Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I have a lump

So, I need some therapeutic blogging. I'm worried about something, and I need to get it out.

I have a lump. I have a lump in my neck. According to the doctor it's actually two lymph nodes, and he's taking them out on Monday. Maybe I should start from the beginning.

Last August I had a sinus infection. As I usually do, I checked to see if my lymph nodes were enlarged. The one on the left side of my neck was. I had already started antibiotics, so I didn't think anything about it.

In September I noticed the node was enlarged again. But I had some ulcers in my mouth (courtsey of some head butts from Tommy), so I just figured it was from that.

In October, when I didn't have any infections or sores, I realized that the node was still large. I started to wonder if it had been enlarged since August. So I called to make an appointment with my doctor. Due to some scheduling conflicts, I couldn't get in until just before Christmas. I figured that if the node was just from my infection(s) it would have gone away by then and I could cancel the appointment.

So in December the node was still there. I saw my doctor, and she said she thought it was a lipoma, which is a benign fatty mass. She showed me one she had up near her ear, and it felt similar. She said I should see an ENT just to be sure, and her office would set me up an appointment. I told the nurse to make it on a Thursday (my off day) and to call me. I didn't figure I'd hear from them till after the holidays.

So, I still hadn't heard the second week of Janurary. So I called. Turns out, I had missed the appointment on Dec 27th (a Tuesday), and they had my cell phone number wrong and tried calling my work after hours. So, I called the ENT directly and scheduled an appointment for Thursday of that week. After feeling my lump, feeling the rest of my neck, and sticking a scope down my nose to look at the inside of my throat, my doctor said I needed a CT. He said that was not a normal location for a lipoma. He said it could be a cyst, a lymph node, or another type of a tumor. I had the CT that afternoon, but I couldn't come back and see him until Tuesday morning for him to go over the results. I did try to look at the films myself, but since the lump wasn't very big, and I'm not used to looking at either human films or CT scans, I couldn't figure out what I was looking at.

So, back to yesterday. The doctor said it is actually two lymph nodes on top of each other. So we're taking them out so he can send them to the pathologists to see if they are just reactive and benign, or if I have lymphoma. If I do have lymphoma, he said it's very treatable.

So, I'm a little scared. I'd be a lot scared, but I'm not letting myself get that far. Right now, I'm mostly scared about the surgery. No, actually, to be honest, I'm scared of the anesthesia. I'm a control freak, and I'm going into uncharted territory. I've never had anesthesia before, and the unknown of it scares me. What will it feel like, how will I react, what will happen when I wake up. I'm also freaking out about the scheduling. I won't find out till Friday when I need to be there, so I can't make plans yet. Tommy's daycare doesn't open till 6:30, so what if I need to be there before then? Can Sam drop me off, then drop Tommy off, then make it back before my surgery? How will I feel that night? Will I still be able to take care of Tommy? Will I be ok to go to work on Tuesday like the doctor said I will?

So, I need to slap myself. I realize that worrying about this stuff won't fix it. Sam will take care of me and Tommy, both that morning, that evening, and even the next day if needed. The anesthesia will probably be over and done with, and I'll be asleep, before I even remember to be nervous about it. The surgery itself doesn't bother me - he explained the procedure and it's one I've done in dogs and cats. I'll have some stitches, but those don't bother me either. As for the pathology, I'm leaving that one with God. He will guide the surgeon's hand, he will guide the anestheologist, and he will help us deal with whatever the outcome of the pathology is.

So, I do feel better now. Getting it all out in black and white always makes me feel better. Even if no one reads this blog, I feel better just writing it. If you do read it, please pray for us. Pray that I'll be able to have peace about the situation. Pray that Sam will have peace and won't worry too much either. Pray that I don't have cancer. Pray that if I do have cancer we caught it early and we can treat it.

Whew, it feels good to get that out. It feels good to ask for prayer. Thanks for listening :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Things I don't do

Last month two of my friends Maggie and Rachel did posts about things they do and don't do. I thought both posts were fun, so here is my list. I'll start with things I don't do, and then I'll tell you what I do (do do?).

1. Clean - this includes dusting, vacuuming, cleaning up clutter, changing sheets regularly, etc. I know how, I just don't like to. I do a good cleaning a few times a year if we're having company over. For 2 years my grandmother paid for a maid to come in and give it a real cleaning as part of my Christmas present. I hate to admit it, but there may be corners of my house that haven't been cleaned since December 2010.

2. Wear makeup every day. Partly because I don't have much time, but mostly because I just don't really care about it. I was a tomboy growing up, and I never got into doing my makeup. Or hair, for that matter.

3. Return emails. Or texts. Or real letters. I'm horrible about it. If I do it right away I'm good, but if I'm busy or I think I need to think about how I'm going to respond, I'll forget. So, if I don't respond to you, don't take it personally. Just send the message again (and again, and again) until you get what you need.

4. Cook big meals. I love big meals. I even like to cook them. Unfortunately, they require planning. They require making a list for the store, going to the store, remembering to buy everything at the store, finding time to cook, actually cooking, eating, and then cleaning up. I have time to do some of these things, but usually not all of them in the same week. I did, however, cook Thanksgiving this year, with a little help from my mother-in-law, at my house (which I partially cleaned) and it was a success!

5. Swear (or cuss, or curse, or whatever you call it). At least not often. I admit, occasionally I'll get really upset about something and something will slip out. But I don't use it in normal conversation. I don't like it, and I think it makes people sound uneducated when you can't talk to someone without using bad language.

6. Worry. I learned a long time ago that worrying doesn't actually do anything. If I catch myself worrying about something, I'll stop and evaluate the situation. If I can't actually find a way to make the situation better and be proactive about it, I'll put it out of my mind and leave it alone. I know that not everyone has the ability to do that, but it works for me.

7. Eat healthy. I love junk food - chocolate, pizza, burgers, chocolate, candy, steak, fried chicken, chocolate, ice cream, fries, chocolate. You get the idea. I have high cholesterol, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference what I eat. The only thing that helps is medicine. So I eat what I want.

8. Gain weight. Yeah, go ahead and hate me. I would. I can't help it, but no matter what I eat the scale doesn't go up. Unless I'm pregnant (which I'm not).

9. Go to bed early. I'm a night owl. I've learned to function in the morning, but I don't like it. I like the quiet night hours when Tommy is asleep and I can read, watch TV, surf the computer, or cuddle with Sam without interruption.

10. Exercise. I'm on my feet all day and I have a 2 1/2 year old. Enough said. Also, see #8.

11. Worry about germs with Tommy. The kids a walking mess some days. He eats stuff off the ground before I can stop him. He licks windows. He touches everything. I carry wipes, but not antibacterial liquid. The kid's in daycare - he's bound to have a tough immune system.

12. Stay warm. I'm always cold. That's the main reason I moved from a northern state to a southern one. I wear layers, thick coats, scarves, and gloves. And I'm usually still cold. And can someone explain to me why restaurants and movie theaters are always so cold, even in the summer? Why do I need to bring a blanket and long pants when it's shorts and tank tops hot outside?!?

That's all I can think of right now. If I think of more, I'll come back and add them. What's on your list?