I can’t ignore it any more. There’s a marble-sized lump at the base of my third finger right against the palm and it’s bigger than it was last week. Doesn’t hurt, feels hard, almost like a bone spur, but it’s growing much too fast. I have visions of my lovely hand vivisected by some surgeon; maybe it will forget how to work with me for the paintings we make together.
So I go in to the doctor. Yes, he says, it’s a cyst, no need to worry. We could extract the fluid inside with a needle but it’s likely to refill. Probably will come and go over time on its own schedule and unless it impairs hand use, not to worry.
“Used to be called a Bible cyst, because people would slam them with whatever big book came to hand,” here he smiled, “and ‘pop’.”
No thank you, I say to the needle offer, and to the Bible, though he didn’t explicitly offer that treatment. I felt relieved to discover the cause but a bit peeved that my body should be up to yet another of these negative tricks once it passed the half-century mark.
I trusted you, I say to my bones and body. You are my one and only, so have you never heard of team effort? I need you on board to make this arrangement work. Yes, I retain old-fashioned conceits about the separation of body and mind.
Six days later, there I am having a grand snorting laughter-filled time in the audience of ‘Avenue Q’, husband and daughter laughing as hard as I, clapping with delight. ‘Avenue Q’ with its puppets romping in bed and the duet “The Internet is for Porn…” Not a musical for children, in spite of the puppets and the messages of equality and kindness.
I finish clapping, we rise to go, and something alerts me. Something’s different. I look down at my hand, touch the base of the middle finger. There’s no hard lumpy swelling. It’s gone, kaput. I press, no pain. Nothing but solid well-knit bone sinew and flesh under un-rumpled skin.
So here’s my advice. Have a cyst like mine? Go see Avenue Q, and don’t forget to clap.