This post is about ME, all about ME. I cannot talk to family yet, and have no desire to dump this on my kiddoes when it was commented on Sunday that we are really drama free right now! And it feels so good!


I have had this lump on the side of my neck for, gosh, weeks, since I first noticed it. Kind thought it was weird, but assumed a pulled and swollen muscle as I do a lot of heavy lifting in my gardening---

Lump doesn't go away, and now I am feeling that it's really tender and sore. A big hug from a g-daughter on Saturday had me reeling in pain. Sunday it was very noticeable--and more painful.

Just got back from my PCP who SAW it and said "Holy Cow, nobody but you has noticed this? It's huge!" He palpated my neck, both sides, and said there isn't ONE, there's at least 3 lumps. The big one is the size of a lime, the other one, the size of a ping pong ball and the little on the size of a BIG marble. He had me feel them and then I could feel that there are 3 of them.

This doc is calm beyond belief, but he had me scheduled for a CT scan for Thurs am or sooner if my ins oks it. Blood tests for infection and he did put me on an antibiotic and said he'd be calling me daily.

Ok--like I said, this guy is SUPER calm. He wasn't today. He actually looked really concerned and that scared me. I said "What's your first take on this?" He paused and said, "You're not stupid and you have kids who are doctors and if I don't give it to you straight you'll be calling them. It looks like cancer. I hope I'm wrong. Let's wait for the CT scan and move from there. It's NOT nothing, so we need to be aggressive. These lymph nodes are ginormous."

So---wow. I realize he wouldn't tell a 'regular' patient this right off the bat, and of course I hope he's wrong--but there are some other symptoms, which I won't go into which is why he said he thought first off, the big C.

I don't wanna have cancer.

I'm not saying anything to anyone b/c if he's wrong, I'll upset the fam for nothing. But I feel like I could come here and spill my guts and ask for prayers and I'll feel them.

So--if you are a praying person, please offer one up for me that I can be strong for whatever this is. If you're a 'good thoughts out in the world' send some for me.

I'll be honest. I'm slightly terrified.

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My amazing son-in-law just emailed me with the actual interpretation of the biopsy. It's not that bad.... I could smack the nurse who called me and inferred that I had an untreatable form of lymphoma, but couldn't say anything because of HIPAA.
Sent the entire biopsy report to dr.joe oh, and he interpreted it and send it back to me in a way that I can understand. Of course we're in the early days, but he said the outcome looks good, and not to Google every words I don't understand. I have been pretty calm, for the most part, now I am anxious to get treatment underway. It's still cancer, and it still serious, but it's amazingly treatable. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted. Of course I will feel better after the node biopsy, but having things said to me in a way I understand... Wow, everybody needs a doctor Joe at hand.
Helpful Answer (20)
lealonnie1 Jun 2019
AWESOME! I'm so glad you have Doctor Joe to properly advise you!!! What a blessing.
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I am so humbled to think that I've had over 60 replies to my query--truly, I was feeling pretty scared on Wed. This week has been endless!

So, I checked out the oncologist MY doc got me in to see and he is the chief of surgery, and specializes in head & neck cancers. I'm also related to him--gotta figure that out--it would be a very distant relationship, but if you had pioneer ancestors here you quickly find you're related to almost every family that's been here since the mid-1800's. SIL can check him out more thoroughly than I can, so I asked him to look him up.

Only problem, and it's NOT a problem--guy has the face of a 12 year old. Even considering that I am 62--and all my docs are younger than I am--this guy looks YOUNG! My SIL is bald and has been since he was 22. He looks anywhere from 30-50. My Dh looked him up and said "all our drs look like Doogie Houser!"

DH will go with me to the biopsy on Wed. We should have a preliminary result that very day, they have to know that they got the cancerous tissue. I am sure than many full body scans, etc will be to follow. DH was INSISTENT he come, which for him, is huge.

Day by day, step by step.

I am beyond words grateful for the love I feel. Thank you and I will keep you posted. Just going to have a quiet weekend and talk to the kids on Sunday.

