“You have a mass in your chest”

May 23, 2011

A missed call and voicemail from my doctor.  He wanted me to call him back right away.  I wasn’t expecting a call from him until tomorrow.  I just had x-rays done about two hours ago.  This can’t be good.

How bad can it be? About a month ago, I went to see him because I was having chest pains.  He ran the basic tests: blood, urine, and EKG.  Everything came back fine.  My friends and family also gave me a clean bill of health.  They diagnosed me with, “it’s probably gas or indigestion.”  They prescribed a daily dose of, “quit being a little bitch.”  I should be good…right?  After that visit, the doc told me to lay low on the caffeine, alcohol or anything else I cherish in life.  So I did my best to follow the doctor’s orders, but my chest pains got worse.  I was now having trouble breathing, so Erica told me to go back to the doctor.  She was tired of my bitching deeply concerned with my worsening condition.  So I went back.  He still didn’t know what to make of it, so he ordered some chest x-rays.

I called the doc back right away.  He sounded serious.  He told me he saw my x-rays.  He said, “You have a mass in your chest.”  Ok, not what I was expecting.

The news virtually knocked me on my ass.  Everything went in slow motion.  The camera circled around me and Will Smith.  I hung up the phone and proclaimed, “shit just got real.” 

WTF?!  My mind immediately started racing through all the grim possibilities.  What exactly does a mass in the chest mean?  Cancer?  Lung cancer?  I don’t smoke!  Is this a death sentence?  Is it my twin?  Why me?  Oh yeah, the doctor’s still on the line.  I took a Scooby Doo sized swallow of the saliva in my mouth to regain my composure…gulp.  I asked him how serious this was.  He told me it was very serious.  He explained, in addition to the mass, there was fluid in my lung and my heart looked enlarged.  Oh, it keeps getting better!  I did my best to keep cool and get the info that I needed so I could get off the phone and try to wrap my mind around this.

After kicking my soul in the nuts, he scheduled a CT scan and an appointment with a pulmonologist (lung specialist).

So my journey begins.

17 thoughts on ““You have a mass in your chest”

  1. Jeff that is some seriously heavy stuff. I cannot imagine taking that call, and your post made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

    Hope you’re winning your battle, and I look forward to seeing you again and reading about your journey.

    Best wishes….


  2. Jeff this first post is amazing! Absolutely amazing. You are a voice of an entire set of Gen Y’ers going through this…explaining your emotions in their terms in a way that is real. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION!

    Hope everything is going great and lots of love :) -Jojo

  3. I’m glad you’re doing this! You are too funny and too talented to keep all this amazing literature bottle up in your chest (no pun intended) ;-p Luv ya lots Jeffe!

    • Some quotes from my favorite author which I felt I should share!

      “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
      —-Paulo Coelho—

      “Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.”
      —-Paulo Coelho—-

      Stay Strong Jeffe!

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience. I look forward towards hearing about your journey and being there for your recovery! Stay strong, God is on your side, although we so many times question him!

  5. I am so proud of you. Your site is funny, poignant and full of pathos. You’re a wonderful writer. It made me cry when you shared your experiences especially during some of the fearful moments. You’ve always been a very private person who didn’t talk about your feelings and I think this is a good outlet for you in your journey. You inspire me everyday since you were born. AND, for the record…..I didn’t freak out that bad! You’re my baby, I’m entitled to freak out.

    How did you know I was heading towards the 5 Freeway on the way down to SoCal? If you can survive me as a teenager, you can survive cancer.

    Love you,

  6. Jeff-

    Your prospective on your fearless battle to overcome this challenge is nothing short of inspirational. As you and I spoke briefly at the BBQ, once you tell your story, many others share similar accounts with loved once who faced similar predicaments. All that being said, your faith, attitude, modern medicine and support from loved ones with allow to you persevere and win this battle. Are you ready to add cancer survivor to your resume? I truly believe you are

    ~Your Bud, Rubio

  7. Dude, this hit me like a ton of bricks just because as we all say “It should not happen to you”. I feel for you, your wife and your family and I also have to say you have one of the most incredible support groups around you. I know your family will carry you through this and you will come out on the other side a role model for others that will have to take this journey.
    I knew once I saw your blog picture of you on the beach that it was your doing and it made me laugh. I have had some similiar experiences to you, but not as intense, that is how I ended up at WFS instead of still selling air time for television. But then again I would not have met you or your sister so everything is for a reason.
    You have the mentality to not even let this effect you, so just ride the storm and see you in the calm bay when this is over. If you need anything let me know.

    Will be checking on your blog to watch your recovery.
    Stay strong my friend.


  8. Jeff-You are not alone in this journey. After we talked on the phone I got on board with you. I know all your friends, family and people you have touched with your great personality and kindness are too. We will stay with you with prayer and support until we reach your destination of Recovery. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and wit with your blog. Believe in the Power of Prayer, it’s real!

  9. We’re friends of your mom and she IS entitled to freak out. Jeff, you’re an awesome writer and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  10. Hello Jeff,

    Diane told me about this experience you are having. Shi#@^#@!!!

    Now that I have said that, remember I am also a Cancer Survivor. Since some of your friends (or was it Jerry’s friends) think I am you other mother & I am here for you when you need an Older shoulder to cry on. Other than that, my only advice is to suck it up and move forward. Never give in to what it is and DO NOT be a victim of Cancer. It is not easy but can be done. Please keep me posted!

    Diane has my email addr. and phone number, so please call me if you need to.


  11. Who would have thought you were such a talented writer as well. I guess I’m not surprised as your creativity never ends. Of course it wouldn’t be Jeff if it wasn’t hilarious at the same time as scary. Who eles could do it in such elequent fashion. I have no fear what so ever as to you defeating this small obstacle in the rest of our lives.

    I love you brother

  12. Jeff,
    I love the picture and the way you are processing your circumstances with your well written words. You are so brave in the way you are facing this battle. I will be thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way all day, everyday — for you to become well and fully recovered.
    Shari (Your mother’s friend)

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