Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Cyst Like Me

Did you know that the skin on your back is the thickest skin on your body? Neither did I until I was lying on my doctors table yesterday, anesthetized with Novocaine as she cut through mine. You see, I've had this lump on my back since high school. No big deal, right? Just a tiny little lump, no bigger than a huge pimple (which is what I thought it was for a few years, a perpetual pimple) in the middle of my back. I've asked around about it, my dad, who through his profession (not a doctor) if very knowledgeable when it comes to medical stuff. Also, my doctor. "It's just a cyst, no biggee. But if it ever changes, grows, or becomes painful, you'd better have it looked at." And, the fact that it was right on my spine was a little troublesome to boot.

So, I've lived with thing for approximately 28 years. Yes, 28. And though I didn't like it, and thought it was ugly, it never bothered me. Until Sunday.

Sunday I woke up with a horrible pain in my back. I reached back, felt it, and this lump, literally seemed to have grown at least three sizes overnight. Now, I'm sure it didn't happen overnight, but that's the way it seemed. I asked my husband, Rusty, if it looked weird. He said it had a funny white patch on it that he had never seen before.

I thought it was strange, and it hurt, but I went through my day, excercising, writing, cleaning, the normal stuff. I went to bed.

I woke up and the thing was aching. I had Rusty look at it again, and he said that now there was something on it that looks like a scab or mole. Needless to say, I was at that point, and excuse my language, scared shitless.

I made an appointment to get this thing checked out, and had to wait two more days. So for two days I was stewing, fretting, freaking out, really. Trying with all my might not to think about the "C" word.

That brings me to the beginning of my post, with me, lying on the table, back split open, my doctor tugging, pulling, ripping, cutting at this thing trying to dig it out. All of it. So it doesn't come back. Meanwhile, I pray she doesn't slip with the scalpel and paralyze me, avoid the question I should be asking because I'm not sure I want to hear the answer.

Finally she read my mind, "Oh, and by the way, this is benign." By the way. An afterthought for her, an obsession for me. Sigh. I could finally relax. Or maybe not? I mean, I just turned forty, what more is in store for me in this middle life and the years to come? What am I doing? Am I happy? Am I making others happy? Can I reach my goals? Am I making a difference? Or am I going to be like that cyst, unnoticed until it's almost too late, then taken out before I have the opportunity to impact the world around me?

Only time will tell, I guess.
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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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