Things have been a bit quiet here on the blog and on my social media accounts the last few weeks, and that’s because I have had a lot going on in my personal life.
Back in February I found a lump on the left side of my neck, in conjunction with a sore throat, and thought that maybe I just had “swollen glands”. But a few weeks later after the sore throat was long gone… that lump remained. I paid a visit to my internist who thought that it was likely nothing, but decided to send me for an ultrasound of the lump “just to be sure”. And the doctor who read the ultrasound results didn’t like what she saw- so she scheduled me for a needle biopsy on my lymph node- a visit that took a few weeks to coordinate due to conflicting spring break vacations (my family’s and the doctor’s). The needle biopsy would reveal that indeed there was some nasty stuff hanging out there in my lymph node- a carcinoma. But that wasn’t where my “problem” was originating. The cancer cells were being drained into my lymph nodes from somewhere else… and we needed to figure out the source.
Next came dozens of appointments- time to form an entire team of doctors to help me figure out what was going on and how we would deal with it. And also lots of scans- a PET scan which detects cancer throughout the body, a head and neck MRI, a spinal MRI, and about a million vials of blood.
And what we learned is that I had a tumor in my throat- hanging out right on top of my left tonsil- and he was the “bad boy” causing me all of these problems. He was the primary tumor that was draining into my lymph nodes. And the weird thing? I hardly even noticed it as there- and I felt completely fine! (Except for my back…. along the way we also learned that I have a totally unrelated herniated disc too!) …