For 20 minutes yesterday morning, I had a brain tumor.
It started when my right eye began getting blurry. I thought there was something wrong with my contact lens, so I switched to my glasses.
So I decided to take a look at my eye in the mirror. That’s when I discovered that my right pupil was freakishly large. It was so dilated, in fact, it had all but crowded out the blue that surrounded it.
So I did what I’ll bet every other cancer survivor has done at one point or another — I assumed the worst.
I quickly dialed my eye doctor, and explained the situation to the receptionist. She told me that I could come in at 12:30 when the doctor was expected to arrive. Then she asked me a very important question — a question I’d forgotten to ask myself:
“Are you using any drops?” she asked.
“No, but my son is….”
And then it hit me.
I’d somehow gotten some of the umpteen eye drops I’d been administering to my son, who’d been hit in the eye by a soccer ball 10 days earlier, into my eye. As a result, my right eye, like his left eye, was dilated.
I didn’t have a brain tumor. I’d simply forgotten to wash my hands after wiping eye drops off my son’s face.
I hung up the phone and flushed out my eye, which is all better today. And then I calmed down, quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian accent and all, from Kindergarten Cop: “It’s not a tumor.”
Well, not anymore.
A fellow cancer survivor recently admitted that he suffers from the very same affliction that had caused me to panic yesterday morning. Through his scratchy voice, he said, “Oh, I get cancer twice a year or so now. Today, I have throat cancer.”
Actually, it was just a cold, and definitely “not a tumor.”