Me

I don’t have cancer.

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!

My lumps, my lumps, my lovely lady lumps.
My lumps, my lumps, my lovely lady lumps.

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.

Not cancer.
Rod and Todd actually aren’t visible in this one, I just wanted to point out where they were.

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:

Not cancer, spiders

 

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.

They let me keep my jacket on because I told them I had horrible sweat stains.
They let me keep my jacket on because I told them I had horrible sweat stains.

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.

It's ALWAYS cancer. Except when it's not.
I stole this from someone who stole it from http://www.nataliedee.com.

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.

21 thoughts on “I don’t have cancer.

  1. In reality, I think you handle things pretty dang well! What a relief indeed….we just went through the exact same thing w/my daughter, who blew it off, as no big deal… while inside she was thinking….will writing time, being a single mom! So happy that the results are negative on both sides…and btw, the world, NEEDS all the Lexi’s we can find….so stay well! Happy Dance!

  2. So, so, so relieved! But I am glad to know I have a blogosphere anxiety buddy, who also takes things like a rock and maybe someday we can share anxiety meds. I’m jealous that your doc will give you a double dose! Just happy for you and that’s not my meds speaking.

  3. So glad you led with “I don’t have cancer” … and I’m so glad you don’t! Love all of your posts & especially posts with good news! That anxiety cartoon is fab. Might steal that mother, too 🙂

  4. I was hoping those were names of loser ex-boyfriends. The ones you tried to dump, but just kept showing up at your doorstep. I loved reading your piece and I am so happy you are well Lexi!

  5. I’m so glad you don’t have cancer! I just met you for crying out loud. That would be a shitty thing to do to a soon to be best friend. If you’re going to steal my sobbing spotlight at LTYM you have to be healthy. 😛

  6. Oh joyous post that bringeth forth the biggest of smilies! Although after seeing the pics I suspect that this entire story may just be an elaborate cover-up for that awesome hickey. Way to go, Lance!

  7. I read your blog, although I have no children and the closest I’ve ever come to DS or autism is working at a day camp for kids with learning disabilities and behavioural problems back when I was a student. I’m also no American and very very far from religious. We is very different, but I read your blog because its funny as f*ck and truthful and raw and it makes me smile/laugh/cry.

    I’m extremely happy to hear you do not have cancer.

  8. I’m SO relived and happy for you that you don’t have cancer. OK, wait. You actually named them Ned, Rod, and almost Todd? You CRACK me up. Even in a post about something serious, you make me cackle out loud. XO

  9. I am so glad you are ok. I can’t believe you were going through all of this on top of everything else and you still had time to think of so many other people. I want to be you.

  10. The pathology report concluded I had a rare fibrosarcoma. Since the biopsy removed the bulk of the tumor, my doctor indicated that outside of having a CT Scan to insure the tumor had been removed, a follow-up procedure would be necessary to excise any remaining tumor cells that may have been present. Given what he said, I somehow felt that even the ensuing surgery would be minor. My assessment of the situation was that I had little to worry about. The follow-up procedure did prove to be minor. With only a few sutures along the wing of my nose, and a few more inside my pallet, I returned to classes looking like I had been in a fight with someone, not something.

  11. Yes, I agree that it would make no sense to do a biopsy on an individual who would not under any circumstances agree to have any subsequently discovered cancer treated. One may as well wait until the autopsy to document the disease.

  12. There are pros and cons to both types of needle biopsies. FNA can usually confirm a cancer, but sometimes it doesn’t provide enough information to be sure about the type of cancer. Some doctors prefer a core needle biopsy over an FNA, as it provides a larger sample and therefore, more information about the tumor. But the risk of complications is lower with FNA, especially when tumors are near large blood vessels.

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