This will be my last post before my first oncology appointment tomorrow – yikes! I just want to share a little about how all this happened so that if you don’t actually know me, you can follow along for the rest of the ride if you choose to do so.
A little over two years ago, I had a small, probably half a dime-sized spot on my forehead right along my hairline on the right side that had a weird itch to it. I kept an eye on it and I thought maybe it was growing so I called a dermatologist to make an appointment. I had never been before and lemme tell ya, it was interesting. The guy comes lumbering in in a discussion with his nurse about (no lie) Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s relationship. He continued this convo in the exam room until it was over. It was weird. Anyway, he looks at the spot and says, “Ah, what we’ve got here is just an inflamed keritosis. You’re too young for skin cancer [yes, a licensed dermatologist actually said this to me!!] but we’ll biopsy it anyway since you came all this way in.” Long story short: skin cancer. I, of course, being 27 and invincible, blew it off and actually said to the woman who called and told me, “well, it’s not like people die from it, why such a rush to get it off?” Here is the part where I’d like to remind everyone that I’m an idiot. So I got it removed and the borders were tested and came back clean. Ok cool. It was recommended after that that I see a dermatologist every 6 months to get full body checks. Needless to say, I switched dermatologists. Last time I went, almost exactly 6 months ago now, my new and improved dermatologist took a melanoma off the back of my calf. I have a really nasty half dollar sized circular scar to show for it. But everything else seemed fine at the time.
Ok fast forward to about three months ago. I kept feeling something on the right side of my face and I couldn’t tell if it was on/in my jaw or my ear. I kept asking people to feel it but no one could feel anything so I decided to ignore it. Then it grew. And it hurt. A lot. The thing was jamming in my ear canal all the time and when I told my husband this he took a close look at the spot and said “Umm, I can see it.” And that’s when, deep down, I knew it was bad. Not sure why, but I did. So I started googling (I told you I’m an idiot!) and I realize it’s a lymph node. So I start to feel around my neck for others, and there it is. A freaking golf ball in my neck on the right side!! How did I not notice that?! Even the cat scan confirmed that it was the size of a golf ball. Noooo clue how long it’s been there. Sheesh, telling my tale makes me feel like, well, an idiot. But I can see now how lack of awareness plays in. If I knew then what I know now, I would have made a regular habit out of checking my lymph nodes, etc.
So, as I’m facing the appointment tomorrow that I never really thought I’d have, I am, well, freaking out a little. It’s the distinct start point of a new chapter in life. But like a chapter in a foreign language so you can’t read ahead. Or something like that. My appointment is at 3 and I will keep you guys posted after 🙂