I have a lump on my inner thigh. I believe it is a hematoma, nothing too much to fret about. I tell you that right away because "lump" is a terrifying word.

I found it Friday night. It was kind of hard to miss as it was poking up like Mt. Fuji. I pressed it. It was hard and hurt like an insect bite. "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT," I say to N. He pokes it. "OW," I say. We stare at the lump for a minute. Every few seconds one of us will poke it.

When we get bored of this we shrug and go to sleep. But it's the first thing I think of when I open my eyes Saturday (followed closely by: "I wonder if N. cares if I borrow some bike socks this morning; all mine are chafing me").

Cartoons would be a better way to start a Saturday morning. Eggs and coffee. But no, I start my day with Leg Lump, and denial of Leg Lump, and rationalization of denial by saying I can't do anything until Monday when the doctor's office opens. I have a bike ride in an hour and I don't appear to be indisposed. Just a little lumpy.

I press at Leg Lump throughout the day. (That is how I googled it later. You can get a surprising amount of information from the search term "Leg Lump." Much of it though about dogs and hamsters.) Is it receding? Am I just imagining it is receding?

By the time we go to the movie that night, I've gone from denial to sick in the pit of my stomach. I don't know anything about Leg Lump. I don't know what will happen next. I am helpless.

Because here's the thing. I'm not special. I'm not different. It doesn't matter if I'm talented or have big plans. It doesn't matter how much I love being alive. My potential doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how much I want this not to be cancer. Cancer is random. At this point I'm just like everyone else who's ever found a lump and is in the uncertain limbo before they hear that word from the doctor.

This can happen to me. This can be what happens next.

And suddenly my daily life pisses me off. What the hell are we thinking, not laughing every possible minute. What the hell are we thinking playing in the shallow end of our lives, watching TV, treating our lives like a waiting room. Potential. WHAT THE HELL ARE WE WAITING FOR.

I think of all the people who are in hospitals or in doctors' consultations, hearing this same news. Everything in tumult. Everything suddenly wrong. I start playing out in my head what happens next if I go to the doctor Monday and he orders a biopsy.

Damn. I don't want to wait until I find out what's killing me to start living like I mean it.

This morning, Leg Lump had markedly receded. Still there, shifting and softer and less sensitive now. It dawns on me that it is at the site of bad bruising from the Draper crash, and that at the center of that bruise was a hard spot that never felt like a normal bruise. Most likely this is a hematoma, a pocket of blood that got released from where it was supposed to be, perhaps the muscle, and is moving around a bit and, one hopes, dissipating.

I'll still call the doctor but am feeling much less at the edge of the precipice now... even if the truth is we're all on the edge of the precipice, most of us with our backs to it.


Mountain bike.

This week.