Saturday, May 4, 2013

Still Counting Those Blessings

On Tuesday I received a call from my ENT surgeon.

Dr. - "Jenny? This is Dr. Seibert. I've got good news."

It's amazing the multitasking that a brain can do in a short period of time... The ability to have a full internal dialogue in just a few seconds while caring a conversation with another. I literally felt like I had split into two.

Me - "I'm sorry? You have good news? For me?"

Internal dialogue commences - "Good news? Like Hodgkins vs Non Hodgkins good news? Like cancer versus no cancer good news? Good news that we should know something soon? What can truly constitute good news???"

[At this point I am going off of memory of what I heard... keep in mind, with my mind also talking, the following quotes may not be verbatim.]

Dr. - "Jenny, as you can imagine these results are rare. I was not expecting this. They did not find cancer cells in your lymph nodes."

Jenny - "Oh my God! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to say that. It's just that I wasn't expecting this. I thought I had cancer."

My ENT surgeon proceeds to tell me that he had gotten the results that morning. He generalized the results, then actually read them to me word for word. He continues to talk about infectious processes vs autoimmune diseases. I am not sure I am listening 100%. He cautions me that due to the condition of my lymph nodes, that my hemoc doc will probably want a second opinion. But right now the reports say that albeit very angry nodes... they are benign.

So I ventured to take a look at my report. I thought I could read medical jargon, but apparently this does not include pathology reports. They had run a Flow Cytometry** Study on my lymph node and looked at my T cells, B cells, NK cells... and then scruitinized at everything under a microscope. "Reactive appearing lymphnodes with prominent plasmacytosis " (lots of plasma cells).

My hemoc doc's opinion? "Sounds like they are putting a lot of weight on the flow results. This sometimes does not tell the whole story." [Cue deep sigh.]

So we wait for the second opinion. From what I understand, it will be Wednesday or Thursday of next week. A lot of people are happy, want to celebrate, wonder why I am still not at ease. For five days I thought for sure that I had Lymphoma... when you have a 90% chance, that is what you prepare for. I was praying for the 10%... I'm not going to lie. But to mentally walk through everything to come, wonder what it would be like to loose all my hair and get sick from chemo. To wonder if I would be the lucky one to beat it. Wonder if I would still have kids. I know taking one day at a time is really the only way to live yet I literally have to repeat this phrase over and over again in my head (like a broken record 24/7).

These ARE the results I wanted. But yet, with a second opinion still looming, no - I am not at peace yet. That does not mean I am sitting in a dark room crying, waiting - no I will not Cancer do that to me. But to not know why I had a necrotic lymph node as well as lymphadenopathy is a little disconcerting... time will tell as well as more tests are run. It appears that if "this" is written off as reactive lymph nodes, then I will be tested for autoimmune disorders (RA, lupus, sarcoidosis, and Castleman's Disease - none of which sound great, but they are not Cancer) as well as other infectious processes. 

I can tell you right now whether I have Cancer or not, in a few short weeks my perspective has changed. To realize how precious life is and that the small petty things don't matter is important. We have this one chance and this one life, we got to live it with happiness and a sense purpose. I also have learned that prayer and an open communication with God is integral in feeling at peace. Finally - I don't have to sit with anxiety, worry, or fear looming over me like a dark cloud - God is here for that too. Hopefully with what ever happens, I will never forget these things. I believe the scar on my neck will help me remember. 

Stitches out and healing nicely!! [Thursday]
Still Counting My Blessings...

On Friday, heading to work to finish out the week, I got hit by a student that ran the red light. Yep. Couldn't believe it either. Thank goodness I'm fine. Someone is looking over me!

I had the green turn signal to turn on to Broadway from 40. I had actually waited longer then I usually do as a person sped through the red light. Thinking it was all right to go, that's when the second car ran the light. I am counting my blessing as if I had not been paying full attention, I could have been hit by two cars. Also there had been a police officer to the right of me that saw the whole thing. Yeah - a police officer was there! (Guess that almost never happens.) And my mother in law was still in town to pick me up... albeit a yucky circumstance, everything else worked out well!

Student Car - light broken and two tickets for the driver. My car - front end damage, broken fan and hood latch, fuel line broke, and potential frame damage. I believe I will find out soon if I get a new car out of this?

Initially looking at it, I didn't think it was that bad. Guess I was wrong.

Plan for the weekend? Hanging out in bubble wrap... and enjoying the hubby and friends. Still slightly uneasy for the second opinion results... but hey, still here, feeling good, and living one day at a time. I gotta make these blessings count, right?? Thank you for the continued prayers and well wishes... they do wonders.

**Flow cytometry is a technique for counting and examining microscopic particles, such as cells by suspending them in a stream of fluid and passing them by an electronic detection apparatus. It allows simultaneous multiparametric analysis of the physical and/or chemical characteristics of up to thousands of particles per second. Flow cytometry is routinely used in the diagnosis of health disorders, especially blood cancers, but has many other applications in both research and clinical practice.)

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