Saturday, May 27, 2006

I'm not dying

I've been sick for about six weeks, and one in the long list of ailments was a lump near my left breast. Such a thing is not a particularly happy discovery for any woman, let alone one whose mother, aunt, and great-uncle have all battled breast cancer. After much poking and prodding, we're sure of what the lump ISN'T: breast cancer. As for what it IS... well... the answer to that one seems to be: gone. After several weeks, the lump decided to just go away, leaving a long line of perplexed doctors in its wake. (And by long line, I mean two.)

The second doctor to examine me thought it was either a cyst or a massively inflamed lymph node - though he admitted that it didn't really feel like either. He was quite excited by the mystery and, to be perfectly honest, I think he was a little disappointed when I phoned to tell him it was gone and there was no need for the ultrasound and biopsy and whatever else he had been planning to do to me. I still have to go back for a follow-up appointment next month to see if my white blood cell count (which had been through the roof) and my blood pressure (which was low) have returned to normal.

In the meantime, he suggests that I ease up on the work schedule, or at least start taking lunch breaks. "And," he said as he gave me a knowing smile, "try not drinking so much coffee. You'll feel better if you listen to what your body is actually telling you, instead of what the caffeine is telling you."

Sorry to burst your bubble doc, but the ONE CUP of coffee I have in the morning doesn't contain enough caffeine to tell me much of anything. This fact, it seems, was entirely shocking to him. Apparently I'm the only person who's ever kept insane work hours and cared for a child, all without the assistance of (much) caffeine. "Then how do you stay awake for all that?" he asked. He was very suspicious, and I expect that he thought I was about to confess to a cocaine or speed (or whatever it is the kids are doing these days) habit.

Instead, I said the first thing that came to mind: "I'm Batman."

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