Saturday, June 4, 2011

Close Friends...please read (and anyone else, too)

We have a lot going on...a lot. And I made a dangerous decision today to share a little of what's happening with us. I do this, mainly, because I have so many close friends and family who KNOW the details, and I keep forgetting who I've told, who I trust, who won't flip out and call me (I hate the phone, so, please don't call)and well, who I need to tell so they can pray for us. Really, I forgot who I've told, so I'm just telling everyone. It's not like me to keep secrets about myself (which is the reason I am a bore to play truth or dare with. Everyone already knows everything).

In February, I found a lump on my neck. Just a random thing...I am constantly checking everything since Laurie had cancer. I went to my doc in Astoria and asked her to feel my neck. She felt it right away, saw that it was in my lymph node chain and referred me directly to an oncologist in Astoria. I instead, changed that referral to my favorite oncologist, (who treated Laurie), Dr. Steinberg, in Vancouver. I adore him.

Laurie went with me, which was fun for Dr. Steinberg, since Laurie is a hypochondriac and he and I like to tease her. He felt my neck and didn't find it. When I showed him, he recommended a CT to put my mind at ease. So, a week or so later, we did the CT and he called me. My mind immediately went to Laurie's voice, "When Dr. Steinberg calls you, it's never good."

He told me that the CT scan showed numerous lumps all around my neck and clavicle. I needed a surgical biopsy.

The following week, I met with an Ear, Nose & Throat surgeon and he showed me the CT, gave me a thorough neck and clavicle inspection (like a nice massage, really) and scheduled the surgical biopsy for June 7th.

Just so YOU, the reader, know, I am not afraid of surgery. And, if this is Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which is what Laurie had, it's a blessing. A blessing it's not something more. Even in stage 4, HL is 85% curable. I am not afraid of that diagnosis. I have a huge support system. An amazing husband. Friends and family who would take a bullet for me.

I also, wonder if this is a gift from God...this "experiencing" the turmoil of waiting for a diagnosis / or being diagnosed with cancer. My passion is death and dying...working with the terminally ill. Maybe to understand it better, I have the gift of experiencing it. Some of you might be shaking your heads, but everything that touches my life has been approved by God. I firmly believe that. Maybe you don't. But I'm not afraid right now - I'm encouraged.

Now, I could get a call that it IS cancer...I will be a wreck. There will be tears. I'll eat a bunch (like I have the past few weeks) and sleep a lot. I'll detach. These things are my typical M.O. and I just expect it. But I trust God. He knows what He's doing.

This entire cancer scare thing prompted the moving back to the Portland Metro area. I don't have the support system here like I did back there. And, Chris realized that the drive is getting a little obnoxious. It has been 2 years. We love the house, the view, the people we've grown to love, the schools, the walks...everything...but being so far from Chris' work, our family and friends.

Now, this lymph node biopsy could be benign. Dr. Steinberg said that a woman came in with almost the same thing a few months ago and it was nothing. Also, my grandma on my mom's side has gotten hard lumps in her neck from eating foods that contain Potassium Sorbate (a preservative), so that could be the culprit. We don't know anything, but have to play it safe.

Chris and I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary on the 12th and I turn 37 on the 18th. We're trying to move, waiting on plans for a retaining wall on our (hopefully) new home and we have this cancer thing. So...a lot going on this month! AND, our plan to go to Disneyland alone for our anniversary has been postponed. How can we go to DL when all of this is up in the air?