kundalini yoga and wonder if it's just in the nick of time. I start thinking about re-prioritizing. Again. I start thinking about how today is a day like any other day. And today I need to get to the grocery store and today I need to get some laundry done and today I need to take a good long bike ride to some angry fuck you music. Today. Because I still got nothing. Really.

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