My Lymph Nodes Are Enlarged
*** YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED – This is a long post, in diary format ***
I have been toying around in my mind different ways to make this post and here is what I have decided to do. I have been drafting this post for several weeks now and I feel that this is the best way to capture all this.
I have been having some swollen lymph nodes so I hit up the doctor at the local ‘doc in a box’. The old Joe would never have done that, he would have just ignored it, but this Joe isn’t healthy and he needs to make sure that when something is wrong, he takes care of it ASAP.
The doctor looked me over and was heading down the path of some type of infection, so she put me on some antibiotics, which means I had to stop my Humira injections, ugh, and those damn things really help me. A week later, I had a scheduled appointment with my Rheumatologist and she was concerned, so she ordered an ultrasound scan of my lymph nodes. She also ordered a detailed x-ray of my ribs because my costochondritis is out of control and causing me some major pain.
Next came the wait, waiting for the appointments to be scheduled, and then waiting for the actual appointments, and then waiting for the results of those scans and x-rays.
So why all the concern, it’s just some swelling. Well, they think it might be Lymphoma, so I need to take this seriously.
What is next for me? I have decided that I will attack this head-on like I do with anything else in my life. I will not become a victim, I will not sit in a corner and cry, that is not who I am.
If I lose my hair, so be it, it is just hair. I will continue to be me, I can’t be anyone other than me, I’m not fake in the least amount.
While doing some research for this I ran across this website about all these Social Media influencers who have recently been diagnosed with Cancer.
Tuesday – August 22, 2023
Tomorrow is the day, that may likely change my life forever as at 12:45 PM I have an appointment for my ultrasound. And if that isn’t strange enough, I have it a the Medical Imaging for Women’s Center. The Women’s Center was the first open spot and they didn’t want to mess around with this.
Not sure if it’s because of my anxiety or something else. I was just sitting at my desk at home when suddenly I felt ill, and I mean ill. I staggered to the bathroom and sat on the floor in front of the toilet, all in preparation for what I was expecting next. My wife came and checked on me and I asked for a blanket because now I’m ice cold. It felt like the time I had serotonin syndrome and had to go to the ER. It was a very rough, sleepless night, but I managed not to puke, which was a win for me.
Wednesday – August 23, 2023
I’m sitting at the appointment with my wife by my side, waiting for what seemed like hours for the scan. They called my name and I stood up and walked with the tech to the room, where I sat my belongings down and laid on the table.
She put towels around my neck so my shirt would not get any of the gel on it. She tells me that the gel is warn, but, it was more hot than warm if you ask me. She takes a good 12-15 minutes taking measurements on my right side and about a third of that time on the left. It was certainly a quicker procedure than my last ultrasound, which was of my testicles. The technician made a few comments about my lymph nodes being reactive.
Friday, August 25, 2023
The results came in and they are not very clear.
“Bilateral cervical adenopathy as detailed above. These nodules are generally oblong in orientation, avascular, and free of calcifications. No disruption of the fascial planes. Multiple demonstrate normal fatty hila. These are thought to be reactive but should be followed clinically. Follow-up imaging either via ultrasound or cross-sectional imaging available as directed.”
However, on the right side, they did five measurements, and on the left two measurements. We are not sure what this means. I called my Rheumatologist who ordered the ultrasound scan and left a message for her. Of course, she is on vacation this week, so we wait.
I decided today was the day that I would tell my mom, brother, and sister. I know my mom will freak out and my brother and sister won’t really care. We were not a close family growing up. I will likely get a disingenuous paying text message for you from my sister and I won’t hear from my brother. My mom will send the praying for you and she will freak out, wanting more information that I don’t have to give.
Saturday, August 26, 2023
I nailed it, praying for you from my sister and my mom is freaking out wanting updates, as if I get an update from my doctor every 15 minutes. And nothing from my brother. I don’t blame my mom, but I just don’t have anything else to offer right now.
The right side is still enlarged and tender to touch and a slight feeling of my throat being restricted.
Sunday, August 27, 2023
My mom is still slightly freaking out, wanting answers that I don’t have. However, I totally get where she is coming from. She wants to know why no one is able to give me answers, as the doctor being on vacation isn’t a good enough excuse. I mean, I understand it, but the doctor deserves a vacation, doesn’t she?
Monday, August 28, 2023
Still no official word from my doctor about the ultrasound results. I can honestly state that I’m a little concerned, but not terribly. I am very exhausted today, worn out completely. But that isn’t anything new, I have had that happen for several years now.
It’s strange, I don’t feel anything negative, I’m not upset, I haven’t cried over it, it is just what it is. I look at it like it is just another speed bump in the road of my life. I have been dealt some shitty cards in the past few years but like everything else. I will kick its ass and take its birthday and tell it to piss the fuck off. Hey, if it is Lymphoma, I get to make another Pokemon card, so I have that going for me 🙂
I know it could always be worse and there are many that have it worse than I do, so I do not have the right to complain, period.
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Last night was a little rough, I had a blowout which was caused by two of our cats fighting and the one, chose my desk as her exit, knocking every single thing off my desk, which was, well not a good thing. That set me off and I “threw a temper tantrum” as my wife called it. I know that I don’t have the right to do that either and I’m very sorry that I did, some days are just better than others.
Sunday, September 10, 2023
Yesterday my wife and I spent the day (weekend actually) up north near DC so we could attend an RV show. We had a nice time together, even though the RV show sucked. The RV show was nothing more than Camping World moving half of their stock up to a parking lot and opening the doors. My throat is super sore tonight.
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
I just got the call, Ugh, no avoiding it now. I see an oncologist this Friday. I guess we will have answers coming soon.
Thursday, September 14, 2023
My wife and I are sitting in the waiting room of the oncologist, just waiting for my turn. We didn’t have to wait long as I heard my name echo through the nearly empty waiting room. We walk back, and they take my vitals. Everything is good, even my blood pressure. No one can tell how nervous I truly am right now.
We go into Exam room #1 and the nurse comes in and makes sure that everything is up to date on my chart. I find it humorous as the only “chart” they have for me, is the five sheets of paper that I filled out an hour and a half ago. So not sure what needs to be updated, lol. But I politely play along. She leaves and the PA enters about five minutes later. She asks me a ton of questions about my history and then does a quick physical exam. She leaves and brings back the doctor. It looks like the plan for now is some blood work followed by a biopsy. The results will all be ready in about 4-6 weeks. So we wait…..
Monday, September 18, 2023
I hope to hear from the doctor’s office that will do the biopsy. I’m told it will be performed at the local hospital and will be visually assisted, meaning that they will use an ultrasound to help guide the biopsy needle to its intended target(s).