Last Thursday, I went in to see my physician about a symptom that could have been the result of a number of things–things I could rule out, things I couldn’t, but all in all, things I could expect him to suggest.
Instead what he suggested was this: I might have a brain tumor!
I don’t know how a normal person reacts to being blindsided by such a suggestion, but my reaction was to walk calmly out of the hospital…then burst into tears, all the way home.
This is where I think that perhaps he could have mentioned some statistics about, say, how highly treatable this particular type of tumor is, or that 17.5% of the population have the same kind, many of which go through life without even realizing that they had one.
But no. Instead, I would not find this information out until I had spent a few hours frantically researching the hormone my blood was sent off to test for. All the while thinking, shit, I have wasted my damn life.
It’s hard to summarize exactly how horrific this past few days have been for me (the doctor’s visit was Thursday), and I still don’t even have the results back yet. There is still the possibility that it could be anything else. Maybe it’s not even something that I was tested for.
But if there is that mass inside my head, how big is it? How long has it been there? Do I have the other symptoms and just not realize it? Is the occasional blurred vision from contact lenses and computer-fueled eye strain or is there an unwanted presence plopped on my optic nerves? Do I get headaches more than I should?
I am afraid of the imaginary presence in my head.
It’s not supposed to be there. It has forced me to consider the limitations of my existence, many decades before I had planned to.
Benign though this type of tumor may be, the potential for one to be squatting in my previously safe cranial sanctuary has made me question my life. I haven’t made my dream trip to Japan yet, and I don’t like where my career is taking me. I need to spend more time doing silly, pointless things with my family. I haven’t contributed to society in any meaningful way. I need to let go of the things that don’t matter.
It feels like there should be more. I have not lived up to my potential. I am not ready to face mortality.
Whether it’s real or not, it’s been an unholy, ugly wake-up call to get my mess together and stop the nonsense of seeing where the stream of life takes me. (I’d much rather prefer to take some dynamite and blast out my own path anyway.) What is the point of all that I do if all that I feel is regret at the end? YOLO!