I've been thinking a lot about the Princess and the Pea fairytale.
Together, in that order.
I'll explain: For the past four weeks now, I've been experiencing a tenderness in my left rib cage, about an inch below my mastectomy scar. For most people, without a history of cancer, this would mean nothing. For me, its got my full attention. When things like this crop up (because bodies do develop random aches and pains), I tend to take a wait and see approach. Wait and see if it 1) goes away, 2) comes and goes, 3) lingers and worsens.
Unfortunately my little spot is in the former category. I've since had it palpated, x-ray-ed, and sonogram-ed. Doctors cannot see or feel anything. And yet, I can. My fingers are drawn to the spot. I feel it when I'm washing my hair, or trying to fall asleep, or just cooking dinner. It isn't crippling, but it is nagging.
No one else can feel it, but I can. Hence, my mind is filled with images like this:
Maybe I'm simply a Real Princess, and teeny, tiny abnormalities cause little ole me discomfort.
Or there is really something there, cells gone rogue. Again. Which leads me to the vampire thoughts. Specifically: the amazing, fabled healing properties of vampire blood, and the "eternal life" characteristics of vampires...If only I could trade in this body. Stop the clock...
I get it now, this cultural obsession with vampires. I mistakenly thought it was sex appeal. Now I realize we don't want to sleep with vampires. We all simply want to be vampires: young and healthy forever.
Because the alternative is much too hard to imagine. Much too scary.
It's funny: Vampires are the stuff of Halloween stories, and yet, it is the natural course of life that is what really scares us all. Our bodies weakening, sickness taking hold, life passing us by....
It is this true life horror story that is keeping me up at nights.
My pea-sized pain... This afternoon my chest will be scrutinized via CT scan utilizing contrast dye. And then, I'll wait all weekend long to hear whether whatever is hiding there has be exposed...
Or not. Maybe nothing is there at all.
But what I do know, like vampires, once cancer has been inside your house -- it can come in any ole time it wants. And all you can do at that point is stake the mofo.
Picture credits: "Vampire Diaries," Princess and Pea