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12/10/2015 Latest post:
Because lots of people ask, were you sick? Were there specific symptoms? I thought I'd share the 6 weeks that led to my Hodgkin's diagnosis.
At the beginning of October I noticed a small lump in my neck. It was the week before our 4 day fall break and being the quasi-hypochondriac that I am, I opted to hold off on a trip to the doctor's until after our family visit to Disney. Great Disney trip, by the way.
Anyhow, upon returning to the daily grind, a friend reminded me I said I'd go to the doctors. I went and it turned out that I had a swollen lymph node and I had an ear infection that I didn't know about. I was told, antibiotics for 10 days and call if the lump wasn't gone.
It didn't go away. I went in for blood work and an ultrasound. Just so you know, the ask the tech if it's a baby (in my neck) is apparently a tired joke. Sent on my way and was told I'd hear back in a few days.
My doctor called 4 days later, and said she was referring me to an ENT and then he would schedule a needle biopsy. This is that point in the ordeal that I started bringing part of my village with me for emotional support.
Good ENT experience, and he scheduled the biopsy which fell on a Monday and waited about 3 days for results. Needle in the neck....not fun.
On that Thursday the ENT called back and said the sample wasn't adequate and I had to get another needle biopsy the next day, Friday (thanksgiving feast day at school).
It was a great time for freaking out. The upside, my second biopsy was much less stressful, the radiologist turned out to be a Florida Gator and she did cheers for me during the procedure.
4 days later I get the call, it's cancer, although they weren't sure what kind so they needed to cut out the lymph node and do more specific tests and they scheduled an oncologist appointment.
All this time I'd been wearing fashion scarves, hiding this from the girls, keeping it on the down low, taking phone calls in the bathroom, internalizing and crying at night.
The Tuesday before thanksgiving I had an appointment to meet the oncologist. He unfortunately did not have the results back from the lymph node removal, he did however schedule all the additional tests necessary to assess how bad whatever cancer I had was. Bone marrow biopsy, port installation (for chemo), Echo heart test, PET/CT scan and a pulmonary function test. I called the next day to find out about the radiology report and it was diagnosed as Hodgkin's. Since completing all the tests I've found out its stage 2 Hodgkin's and chemo starts on 12/16. A chemo cocktail of ABVD will be my life every other week for the next 6 months. I'm optimistic that when this is all over I will be cancer free and still have my sense of humor. Follow my ordeal on this site as I hope to share the roller coaster of emotions with all those crazy enough to read it.