Wednesday, March 01, 2006

"Benign" is a Four Letter Word

Hello! I was clicking around today and I suddenly realized that my last post was February 8, and now it’s… It’s March? The Hell? When did THAT happen?

Anyway, I have not posted much this month, but there was a very good reason for that. Which I will now explain. Because you care.

About three years ago, I suddenly had PAIN in the roof of my mouth. I even skipped my very first kickball game ever and went to the emergency room. Of course, they couldn’t really do jack except give me percocet, (which, woo!) and tell me to go to a dentist, but still. Kickball-missing type pain here, people.

(Of course, this was also the evening that my kickball team figured out where I was and showed up en masse in the emergency room, with purple pom poms. Y’all, I used to have such a fun life).

Anyway, turns out there was an impacted wisdom tooth and a cyst and an oral surgeon got involved. And there was cutting and knives (surgeon), and demanding of anesthesia (me), and then I began my lifelong friendship with vicodin and life resumed.

So a few weeks ago when I began having similar pain, I didn’t think twice. I simply went to my dentist who sent me again to my surgeon. And although he wasn’t exactly sure what was wrong, and it was not the same thing, there was cutting and knives and I walked out desperately clutching my prescription for vicodin and everything was fine. Except, of course, that the highlight of my Valentines Day was ‘federally regulated narcotics’, which either makes me the saddest person ever or the most awesome. I choose not to delve too deeply into that question.

Anyway, a week later I went back for what I thought was a routine visit to get the stitches out. It… wasn’t. I mean, the stitches came out, but then the Doctor sat down with me. With a pathology report. Me, my doctor, and the pathology report.

Since I had thought that I had had a harmless cyst, I was not at all prepared for words like, “rare condition”, “tumor”, “most likely benign”, “top rate cancer research center”, and “more surgery”. I just… wasn’t prepared for that at all. So I kind of smiled, and nodded, and picked myself off the floor. Then Kate took me to work, and I called all my wonderful friends who made me laugh even though they INSISTED on googling me. Which seriously? Just… don’t, people. All roads lead to cancer there. 20 minutes on the phone with Peanut I went from “benign tumor” to “lymphoma”. Anyway, I got through the day, but.

Y’all? I was freaked the fuck OUT.

And I remained so for basically the rest of the month. Because even with words like “benign”, it’s hard to stop your head from going places like, “if they were so damn sure it was benign, why the ten minute lecture on the virtues of the cancer center we are now working with?” So I didn’t write, because I didn’t know what to write.

The good news is, the Top Notch Cancer Research Center agreed with the original pathology report, and even said I don’t need further treatment. Scare over, I can breath and sleep and possibly stop having panic attacks now. (Because y’all? Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, triggers panic attacks like the words “cancer research center”). So now we’re back to our regularly scheduled nonsense.

And to everyone? Who helped with the last few weeks? Thanks.