HUGS to all of you wonderful, loving souls!!!
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anonymous828521 May 2019
We're pulling for you friend, thanks for updating us... More prayers on the way! Luv from us all, 🌈
Sweet friends---

I seriously have been getting up in the am and hitting the AC board first. I truly think y'all will be my best source of venting, crying, laughing, etc. I feel closer to a lot of you than I do to my family. That's good b/c I know I will be angry and sad and, well, all the feels and I will need a safe place to come and vent.

I feel those prayers, I really do. And the advice and the comfort.

I know there is a reason why I have to go through this, and I hope to do so with humor, dignity and w/o fear.

Going to spend the week cleaning & organizing, buying a wig and some scarves and getting all the 'stuff' ready. Also a long list of movies I can curl up with on my laptop. I am not a TV watcher---but last night, I was looking up some old actress and ended up watching Bob Fosse's 'All That Jazz'. 2 hours gone in a breath's moment.

I got out of the habit of even having the TV on and it's not just that the shows are insipid--it's the commercials! So I will watch movies and do some baby blankets and well--we don't know what.

I may start a new thread for the chemo weeks. When my DH pointed out to me that I was sick as a dog and bedridden for 16 weeks with one of my pregnancies, it put things in perspective.

I'm not ready to start today---but I will be as ready in 9 days as I can be.

Hugs to everyone today.
Helpful Answer (16)

I can't find my way back here to the original question--what's the secret? If it's simply to remember--forget about that, I've enough tranqs in the past few weeks to stall a horse--

This week--met my personal oncologist (VERY warm, sweet guy. Talked to me for over an hour, explained EVERYTHING.) Had a bone marrow biopsy. OMG. Well--that's over, but WOW, did it hurt. Bunch of blood tests.

Back the next day for the PET scan, which revealed that the cancer is in ONE area of my body--my neck!! I was so worried I'd light up the scan like a Christmas tree!! This is really good news. Less nodes involved= hopefully less TX.

Tomorrow I will have the largest node removed for pathology and then it's a wait and see game while they decide what TX to use. I'll have a rough week, recovering from surgery, and DH is struggling mightily with his 'feelings'--but all that aside---I'm grateful that the cancer hasn't spread all over and that I have such a great place to go for Treatment.

I have felt the prayers--truly. "Thanks" doesn't quite cover how grateful I am.

More later.
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Grandma1954 Jun 2019
(((hugs))) Glad things are looking a bit brighter. Continue to take care of you!
Had an open neck biopsy yesterday and dr removed the biggest node. He said it had clean borders, no apparent 'finger like' growths, that cancers can get. Said it could not have gone better. Very good news.


Much relief.

DH stayed home all day to 'take care of me' and of my DIL called to check on me, and she said "so, he's sleeping the day off, right?" But of course! He just---can't. The only thing I asked him for all day long was that he PLEASE put the trash cans out, I am limited to lifting. He didn't. He got out bed long enough to eat dinner and then watched TV and dozed all day long. Looks like today will more of the same.

He did ask what he could do and I had a little list---he didn't do a single thing.

Had a really good convo with my eldest daughter last week--kind of bore my soul to her about my total frustration at getting him to do ANYTHING around here--and she said "Mom, I think dad has a form of Aspbergers, minimally he is on the spectrum." (she and her dad get along, but I will say it 100% her doing). I guess this has been a part of her therapy for some years. I had never thought of it.

She said that his incapability to see things the way 'normal' people do is skewed. It's like he's missing a chunk of his thought processes. It's not that he doesn't's like he CAN'T. Anymore than I could lift a car.

For example---he doesn't 'do' holidays or birthdays. If he remembers a gift, ok, fine, but his mom, for example wouldn't have received a mother's day, birthday, or Christmas gift in the last 43 years if I hadn't done it for him.

It's like he's missing a 'chip'..the compassion one. When we took care of his dying dad, he's just sit on the couch and make up conversation. If dad had a "blowout' it was all MY responsibility---it's so much easier to place blame anywhere but to take it on yourself. He sees black and white.

