Thanks For Nothing

Posted: November 25, 2010 in The Roper Files
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Noticed this bump on the right side of my neck a few years ago about the size of a small mosquito bite as I was giving myself a once-over in the mirror before taking a shuttle to the airport. You know; running a comb through my hair, eye drops etc when I saw the bump on my neck. It looked like some half-developed pimple, perhaps an ingrown hair. “What’s this?” I thought to myself, put some alcohol on it and hoped some California sun would dry it up and forgot all about it.  

Went out to visit friends in LA, had a great time and other than running a comb through my hair after a shower or brushing my teeth I didn’t really spend a lot of time looking at myself in mirrors while I was there. Spent a few days exploring the beaches, seeing the sights, doing some shopping and all the other things Los Angeles has to offer then flew back to podunk Fort Worth.

 Upon the very nano-second after I unlocked the dead bolt on the door and dropped the suitcase, I left a trail of clothing in between the door and my bathroom. The only antidote for a flight home was taking a long hot shower. After stepping out of the shower and drying off, I combed my hair, shaved, brushed my teeth and then looked at the right side of my neck in the mirror. There it was. Unchanged. Closer examination revealed no sign of any hair growing out of it or any kind of development at all. It looked exactly the same as it did a week prior.

 Days, weeks, months and finally years rolled by. That thing on my neck remained unchanged. For the most part I ignored it, but in the back of my mind an ugly thought was festering. Everything I’ve ever read about cancer had “an unchanging mole or blemish” on their lists of “signs and warning symptoms” However I would go through physicals and be afraid to point it out to the doctor lest he tells me what I didn’t want to hear. Finally I braced myself during this years physical and mentioned it to my doctor during my recent examination.

 “Six years huh? Bet you’re tired of shaving around this thing” He leans over with a magnifying glass and examines it up close, then quickly tries to calm my fears. “It’s nothing; I can lop that off no problem and we’ll send it to the lab. Just schedule a follow-up appointment on your way out.” Two weeks later I am sitting on a leatherette chair and his pretty black nurse is sticking a syringe into the side of my neck. Its a local and thankfully she is very skilled; the needle is painless as she injects a local pain-killer into my neck near the “thing”.

 Why the hell this required a separate visit is still beyond me; the chit-chat the doctor and I engage in takes longer than the removal procedure. He could have done this with an Exacto knife; a couple of deft slices and it’s gone. He drops it into a sample bottle and the whole thing is over in seconds.

The lab results came back a couple of weeks later; whatever that thing was, it was benign. So this Thanksgiving Day I am thankful to not only be rid of THAT and also that the lab results came back negative. No news IS good news indeed.


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