Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Diagnosis Cliff's Notes

*Stream of consciousness warning--Forewarned is forearmed.*

When last we met I was getting PTSD in a Wegman's bathroom.  I had just found out I was pregnant while preparing for a lymph node biopsy.  I essentially found out I was pregnant and I had cancer.  Actually though, it wouldn't be 3 months until I would be given my formal diagnosis.  Here is the rundown:

I had a core biopsy with a local anesthetic because of course, no sedation in the 1st trimester.  It was not the worst thing in the world, but it is really difficult to lay still when people are stabbing you in the neck.  While you are awake.  Yes, they numbed it, no I couldn't feel the pain of the stabbing, but I knew what was happeing.  It's easy as humans to forget that we are animals.  Well let me tell you, regardless of the fact that you intellectually understand that this procedure will lead to life saving information, regardless of the fact that you give your consent, and regardless of the fact that the whole situation is dressed up with civilized medical behavior, when someone is coming at your outstretched neck with a sharp object...well, everything deep in side the most primordial core of your being starts screaming out "AWWW HELLZZ NO!!!".  My primordial core is urban.  Anyhoo, you'd be amazed how perplexing it is to medical professionals that a normal person might find being stabbed in the neck, even with your consent, a tad disconcerting.  Seriously doctor, it's not personal, I'm sure you're very competent and compassionate, BUT YOU ARE STABBING ME IN THE NECK.  Now lest you think I was flopping around like a fish on the table screaming for my Mom, I was not.  I have birthed 5 children.  4 of them with no pharmaceutical assistance.  I am a bad ass.  But I did startle a bit when they started the procedure.  Sue me.  YOU WERE STABBING ME IN THE NECK.

What's that?  What were the results of that procedure?  They found atypical cells indicative of Hodgkin's Lymphoma but the results were inconclusive.  Which we knew to expect at that point.  Basically it went like this: "So, Nella, since you love having your neck stabbed, these results earn you an opportunity to have your neck filleted like a fish.  We need the entire node."  Yay!  So we went to see a surgeon at the local cancer center and I was monitored by a surgeon until my 2nd trimester, when it was safe to sedate me.  We casually waited for about 2 more months knowing I was "cancerish", until I could finally get cut open and have some answers yanked out.  The surgeon was wonderful and being sedated made the whole thing a breeze.  I wish I could say my previous experience helped me to tone down my inner monologue, but I can't say that.  I just don't like to be stabbed or cut.

After the filleting, I mean surgery, we got a formal diagnosis.  Classical Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  Fo sho.  Which, honestly, was a relief.  Not only might we find an answer to my itching, it meant my exhaustion was not because I suck at life.  It's weird to think you could feel relieved about having cancer, but HL is the cadillac of cancers if you ask me.  It's highly curable and the treatment regimen is mild compared to what most cancer patients go through.  The pregnancy of course made it stressful, but if I had to wait to be treated, I could be ok anyway, and if I needed treatment, the baby could be safe as well.  Are we blessed or what?

I'm not going to lie, I kept it together that day until we were walking to the car.  Then I let myself break down a bit.  Not for me, but for my baby.  Not for me, but for my husband.  Not for me, but for my kids.  Not for me, but for my family.  This will be harder on them than it is on me, and for a wife and mother, that is the worst suffering there is.

1 comment:

  1. So true about crying for everyone else and not yourself! People think your crying for yourself but the only thoughts going thru my head at diagnosis was my family and especially baby. Thanks for writing your feelings down so well. God bless you!


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