next time, open with that

Ever since I was young, I’ve had thyroid issues. A surgery in high school to remove a benign nodule left me with a killer neck scar, and in the intervening years, things have not improved.

So I finally scheduled an appointment with the first endocrinologist who would see me before 2014, and went on Friday.

It was not a very good day: I got something less than four hours’ sleep; it was bucketing down rain, which is lovely when you can stay indoors and listen to it, but not so lovely when you have to drive in it; and I was catastrophically sleepy. I drove extra-slowly, just in case.

I got to spend a good half-hour babbling with the doctor about my thyroid and diabetes issues, and got some good tips for food and stuff, and then I got taken down the hall for an ultrasound on my thyroid. Miss Thing lubed me up and rolled the sensor around my throat, asking me to turn my head this way and that.

At one point, with my head tilted back and pointed more or less in the direction of the monitor, I saw her clicking around, marking the edges of a brighter section.

“Is that the tumor?” I joked.

“Who told you that?” she snapped back.

“Um … it was … just a joke?”

She was silent for the rest of the ultrasound. I focused my attention on the ceiling tiles.

Then the doctor came in, to look at the pictures she had taken, and run the scanner thing around my throat himself. She pointed at something on the printout.

“I marked it, because it’s about a centimeter.” The doctor mm-hmm’d and kept ultrasounding, and in the thirty seconds before he spoke again, my mind went fucking nuts.

A centimeter? It IS a tumor, goddammit, I’ve got fucking cancer and I’m going to have to have surgeries and radiation and chemotherapy and dammit, I’m nauseated enough from the fucking diabetes medication, I don’t need even more nausea from cancer treatment and jesus christ, do I have life insurance through Loki’s insurance plan? What will happen if I die? I need to get a living will done up, and probably a regular will, and a DNR, because it is not about being hooked up to a machine and oh gods Loki is going to shit because it’ll be his brother all over again and oh gods I have cancer jesus a centimeter-sized tumor — I hold up my thumb and look at the nail, which is about a centimeter and — GODDAMN IT LOOKS GIGANTIC WHY IS THAT IN MY THROAT oh gods I’m going to die cancer cancer cancer cancer AAAAARGH and then the doctor finishes the scan and asks me to sit up.

“So,” he begins, “on the left side we see scarring, and that’s probably from your surgery. On the right side, we see this area, which could be swelling, and we’ve marked it, so we know what size it is now, and we’ll scan you again in three months and see if there’s any change, but it’s most likely not a tumor,” he concluded, way too far into that paragraph than he should have done.

“Not a tumor? Next time, START WITH THAT BIT.”

“Ah, yes, of course. No, it’s probably not a tumor, probably not cancer, but we’ll keep an eye on it.”

And I melted into a puddle of relief and exhaustion and the lifting of a weight, and went home and told Loki that I probably wasn’t going to die from a lump in my throat.

So I’ve got that going for me.