The C Word

June 8, 2011

I received a call from my nice doctor the morning after the biopsy.  He had some news for me.  Watch the video here.  He had to let me know this is actually, good news.  Yaaaa, I have lymphoma! I never thought I’d be excited for news like this.  He sounded relieved that this was my diagnosis.  Since we now know my mass is a bitch cancer, you can call it the “C” word.  He was happy to tell me this news because lymphoma is very treatable.  The chemo treatments they have for lymphoma are proven effective.  There were some additional tests the lab needed to complete in order to determine specifically what type of lymphoma we’re dealing with.  There are dozens of different classifications.  I wasn’t about to learn them all.  One could easily overwhelm themselves doing research online.  I don’t recommend it.  That’s what my brother in law, Eliot (lawyer), is for.  Erica runs my communications network, a significant task keeping everyone in the know.  Texting, emailing, Facebook…I think she was up for the “challenge.”  She released the carrier pigeons, letting everyone know the “good” news.

We met with my oncologist.  She was optimistic about the diagnosis as well.  Time to pop that Cristal! She had me lay down on the table so she could feel around my neck, under my armpits, and lower stomach.  They also check the testicles (insert cold room joke here), but I let her know my doctor already did that (insert gay joke here) when they thought lymphoma was a possibility.  These are areas of your lymphatic system and any tenderness or inflammation could possibly indicate the spread of the cancer.  Thankfully, nothing caused discomfort.  She asked if I was getting night sweats, a common symptom for lymphoma, which I was.  I would wake up in the middle of the night soaking wet (insert bed-wetter joke here).  I guess it wasn’t the sheets!  I seriously thought these new sheets we bought weren’t letting me breathe properly.  This also explains why I was sweating profusely the day I told my coworkers in the conference room (insert cry-baby joke here).

She gave me a list of chores I had to do before I could get chemo:  blood tests for HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis, PET scan, echocardiogram, and bone marrow biopsy.  Blood work; piece of cake, I’ve had blood drawn just about every other day it seemed like.  PET scan; similar to a CT scan, and I did that all by myself, like a big boy.  Echocardiogram; sounds easy enough, no drilling involved.  Bone marrow biopsy – I don’t like the sound of this one bit.  The receptionist told me it’s no big deal, she had one done herself…and she’s a girl!  This would be done in-house by the oncologist.

I still had concern about the size of my tumor.  This thing inside me is pretty big.  Will I need surgery to remove it?   Is there anything I can do in the meantime, while we wait for the final lab results?   Preferably, something that involves beer and watching sports.

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