So this is what has happened thus far:
Friday, March 16th:
Woke up around 5am with severe chest pain. Was originally going to take a taxi to the hospital but the pain was unbearable so Frank called an ambulance for me. It’s very odd to take a trip on an ambulance when you happen to work on one. I know the paramedics that picked me up quite well. When I arrived at the hospital they gave me 3 shots of powerful narcotics and a drug very much like aspirin except much more potent. This brought my pain down to a level where I wasn’t rolling around my hospital bed in extreme pain. They gave me many more shots of narcotics throughout the day to keep the pain manageable. They performed a CT scan to check for something called aortic dissection, which they didn’t find…. Instead they found a large (over 10 centimeter) mass in my abdomen, situated between my stomach and my spine. I asked the doctor if he thought it was cancer and he said that lymphoma was at the top of the list and I would be hearing from an oncologist/hematologist that specializes in Lymphoma within a few days. I was sent home later that afternoon.
Fast forward to today, March 22nd:
My first oncology appointment was this morning at 10am. I met with a nurse who weighed me and took my blood pressure and asked me a few questions about my medical history. Then I saw the oncologist/hematologist who really didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. He went over my CT results with me (confirmed the size and location of the mass) and took a detailed family/personal medical history. He also told me I would be having a CT-guided needle biopsy (they will be sticking a needle in me, probably through my back, and into the mass to collect a sample) sometime in the next week or two, and one week after that I would see him again and he would be performing a bone marrow biopsy. I am not looking forward to either one of these procedures. I hear they are quite painful.
Currently I feel frustrated at the amount of time it takes between finding a large tumor and receiving an official diagnosis. At least if they tell me it’s definitely cancer we can move on to doing something about it. Patience is not my strong suit. Waiting just sucks.
I have chest pain every day, nearly constantly but nowhere near as severe as Friday. Today seems to be the worst since I was released from the hospital. I’m also very tired much of the time. Other than that I’m feeling pretty good. I had a moment of panic on Monday morning when the news really sank in that there’s a good chance I have cancer. Otherwise I’ve been pretty confident.
Oh, and I’ve been starting to wonder what I will look like bald. Mom and I went to the mall this afternoon and I looked at some pretty scarves I might be able to stylishly wrap around my head. If that doesn’t work, I’ll have to invest in more sunscreen 😉
I’ll keep you all up to date as often as I can!