Friday, March 6, 2009

Facebook Note Posted 2/11/09

I figured I'd write a note to tell about what's been going on lately and how I found out I had cancer.

In about mid December I noticed that my lymp glad was swollen. I figured it was no big deal because I seem to get sick everytime the weather changes and after a little while the swelling went down. This time it was a little different because the swelling came back after a little while. It didn't cause me any pain, it just looked like there was a ping pong ball in my neck. I didn't really have time to go to the doctor because I was graduating from college on December 20, then there was Christmas, then traveling to St. Louis and Springfield to visit the best future in-laws in the world. After we got back from traveling I had one day off before I started teaching in Jackson.

I knew I needed to go to the doctor because the lump wasn't going away this time. I really didn't want to miss any school beacuse I had just started and I really love it there. I was off on Martin Luther King Jr day so that's when I first went to my family doctor. He couldn't figure out what was causing this (usually with lymphoma you have a lot of swollen lymph gland and I only had one that was visible). He sent me that day for blood tests and the next week for a ct scan.

The blood test showed that my iron was low (no surprise to me) so he put me on iron pills. The results of the ct scan made my doctor decide to sent me to an Ear Nose and Throat doctor beacuse he would know more about a case like this. My ENT noticed in the ct that I had a swollen lymph gland in my chest that and that same day did a needle biopsy. He had to tell me about all the possibilities of what it could be, but we were still hopeful.

The results for the needle biopsy showed that it was suspicious for malignancy, which meant it could be cancer. That's when he decided he needed to do surgery so they could do a full biopsy and get the lump out of my neck. I went to a preop a few days before the surgery and they drew more blood. (I was never really afraid of needles but its getting to the point where they REALLY don't bother me so much.)

So then came surgery time. I didn't tell too many people what was going on because I didn't want to scare anyone before we knew for sure what was wrong with me. Through all of this I was somehow able to stay pretty positive and I only missed the last hour of school a few days. When I told my students I would be gone for three days they thought I was going on a vacation because I was sick of them already.

On Tuesday 2/10 I went in for surgery. I really wasn't scared, just frustrated because while they were preping me and waiting for my doctor to finish the surgery they had before me, I could see people eating. I was starving but I wasn't allowed to eat. I guess the surgery went well. I feel asleep before they even moved my bed and barely woke up when they moved me into a big chair in the recovery room. During my surgery they took a cross section of the lump and found out it was lymphoma. They'll have to do more tests to find out what kind it is. When I woke up more in the recovery room I decided I just wanted to go home. They made me keep down a few ounces of sprite and then I was allowed to leave. Right now I haven't gotten a good look at my wound. They've got me wrapped like I have a broken neck and I have a drain (just a little tube) in my wound to get the nasty stuff to come out of the inside. Today I go back to ENT's office to get the drain removed and hopefully another bandage. Last night I wasn't able to keep food down but hopefully today will be better. I plan on going back to work Friday (it will be a very easy day).

I want to thank all of you for your love, prayers, and support. It makes me feel so much better to know that all of you are here for me. Lymphoma is a very curable form of cancer. I'm still young and strong. I know I'm going to beat this, so no worries! I love you all!

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