I'll find out next week what my chemo tx will be like. (If I indeed even NEED it). He was saying "but I have so much travel--you think you can move things around a little?" I just said "I do NOT need you. I will be fine. I have the girls and I have a kid to work the yard. If I do not have to feed him, I can do grocery pickup. He's a messy guy and I am always better off, sick, when he isn't around.

He was very upset and anxious as we traveled to the Hospital, and I kind of had to laugh at the thought that I was the one who had the surgery and HE was the one who came home and went to bed--been almost 24 hrs so far and I don't think he's getting up today. A friend brought dinner and I did dishes and cleaned up a little. I am hiring my older g-daughters to come clean on Sat and the younger boys to pull weeds.

Father's Day--DH s getting 2 enormous glorious, fabulously soft feather pillows. Might as well get him what he'll most enjoy, right?

Ah well---one day at a time. Echocardiogram on Monday, more blood tests, talk with oncologist, Thursday is the "treatment" roll out. I'm ready to do this.
Helpful Answer (14)

Talked with Dr Joe yesterday when I skyped with the family. (No kids present but the 1 yo and he certainly doesn't get it!)

It SO HELPED to see Joe and ask him specific questions and get the answers. He did his PhD in "fake blood"--best way I can explain it--so he is VERY familiar with all the terms and such.

He's off this whole week and I wish HE were going to my appts with me, but of course, not possible.

Got a couple of cards from my sisters, and a visit from my HS BFF.

Little miffed my mother can't pick up the da8n phone and call, but I know she's just not going to do that. Oh well. She's barely a part of my life anyway.

Dh continues to "hibernate" as in, he sleeps if he's not awake watching movie after movie. He won't talk about this. My SIL was here and was asking questions about me, and DH could barely talk about it. kept saying that b/c we don't have the 'platinum answer' (the actual node)...he wasn't going to believe anything. He's not getting it, how much I need him right now.

His favorite way to decompress is to put the sunroof open and take 200-300 miles aimless drives. That, to me, is absolutely awful. He keeps asking me to go for drives and I just don't want to. So he says "I'm TYRYING to be supportive, you just won't LET me". I just have to wait until he decides to get on board and accept this.

Ah well--

Bad night last night. Fell asleep, but was up at 1 am, roaming the house, doing small silly things until I could go back to sleep at about 5. I think there will be a lot of those kinds of nights.

Again--I DO feel the positive energy and love flowing around me. I think that is the only reason I feel calm.

Busy week--and hopefully some more answers. I am trying to get a trip to VA to see my daughter before TX begins. Hopeful, but unlikely.

Thank you for your unconditional love--all of you!
Helpful Answer (12)

I am feeling braver and calmer--knowing more as it were.

It's the NOT KNOWING that makes me nuts.

Dh did finally get up yesterday about 1 and went in to work for a while. I feel so sorry for him , really, just not being able to deal with all this.

I slept late and came up and he had gotten all ready for work and had gone back to bed. I said "Oh, no sir, no, no, no. Get up and GO!". Once he gets a Diet Coke in him and gets to work, he'll be fine. He asked if he shouldn't maybe stay home with me and I let him know that he is kind to offer, but as he doesn't DO anything to help, he should just go to work and keep piling up the OT.

He did haul the laundry hamper downstairs for me. And left his dry cleaning out for me to run in for him. SMH. I am not supposed to bend over with any weight in my arms until next Monday, but I think I will do laundry. It's not bad and he doesn't know how to run the W/D.

Last night as I was making dinner, my mother called. SO WEIRD. I answered and she starts in "I have been just worried out of my MIND about you! Do you know I have called every hospital in the valley?' No, I didn't know and didn't care.

I asked her why she didn't just ask any one of the 4 adult children who still live at home with brother and his wife and her (I SAW his wife at her work on Sat) how I am? I also said, "Why didn't you call one of the sibs, or one of my kids. Why in heaven's name would you just start calling HOSPITALS????????????"

