A fool’s tale, told by an idiot

This fool’s tale told by an idiot (they’re both me in case you hadn’t guessed) begins with a small lump on my neck and given the nature of this blog you can probably guess where we’re headed.

It is six years ago, we are living in Asia, and I’m sitting in the lobby of our apartment block waiting for Mrs Preen to come down from our flat on the twentieth floor. We are to have dinner together at a new restaurant. The lobby, a pleasant space, is kitted out with plush furnishings, wall hangings and huge statues of fat men balancing on their heads. Adjoining the lobby, the new Starbucks is doing a roaring trade in sweet iced coffee. Scratching the back of my head I feel a small lump on my neck, Mrs Preen arrives, we have a pleasant dinner and I think no more about it.

But of course, that’s not true, I did start to think about it, but the lump was so small and if rubbed almost seemed to disappear, so although I knew I should see a doctor, I decided the best policy was to ignore it. Anyhow, lumpy sat there not doing much and when we relocated back to the UK, the lump came with me. It was on the back of my neck and stayed in the back of my mind.

Occasionally, the lump would cause me to fret and then just as quickly I’d forget all about it for months at a time. Fortunately, when the Unwelcome Guest started to make his presence felt I did act, I did see a doctor. If I hadn’t, my health would likely be in serious jeopardy now. It does make me wonder why I responded to the Guest’s small symptoms but left the lump in limbo.

During my prostate cancer diagnosis, I went through a plethora of tests and scans all of which are documented in loving detail elsewhere on this blog. On one occasion just prior to both an MRI and PET scan a nurse asked me if there were any lumps or bumps, they should know about. For reasons I can’t begin to explain I said no, there’s nothing.

Secretly, I was terrified the lump might be some other form of cancer and the PET scan would reveal cancer had spread throughout my body. When the test showed the big C was restricted to my prostate it was both alarming and a relief, if that makes any kind of sense.

After that I would once again forget or fret about lumpy depending on my mood. Things changed a couple of weeks ago when it became obvious that the lump had got a lot bigger and was protruding from the back of my neck. I had something of a sleepless night and finally made an appointment to see my GP. I told Mrs Preen who took one look at it and said it’s fine, it’s just a cyst.  Avid readers of this blog will know that Mrs. Preen has a positive nature and always looks on the bright side. I was not so sure.

Let’s be clear where we stand. I’ve had a lump on my neck for six years, it’s made me scared, it’s grown relatively large and only now am I going to see a doctor about it.

And who does the doctor turn out to be? Well of course it had to be the Slasher himself. He’s the medic who administers my hormone injections like it was bayonet practise.

The Slasher takes one look at the lump and says oh yes that’s a subcutaneous lipoma, it’s a build-up of fat in the wrong place. Normally this occurs on your stomach or thighs, it’s nothing to worry about and will probably go away of its own accord and may reduce if you lose weight. You could have it removed but unless it’s really bothering you, I’d just leave it. The Slasher had spoken.

So, there I am with something I’ve been secretly scared about for six years only to be told it’s a bit of fat in the wrong place. All of which left me relieved, but feeling like a complete fool. There, my tale is told.


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