Thursday, April 18, 2013

One Day at a Time...

I know I haven't written in awhile. Blogging is something I truly love, but in the midst of and life, it has gotten pushed back to the way side.

Blogging serves two main purposes for me:
  1. Sharing my every day happenings with friends, family, and fellow bloggers
  2. Capturing those moments in time so when I look back I can reminisce ... remember ... because as you move forward.. things in the past fade, its amazing what you forget after time has past.
Well, anywho - not sure I will be forgetting the past week any time soon... but figured I would get back to writing and share what has been going on... and to ask for prayers!

Maybe  it was about a month - month and a half ago that I felt  a nodule on the side of my neck. I threw my head back and felt the other side. "Bilateral" I said to myself - probably a neck structure... and so I promptly ignored it. Well not completely ignored it, I would play with it from time to time, but didn't think too much of it.

About two weeks ago, I was feeling really crummy. Under the weather, my neck, back, and shoulders hurt. Dry cough. Wasn't as hungry.. pretty tired... but had to press on. Work and school required my undivided attention. The hubby booked a 90 min massage for us on that Friday... I was so excited. After the massage, my masseuse told me my neck muscles were really tight... and I proceeded to have chills and felt even worse than I had before. Sad! Massages are supposed to be good!!

Saturday and Sunday rolled around and I felt that I had been hit by a truck. Full body aches, general maliase, no energy, not hungry the works. I felt for sure the massage had caused something to fly through my body giving me systemic symptoms. Sucks! I didn't even have the energy to go to the grocery store or sing at church the next day. Sunday night I woke up around midnight drenched in sweat. It may be TMI - by my shirt and back of my hair was soaked!!!  I felt the nodule on my neck. Had it gotten bigger? I knew night sweats were a warning sign of cancer (CA)... Its a red sign we had been taught in nursing school. I woke up and started googling. Yes, its not good to google - but it is pretty darn hard not to. I chalked it up to being sick though and felt better in the morning. Went to work - but I was very tired ... oh the lack of sleep and how horrible it is! Thinking I need to get things checked out I called the MD. The earliest appt I could get was Thursday - boo! She asked what my sx were and I included lymph nodes and night sweats. She put me on hold and then said she could get me in on Tuesday afternoon.

Monday night I was BEYOND exhaused. I felt asleep on the couch upstairs and woke again with sweats. Went to bed that night.. and again sweating! Fever? Yep! 100F I felt feverish.. but I was scared. I didn't sleep that well that night either. I am an anxious person... have dealt with anxiety in the past - and being a medical professional wasn't supper helpful either.

Tuesday I went in and we did a myriad of blood work and chest X-ray. Made a follow up appt. for Thursday.Vandy is awesome in the fact that not only can I check my EMR at work (Electronic Medical Record) but I can check "My Health at Vanderbilt" for lab results etc. Welp. WBC came back low.. liver levels came back a little elevated. It was weird. Just. plain. weird. Chest X-ray was normal though! Yay! I talked to a lot of people. Bad viruses can do that.. that's probably what all of this was, right?

Thursday rolled around and more blood work was done. Found out Friday that my liver was coming down, WBC was trending up, iron was low.. but you know relatively reassuring. My MD still was worried.. lymph nodes, night sweats and slightly weird CBC (Complete Blood Count) - she said she was going to talk to a Hematologist, not referral just yet.. but see what they said. She scheduled me an appt. with the Nurse Practitioner (NP) in her office for Monday since she would be out of town this week. I was feeling better - good thing! Feeling more congested though - allergies??

Weekend went by without a hitch.. got to spend time with awesome friends (Friday and Sunday)... my dad came in to town for the evening on Saturday. Hadn't had any more night sweats..Besides a yucky cough I was on the mend!

Monday I had my NP appointment. She said that she sees swollen lymph nodes all the time and that my CBC was definately indicative of a virus. 10 days of antibiotics for me just in case I was fighting something bacterial too... and to see her in two weeks for a follow up and possible referral to ENT (Ear Nose Throat) if the sucker on my neck didn't get better. I went to work relieved that day, a big stress taken off my shoulders .. until I realized I had missed a phone call from a Vandy number. It was a Hematology/Oncology office saying that my MD had made a referral and wanted me to be seen this week. My heart was in my stomach. Didn't the NP just say I had a virus?!? I made an appt for the next day.

Turns out my MD had made a precautionary referral. Went to the hematology/oncology MD (hemoc) and he vocalized what my NP had said. This is common with big, bad viruses and my WBC was definitely indicative of that process. Just in case though... just in case we would get a CT scan with contrast of my neck and chest that afternoon and make a follow up appointment that next day. Again, felt really positive - asked friends and family to pray hard... and went in for the CT. I would be going to work the next day and would check out my results on my EMR. Some told me I should wait... but I am a impatient person that thrives off of instant gratification (sorry, that sounds horrible!!)

Wednesday I got on the computer and the results were up... "several" lymph nodes in my neck and chest (mediastinum/supraclavicular) and a non calcified nodule in my lung. Impressions were non conclusive. The radiologist said the lymph nodes could be present due to infection, inflammation, or neoplasia (cancer). The non calcified nodule only caught on ct was most likely benign, but it need to be watched. Guess a lot of people have them? It sucked.. but I could take it. Liver, spleen, kidneys, adrenal gland all looked awesome (okay it didn't say awesome in the report - "normal").

That was until I realized I had only read the chest report. The neck report popped up later... Neck - several lymph nodes - HUGE (ok the results didn't say huge) but I knew by looking at the numbers it was 2.4cmx1.7cm lymph node on my neck. Also - a 2.5cm nodule in my left thyroid. Impressions: both need to be biopsied. Welp, serves me right for looking before my hemoc MD appt, right?!? Yeah, that sent me into a tizzy!! My poor co-worker - I was not useful the rest of the day before my appt. So the hubby came with me and I warned friends and family ahead of time. I was (and still am) scared.

Went to my doctors appointment and he said "so they found some irregularities on the CT scan." I informed him that I had read the reports. He showed me my CT scan step by step... yeah, a lot of lymph nodes. Wasn't worried about the non calcified nodule in my lung, will need to have a FNB (Fine Needle Biopsy) of the thyroid and get the largest of my lymph nodes removed and biopsied.
He told me the lymph nodes were definitely worrisome. He reinformed me that this was not a slam dunk with these impressions... but if he was a betting man... he said 40% chance it is Lymphoma... 60% chance it is benign... 
I asked for the positives of the situation. It appears that the lymph nodes are localized to my neck and chest (although I didn't have an abd CT) without major organ involvement (told me if I had lymphoma, it would prob be Stage II... but wouldn't know until a PET scan.) He said I am also in good shape, young, and at one of the best CA hospitals in the nation.

Next step biopsy. I have my pre-biopsy appointment today with an ENT he recommended... not sure when the biopsy is going to take place. Then we will go from there.

So this is where I am.. and need a lot of Prayer...

  • Prayer for calm, 
  • Prayer for the hubby and all the stress he is going through, 
  • Prayer for the 60% chance, and 
  • Prayer for me to let go and place this in God's hands. 
I know I am not in control... but due to my nature - I want to be... I am type A and want/need to be control of everything. I know God works in mysterious ways and I need to let him run this ship. It is scary though... but I take fights head on.
Positive thoughts... one day at a time -


1 comment:

Annie Parker said...

Yes I know you must be scared even though we are children of the greatest physician we could ever have our human side really puts us in a tizzy sometimes my dear friend I will be praying for you and your family just keep reminding yourself that God is in control and as you said being in the medical profession doesn't help matters Take care God Bless