This is just mother being her narcissistic self--'hey, everybody, look at me! Poor me, my little daughter is just riddled with cancer and I can't even find her!".

Her little drama actually made me laugh pretty hard. I told her I was FINE and that she has my phone number and simply to call it if she has questions. Same number for over 40 years. This makes, maybe the 8th time she's called me in 43 years. Same cell phone number for the last 15.

She actually seemed let down that I am no sicker. Sorry, mom.

My DH and I play a sick game called "who's mom is crazier?" Usually it's his, but I think this little completely ridiculous call wins mom the crazy statue for a while. DH's mother has not reached out in any way, and will not. Just as well.

Being able to see some humor (gallows humor, I guess) in all this has helped. I am swollen like a puffer fish as the surgery did leave me looking beaten up---but hey, each day is a new day and I should not require being stuck anywhere for a few days.

Thank you all for the prayers!! I know they are being heard and answered and I am beyond grateful for them. Y'all are wonderful!!!!
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((((((Hugs))))))))). And more hugs and prayers. You've got an army out here pulling for you, dear lady.
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Yes, the biopsy was this am. Also the check in and 'beginnings' of becoming a cancer patient.

My Dr. seems great, on top of things. He actually showed us the entire CT scan and showed where there were clusters multiple enlarged nodes. This made it very, very real. He scheduled me for a PET scan next Friday---and the person who called to tell me the time and place asked me how I got to the "top of the list?" What???? Well, I guess Dr C made it happen b/c he wants answers.

The needle biopsy was very uncomfortable, as they push hard on the nodes until they can find one that can be pierced 'easily'. They do not numb up the areas, b/c numbing adds fluid and they found the biopsy is handled fine w/o MORE needles. It was kind icky, though. Pathologist said she should have results tomorrow or Fri. May also have an 'open neck' biopsy where they knock you out and remove one or two whole actual nodes.

DH talked the ENTIRE FREAKING TIME. He was super anxious and so he just could not shut up. I think if he asked the doctor one more time that in HIS opinion this was all the result of an infection, I would have slapped him. In the car on the way home he said "I'm positive this is just an infection, seems like a lot of unnecessary tests". All I said was, "Yeah, it would be nice if that's the case."

Ah well-----I need to talk to the Social Worker about how to handle DH. He was just 2nd and 3rd guessing everything, and I was dead silent (as I was kind of terrified).
Helpful Answer (11)
Rosses003 May 2019
Dear MidKid, I hope you know strong prayers are going your way! And I hope part of the blessings you will receive will be in the form of peace and calmness, aside from health.

Also sending positive and bright energy your way and your family’s way...although now I think I will have to add some extra prayers so your DH gets to master the great ‘art of silence’! (Joke!..laugh is a great medicine)

I understand why he is acting like he is though, He wants to believe what he is saying and calm himself and you not such an effective way.

Either way, let’s look at the positive aspects. It is absolutely good news that you are already ‘in action’! starting the journey towards health is wonderful news. I am so very sorry that the biopsy was so uncomfortable. I had a thyroid biopsy recently and while I waited I was talking to a lady that had a biopsy of a neck’s node and she mentioned it was painful, but again MidKid, you are taking control of the situation and that changes everything!! Look at it as the first step (hard one, I know) towards your healing.

When we are facing a situation that we just need to face, we owe it to ourselves to feel a little bit more at peace because instead of only worrying we are doing and moving! Of course it is not easy, it is very scary and extremely hard, Yet try to remind yourself about the greatest truth ever! that our Father is there, watching you, holding you, pushing you, supporting you, guiding you and the doctors, calming you (He is likely still working on calming your husband!), and He will be taking care of your every step of the way all throughout this process.

I pray that becomes a great pillar of comfort during everything uncomfortable, and your light and HOPE through any darkness!

Refuel yourself, rest and recover my friend. Tomorrow will be another day, and you will always be covered by the grace of God’s love and compassion!

An encouraging hug to you!!!
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sending positive thoughts.
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