The short of it is that I do not have throat cancer. The lump in my neck is a psychosomatic disorder brought on by too much anxiety. The cure for it is, no shit, knowing about it. You know it isn't cancer, you calm down and in a few months, it goes away.
The long of it is that while knowing that and starting to work on the anxiety has helped with the lump, I still have a very large problem:
I still feel imminently terminal.
Even now, I've been stuck at this sentence for twenty minutes. What do you want me to say? Feeling like you're going to die soon, even if irrationally motivated, affects you on such a fundamental level, I find it difficult knowing where to begin. I have a hard time convincing myself that new information is worth holding onto, so I suffer at work. I get anxious playing video games because they feel like too much a waste of time. Making long term goals feel like a joke, so any semblance of my ambition has vanished. My ability to get restful sleep is utterly destroyed and I have to supplement it with drugs to make sure I even get 5 hours sustained.
My memory loss is worse as well. Not as bad as the accident, where my short term memory was disabled for weeks, but the number of times that I have 'woken up' somewhere has risen back into life impairing levels. I feel like can't hold on to information from even a week ago and that the room's worth of temporal space that I occupy grows smaller by the hour.
And yet, I'm aware that even this is all in my head. The chances of my having anything legitimately terminal are, as put my doctor 'laughably rare' but I'm constantly driving myself crazy looking into the various endgames of the symptoms that I experience. New ones seem to appear at random, with no sign as to whether or not they too are triggered by anxiety. The right side of my throat has been burning in a new and terrifying way for the past week. The area under my ribcage seems to feel more swollen by the day. How much of this am I generating? How much is legitimately dangerous?
It occurred to me as I was slipping my shirt back on after the barium xray I had on my throat that, now that they've done the exam and found nothing, which was likely, I've now placed myself in greater danger having questioned it. The reason X-rays are able to work at all is because their wavelength passes through cells, sometimes damaging them in ways that do, in fact, increase your risk for cancer. The statistics of that increase are still argued and even then, physicians insist that it's less than .01%, but it's certainly more than not getting the test.
I spent a lot of time staring into the mirror in that bathroom, feeling stupid. I still do.