(In Part I [you may read it here] I shared my experience of discovering a lump on my neck and a bit about the process I went through to determine what it was…and if it was cancer. I closed by saying that I would call on all my strengths to defeat the demon if in fact it was cancer, and that I would not know for 10 days. Well, 10 days have passed and the jury has entered the courtroom.)
Joan and I were led to examination room #21 and told that the doctor would be right with us. “Right” is doc-speak for 20 minutes.
Like all such rooms I’ve visited, this one had all the character of a dog crate.
There is, of course, the ever-present padded chair with sterile paper draped over it that reminds me of either a dentist’s chair or an electric chair (they’re closely related, you know). And four metal folding chairs that would fit in nicely behind long, folding tables at the Friday night CYO Bingo Jamboree. Joan nestled into one of those while I busied myself pacing between posters of ear and nose anatomical sketches. Have they never heard of magazines?
By the time the doctor arrived I was confident that if it weren’t for a little tremble I have in my hands I knew enough about the human nose that I could successfully repair a deviated septum.
As he entered and we exchanged greetings I noticed that he wasn’t smiling. That put me into a brief panic but then I remembered he never smiled-probably pissy about there being no decent magazines in the room. He settled into a CYO chair across from the electric chair, where I sat and awaited the verdict.
“Mr. Grinkmeyer, you have publicly posed the question, ‘But What if it’s Cancer!?’ And you have responded that should ‘if’ become ‘is’, you would ‘Deal With It.’ Well Sir, I am here to inform you that the time to ‘Deal With It’ has commenced; you have lymphoma.”
He said he believed the cancer was pretty well contained to the neck-lump area. He mentioned things like surgery and chemotherapy and remission and delivered a diagnosis/prognosis that was positive but factual. He said that he felt it unlikely that the tumor in my neck had spread, but I don’t know how he could know that without an MRI or PET scan. I’ll be finding out this coming Thursday when I meet with my new best friend, “Dr. Oncologist”.
Why Am I Sharing This?
I followed my niece’s blog as she bravely faced her latest round of chemotherapy. Her courage and upbeat attitude have inspired me to face whatever is coming my way in an equally courageous fashion.
Most of us will be affected by cancer at some point in our lives; friends, family, loved ones or even…you know. It is pervasive and indiscriminate when it comes to choosing victims and when it does, it usually leaves them confused and frightened-it did me.
I believe that the more we know about the journey that we or our loved one is on the better able we are to understand it, cope with it and face it head on. Sharing my journey is my effort to educate and inform as many people as care to learn about what to expect when cancer strikes, and how to defeat it-because that’s what I intend to do. I’ll keep you posted.
(If you or someone you know might like to follow me on my journey I’ve place a “Subscribe” button on top of the right column of my blog. You’ll be notified by email each time I make a new post.)