I have a lump.

Yesterday was almost an ordinary day. I woke up and got the kids ready with the help of my husband. We stood outside under umbrellas waiting for the bus. We waved good-bye to little hands fluttering like butterflies at the light in the bus windows. We kissed and went our separate ways – him to work and me to the town over for school. I worked on a paper or tried to. I attended class where we discussed edTPA. I rushed home to pick up the kids from school. We sat down and did homework and reading and while I flittered among them checking on progress I managed to start supper. When everything was completed,signed off on and packed away into backpacks I transferred supper to the table and pencils were replaced with forks. We forgot our dinner prayer. The kids had just a bit of time to play. Dad came home from work. Dad went back to work. I had a paper up on my laptop. I was really hoping the words would just fall into place as I completed my household chores for the night, but when I sat down it was all still there just as I left it.
Teeth were brushed, pj’s on, tucks and hugs and kisses disbursed. Nightlights were set aglow. “Love you”s were delivered all the way from the moon, stars, sun and back.
I sat down to type. Three paragraphs later (mind you I need 5 pages) my sister called and we talked for nearly two hours catching each other up on daily life. It was at some point during this conversation I vaguely noticed an irritation under my armpit. I briefly thought, “razor-burn?” but the thought evaporated as the conversation wrapped up and I realized I had so much to do.
Now I am a master procrastinator. I don’t know why. I do good work under pressure, sometimes great work. I am waiting for the day I don’t make the deadline because I pushed off too long. I sit down to do the work early, but it is like my brain rebels from thinking about it until the last possible moment. Then the clouds lift, the angels sing and the assignment gets done. But I am really struggling with this. Ugh, there is something wrong with my friggin’ armpit! I maneuver through the mass clothes that is Autumn in Wisconsin, a layer here and there and everywhere until I find the stubble that is my Fall armpit (it is quite true for me anyway that the season brings a vacation to the pink razor in the bathroom – I am quite certain it deserves it for all it’s been through the previous summer.) There in the center of the stubble is something. It almost feels like a wad of Orbits. It is only the size of my fingertip but it is hard like the gum under the restaurant table that has been there surely no less than a hundred years.
I panic.
The paper I was working on has crumbled and turned to digital dust. I hold myself in my most favorite brown warm sweater. Do you know how often in your mind you can see the perfect clothes for yourself, but you never find them? That is this brown sweater. I look up at the wall of books my husband and I finally created after decades of me knowing this was what I wanted to look up and see in my living room. I look at the boots that are so perfect for me – I just found them. I stand.
I walk upstairs to the perfectly organized bedroom my itta-bits are soundly sleeping in. They are so just perfect. Perfect in their little snores and sighs. I can hear the music from my oldest’s headphones as I peek in her room. As a pre-teen, she has no idea how perfect she is. Her talent knows little boundaries. She has brought pride tears to my eyes more than I – in my whole life – ever experienced sad tears. Watching these children, talking with them, learning with them and from them is my fountain of youth, my soul soothing medicine. Have I done enough that even the littlest one will always carry with her an impression of a Mother who couldn’t have loved them any more than I did?
In sheer panic I call nurse direct. They recommend in sweet voices a cold compress, ib and Urgent Care right away in the morning.
More sheer panic ensues.
It is this I think of all through the night. At some point I convince myself that IB is cause for most of the ills of the world, including Autism. I know. Sleep exhaustion does funny things.
So this morning I was off to Urgent Care with my unshowered, unshaven, lumped armpit. I tore off my shirt almost the minute the Doctor walked in the room and before his very human brain could begin to contemplate the entertaining story this patient’s entrance would make I lifted my arm – chicken wing style and exposed the Armpit.
Now the funny is coming out because after 12 hours of hell it took 20 seconds to deduce that the lump was indeed a cyst. It took 10 seconds to zip off a prescription to the local pharmacy. So I was, including wait time, and drive time, only there for 25 minutes.
I am writing this because too often what we say after moments like this is “Thank God, I need to get things in order after this.” and you know what gets done? Nothing.
So I pledge in the next three months to make a plan. Lawyer it out. Then throw it at a few people – like my hubby, mom and a sibling or two or three… to make sure everyone knows the plan. I pledge to hold my kids a little tighter and continue my quest to make sure they know they couldn’t be loved more anywhere else in the world. (not that that means I will let them get away with shit – you understand)

Live each Day.


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