Okay, so maybe I should back up. Or not. The fact of the matter is that I DON’T HAVE CANCER! I want to run up and down my street with my arms in the air screaming it. But that requires a great deal of physical exertion so I thought I’d just shout it from my blog.
I DON’T HAVE CANCER!
We sort of thought I did. I mean, we were a little scared about it. Okay, Lance was a little afraid. I was out of my mind. Because I’m the type of person that’s CRAZY ANYWAYS. Also, because there’s been entirely too much cancer in my life. Anyways, three months ago, Lance jabbed me in the neck with his index finger and said, “What’s that thing?!” I hadn’t noticed a swollen lymph node popping out. I felt around and found another at the base of my skull. I figured I was about to get sick, and didn’t think much more about it until a couple of weeks later when I was at my general practice doctor getting my crazy meds hashed out. I mentioned the lymph nodes and he said that they were probably nothing and said to wait a month and come back. So I did. They didn’t change a whole lot, one got bigger, one stayed the same. So he sent me off to an ENT and to get an xray. The ENT sent me to get a CT scan and a biopsy. In the middle of this TWO WHOLE EFFING MONTHS WENT BY.
During this time, Abby had surgery and my brother and sister came out. Jamey, who is medical school felt the nodes and seemed worried. I worried more. My general practice doctor assured me TOO MANY TIMES that it was nothing and doubled my anxiety meds, bless his heart.
I named the first lump Ned, the second lump Rod and anxiously awaited the third lump (That actually showed up just two weeks ago!) to name Todd. I bedazzled Ned once. I also drew a face on it that I had forgotten about until my ENT appointment. I made my whole neck red rubbing it off when I realized it was still there.
Anyways, after my damn file sitting on the damn ENT’s desk for A WEEK because he forgot to sign it, then another ten day wait, I got into see a pathologist on Monday who did a core needle biopsy. The CT had come back only showing the enlarged nodes, so it wasn’t something horrific like neck cancer. If anything, it would have been very early stage lymphoma. The initial ultrasound before the biopsy looked good, too. Just large nodes.
They said their main concern was my family history of lymphoma. (So it’s my sister Shelby’s fault. I’m gonna GET HER for this.) Biopsy day was also April Fool’s Day which was just a little bit hilarious. As soon as the biopsy was over, I immediately sent everyone who knew what was going on differing results. Rickets, rigor mortis, a testicle, syphilis, and gonorrhea were among the diagnoses. My favorite exchange was this one with my cancersister Shelby:
The biopsy itself was actually super easy. They numbed me up, stuck the needle in and then SNAPPED out a few pieces. Then I think they vacuumed out some, too. I wanted them to vacuum out my jawline, but they said no. Something something ‘we’re pathologists not plastic surgeons’ something something.
I want to say that I spent these last couple of months like a rock.. Not worried or anxious. Just positive and upbeat about how everything was going to be fine. But you know better. I was just a shade above a complete mess. Not the whole time, really, just most of it. I couldn’t keep my crap together more than usual and I was pretty useless. So, actually kind of like a rock. Stationary. Immobile. Heavy. Everyone says to not google. They’re right. Don’t do that. I am amazing at (in that I use it) google scholar and I love real scientific articles, but I couldn’t find anything that was making me feel better. Anything that fit my symptoms better than Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. And as I read more about the symptoms, I GOT more of the symptoms.
Turns out, my superpower is psychosomatic symptoms of illnesses I don’t have (which is totally different than being a hypochondriac, you gigantic turd. It is). I kid you not, I would FLUSH. I had horrible chest pains. I was itchy. I was tired. The tired was the doubled dose of my anxiety meds, the itchy was because I had all but given up showering, and the chest pains was anxiety and heartburn from my steady diet of garbage, but FLUSHING? Who can make their body do that on command?! I plan to use this new-found power to make myself believe that my boobs are spontaneously growing and perking up. No need for augmentation when your just huge amounts of insane like me.
Anyways, after five days of waiting, my super secret super spy/oncologist brother in law got the results so I didn’t have to wait for them to go back to my silly ENT. No cancer. They don’t know what’s causing it. The biopsy I got is 97.7% accurate, (thank you google scholar) and that’s enough to be a huge freaking relief. Because the Flander’s family of nodes has been around for so long and not getting any smaller they’re still going to surgically remove Ned to biopsy the whole thing just to be 100% sure. I think they’re just doing it because my sister had cancer. Now she has to come out for my surgery, right? This is ALL her fault.
Anyways. Relief. I can go back to only mostly sucking at remembering to do things. The greatest relief in all of this is that I don’t have to figure out how to tell Casey. I worried so much about how he’d take it.
I’m also pretty glad to just not have cancer, too, I guess. I wouldn’t be good at it. Shelby rocked it. She never complained. She was like this huge beacon of light and faith to all around her. My dad was pretty good at it, too, all things considered. I mean, he died, but he was nice about it. I would have been just miserable to be around. I don’t do sick well. Also, my head is not evenly shaped.
I am sad that I don’t get to “accidentally” discover I have a unicorn horn under all of this hair or announce my cancer diagnosis to Melanie by singing telegram. That would have been pretty cool.