Kevin McLaren | CaringBridge

Kevin McLaren

First post: 2/11/2016 Latest post: 11/28/2016
Welcome to our site. The journey started in late August when I felt a lump in my neck. So I went to the doctor and was given an RX for antibiotics. Thought was swollen lymph node due to a summer cold. After 6+ weeks, no cold and lump is still present. So off to the dermatologist, it could be a cebasious cyst. Nope, not a cebasious cyst, so off to get a sonogram. Painless process, results are inconclusive, but does not appear to be cancer. So, off to the ENT (it is now early December). ENT recommends an MRI then needle biopsy. MRI results show no necrosis (dead tissue sign of cancer) and biopsy comes back negative, all great news. But what ever it is, it needs to be removed. So ENT refers me to best head/neck ENT surgeon in the area. I get an appointment in 5 weeks, way too long for my patience (I started to sharpen my leatherman and convert my garage into an OR), I called the surgeon's assistant to see if we can pencil in a surgery date, she says no, because we do not know what we are dealing with yet. I disagreed, it is a lump, let's cut it out. I have a team of friends ready to assist, razor sharp leatherman, and a relatively clean garage. She still would not pencil me in, instead she moved my appointment 1 week sooner.

So off to Georgetown medical to see Dr. Davidson.  The visit knocked the wind out of us, he believed it was cancer (he showed me on the MRI why), poked around my throat and tonsils. He felt it was tonsil cancer that spread to the lymph node. So we need a needle biopsy to be sure. So so off to get a needle biopsy, very unpleasant procedure. But the pathologist knew their stuff. 4 needle jabs later and we have a good sample.

Biopsy results come back squamous cell cancer. Good news-it is well contained and slow growing, bad news it started someplace else and spread to the lymph node. So, now off to have a PET scan. Painless scan, although since I was radioactive, I was an official hottie for once in my life.

PET scan showed cancer had not spread and the left tonsil was hot. So, tonsil cancer that spread to the lymph node is the culprit, now we execute the plan to remove it. I did offer up my case pocket knife and leatherman, but the surgeon declined.

So the first phase is done, cut out the bad shit. Now I get to heal, then start radiation. 

Just a a small bump in the road. We will keep positive, focused, and smiling.

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