Cancer is Crap: What the Heck is in my Neck???

June 6, 2009 12:33 PM

I never use the word “heck” so please feel free to substitute the most offensive expletive possible.

Because there is something in my neck: a LUMP, actually. I saw my surgeon last week — no lumps anywhere under the arms or in the breasts. All clear. See you in a year. Two days later I find a bump just above my collar bone.

Because I have the world’s best GP, she saw me immediately (Friday) and then called around until she found a radiology clinic that would fit me in for an ultrasound. This morning (Saturday) my husband drove me to the clinic and held my hand until it hurt. I watched the screen anxiously, but as usual with ultrasounds it all just looks like a satellite view of a bad weather system. A storm front. I thought of other ultrasounds. The one last year for the lump in my breast, yes, but the ones before that for the baby growing inside me too. The happy ultrasounds.

My GP called the radiologist to get a verbal report, and then called me right back. We were still in the car. We pulled over. She said that if it weren’t for my history, the radiologist would have said the cluster of lymph nodes looks benign. But…

(The longest three letter word in the english language is “but”)

But because I have had cancer (I insist on using the past tense) and it’s been in my lymph nodes (where it has NO BUSINESS BEING, obviously) this lump will have to be biopsied.

I am holding back the fear and the tears as best I can.

I am trying to avoid the thought “Dear god here we go again.” I’m trying not to think worst case scenario.  

I’m focusing on the part where my wonderful, caring, amazing GP said that the radiologist is very experienced and that without my history, he would have confidently pronounced the lump benign. And the part where she said that viral illnesses can cause this kind of swelling sometimes. Nobody has used the C-word for this lump yet. It is totally possible they never will.

So. Biopsy this week. Think about something else. Enjoy the weather. Buy some great shoes maybe? Take a few deep breaths.

Is 12:30 pm too early for a glass of wine?

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