This is my dog Augie. He is an almost 12 year old terrier/car chaser mix that my wife and I picked up from a farmer near our home town the day we came back from our honeymoon. Like a lot of old dogs he has gotten grey around his face. He has moles pop up and he is a little lumpy in spots from fatty tumors. We don't think much about it as he still gets around really well, is healthy, likes to get out for a walk or explore the yard as much as possible. He has even taken up mole hunting as discovered by the giant holes that have cropped up lately in the side yard. But he is still an old dog and getting some of these signs of old age are just part of things.
I on the other hand am a young 36 years old. I'm fit! I put in 20+ miles on the trail almost every Saturday. I can go 100 miles at a pop over rough terrain and be in good enough health to sign up for another one. I am bullet proof! Turns out, that is not exactly the case.
A few months back I noticed a small lump along the side of my spine on the lower left hand side of my back. At first I did not think much of it. I assumed it was just a swollen gland or maybe some inflamed tissue from wearing my hydration pack. It never went away. It stayed the same size. It did not hurt and I only noticed it when I sat in a chair where there was back support that hit it directly so I continued to ignore it. After trying to tell myself over and over that it is nothing I finally had an "ah-ha" moment. I am not immune to anything. I am a living breathing human who is susceptible to being sick, to getting cancer, to bad things. I am a father and a husband first and foremost. I cannot be stubborn and block headed about my health. It is not an acceptable way to act as a grown ass adult.
I scheduled a Dr.'s appointment and met with an excellent doctor who was fairly certain it was nothing but he did not like where it was at so he sent me to a specialist that I met with a few weeks later. The specialist again thought it was nothing as well. He brought in his partner to look at it as well and they decided they could remove it right there in the office if I wanted. I immediately said "Yes, let's remove it."
After about 20 minutes I had been numbed up, cut open, and the little bit of fatty tissue was removed. The specialist both again said it appeared to be nothing but they sent it off for testing just to be sure. I walked out of the office with a small cut on my back and no more lump. Feeling better but I still had the cloud of "what if?" hanging over me. I anxiously waited for the lab to call and 4 days later they did and everything was fine. It turns out that I am just a little lumpy... just like Augie.