By BERN MORLEY
I knew it was there, I was just choosing to ignore it.
The lump I mean.
See two things happened that made me stop avoiding it. Firstly, my hipbone started to regularly burn and secondly, over coffee, my girlfriend told me that a friend of a friend had had EXACTLY the same symptoms and it had turned out to be aggressive breast cancer. I’d already done a fine job of believing EXACTLY that’s what it was without her blunt appraisal of my situation, yet circumstances at the time were making me the world’s finest avoider.
Being great in a crisis, I had just been dealing with my mother’s rapid decline and eventual death from cancer. It was fast, horrific and scary and even though I felt the lump about 1 month into her diagnosis, I wasn’t ready or able to deal with more bad news. Not then and certainly not now. I was still too sad. It could wait. So I put it off. And off. And off. Until eventually I had the coffee with my friend.
And that day, the day of the coffee and the burning hip, I went on home and sat down in front of my laptop and tentatively opened it up. Now here’s a tip, unless you want to scare the absolute bejesus out of yourself, do not, I repeat, do not Google the words “Lump in breast” and “burning hip bone” at the same time because the following will happen:
You will convince yourself that at best, you are thundering towards early menopause and at worst, have breast cancer and are probably going to die of secondary bone cancer.
So immediately I made an appointment with my doctor right? Right? WRONG. Oh no, I couldn’t handle the truth right then because let’s face it, that would make it real. And I couldn’t handle real. Not that day. If only I thought to myself, I could find an alternative, non-threatening diagnosis for my many and obvious symptoms, I could just go about my business and forget about this whole sorry situation. Maybe I just needed some multivitamins?
So I decided to investigate a little more and with that, each night I’d go a little further into the Dr Google rabbit hole clicking from one damning link to the next. And in turn, each night I’d go to bed a little more frightened than the one before.