Friday, November 11, 2011

As It Turns Out, When I Didn't Think I Had Cancer, I Didn't Have Cancer.

As long as I'm on the circus-freaky accidents" kick...

One night several years ago, I was hurrying downstairs in my dorm, and I slipped.  In an attempt to keep from hurtling to my death, I clutched at the iron banister.  I succeeded in not dying, but I scraped my arm badly and landed hard on my back.  A dorm mate at the bottom of the stairs saw the whole thing.  Worried, she asked if I was all right.

I busted out laughing.  It hurt so badly, it was funny.  This reaction did mot make my dorm mate less worried.

Fast forward a couple of days.  I had some lovely bruises:  Horizontal marks from the stair treads laddered up my back, and the entire underside of my arm looked like something from a zombie movie.  Worse, there were lumps.  Not from the swelling (though there was plenty of that, too), but something that felt like small marbles nestled under the bruises.

This is how my arm felt.  It looked a little worse, actually.

Now, I'm injury-prone, but muscle-marbles seemed a bit unusual.  I made an appointment with the campus doctor.  The fact that he'd never met me before is the only way I can excuse the conversation that followed.

"Don't worry; it's not cancer."

Oh, thank god!  Because, you know, I've heard cancer of the bruise is particularly aggressive, and that it can easily spread to hangnails and eye boogers.

I gently explained that I wasn't concerned about cancer, I was concerned about having marbles embedded in my muscles.

"Well, in severe deep-tissue bruising, calcium deposits can form.  Usually, they just pass through your urinary tract."

I looked at him, and I believe he finally understood that I wasn't an idiot.

"I do not want to pee out marbles."

"Fingers crossed," he said.

Fingers crossed?!

I crossed my fingers hard.  It was one of the more successful "non-traditional" treatments I've tried.  Let's just say I wasn't left with anything to put in a Christmas ornament.

(True:  The bruise on my arm looked almost exactly like the whale fail error from Twitter, except most definitely not smiling.  And without the birds.)


  1. I was doing some work on our house and fell off of a ladder and down through a set of stringers for some unfinished steps, banging my legs up pretty badly in the process. I had one of those calcium deposits on my shin the size of a fifty-cent piece. It took over a year for it to finally dissolve (or whatever it is that those things do) and go away. I thought I was going to have a freak leg forever! :P

  2. So there you were, going around campus with a zombie arm, peeing out marbles, and looking forward to the day when your life would become normal, i.e., you'd keep a blog about your tripod dog. Hey, that rhymes!

    Funny story, Biped! Please keep 'em coming.

  3. @ Seabeegirl: It's scary, isn't it? And, geez, fifty-cent pieces? ...And, that's why I make my friends do all the heavy lifting. Beer and pizza are powerful motivators.

    @ Brian: Normal? Please. All I hope for is that I don't scare small childrem in the grocery store.

  4. On a not-funny note (sorry), I once worked in the kitchen of an Italian restaurant and repeatedly (ya, I'm a klutz) ran my lower belly into the corner of the steel countertop.
    Some months later, I found a small "marble" (like the size of those edible silver balls you put on baked goods) in the skin on my belly. Not having any clue what it was, I went to the doctor.
    I wasn't sure whether to be happy it wasn't cancer or mortified that I had gone to the doctor for what amounted to a long-term bruise.

  5. Hey, no judging here--it's weird! And doctors really ought to tell you what's going on when things are weird. (Also, edible ball bearings. Awesome.)