Friday, August 23, 2013

Medical Scare - Back to Blogging

Hello, everyone!  It's been several weeks since I last posted on July 19th.  (You'll see shortly that the title of this post could have been a very different one.)  I have been very busy with medical tests to try and resolve a swollen lymph node in my neck. 

I first noticed it on July 20th, SR's sixteenth birthday and the day of her surprise party.  I noticed it, probably putting on makeup, I'm not really sure.  But, when I swallowed to check for a sore throat and checked my forehead for fever, I couldn't find any cold-like symptoms to explain the swelling.  After a few days, the swelling was bothering me - it was uncomfortable, large, and it wasn't going away (the lymph node would sometimes not be uncomfortable as the weeks wore on).  I contacted my doctor, and he put me on antibiotics to get rid of any infection that might be in my body that I just wasn't able to feel.  After a full ten days, my lymph node was still swollen; it was so swollen, you could see my neck bulging.

I went to my dentist, and he did a complete oral check and could find no dental reason why my node was swollen, even giving me new x-rays.  Imagine hoping for tooth decay!  But, no luck - everything looked good.  :-)

I went back to my doctor (he had prearranged a follow-up visit), and he ordered a CT scan.  During the CT scan, they noticed some masses on my thyroid.  I went in to have the largest one biopsied.  Also during that follow-up visit with my doc, he ordered a referral to have my lymph node biopsied. Several days went by, and while I was in the waiting room, waiting to be called for my lymph node biopsy, the medical assistant of the endocrinologist called to let me know the mass on my thyroid was a cyst and unrelated to the lymph node - just a coincidence.

I was called in to the procedural room for my lymph node biopsy, and of course, G was with me.  The doctor showed me my lymph node on the ultrasound.  It looked like a black circle/oval with white fibers running across it.  He showed me one of my healthy lymph nodes near it, and it looked like a black circle with a white center.  Because they had ruled out infection, cyst, fluid, salivary gland, dental, anything that would be easily explained, he looked at me and said, there really weren't any more options: the most likely cause was cancer.  I looked at G, and he gave me the most, intense, serious look that I've seen in a long time.

For those of you who don't know, I had cancer when I was in my 20's, and it's a very emotionally draining experience to have.  But, I was just shy of having my children then, and now I have three beautiful Blessings, ages 16, 13 and 7.  G was with me during the first cancer go-around, and here he was facing this with me again.  The thought of leaving my family now, and even my parents, who love me and depend upon me made me very, very sad.  I am Christian, that's listed below my photo here on this site, so I wasn't afraid of being with God, I just didn't want to leave my family at this time.

Anyways, he took six biopsies of my lymph node and said I would get the results in several days.  Of course, family, the church staff, and a few others had been praying for me, and I had been reading Scripture and praying.  The next day, we were supposed to have a garage sale, and I woke up excited to have it and also just to have a fun distraction.  But, in few minutes, I was overwhelmed with nausea, the shakes, clamminess and weakness.  It was so strong that I had to lay down.  G drove me very quickly to Emergency.  They ran a variety of tests, and they all came back good, which I found very encouraging.  I hadn't told anyone yet, but JK's party was the weekend after SR's, and I couldn't blow up a single balloon at his party, so I had been worried about my lungs.  They couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, so they sent me home with anti-nausea and anti-anxiety meds.  My ER doc told me she was Christian, which I thought was not coincidental.

During the time that I was waiting for lymph node biopsy results, I tried to just take life normally.  I am an intensely affectionate mom, so my poor kids had to deal with even more hugging than usual.  On Tuesday, I read Hebrews chapter 11 that listed several people that trusted God in their lives to do amazing things, they had faith.  I was so humbled because I realized that I had been vacillating between having confidence that God would heal me to being very fearful.  I had been praying for healing, that the lymph node would be benign, or that whatever I had would be curable.  I realized that I hadn't been consistent with my faith.

On Wednesday morning I read the first three chapters of James.  One section jumped out at me, James 1:2-8, and one verse specifically had a major impact, ""But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind" (6).  I was so convicted when I read that, that when I was done, I prayed, "God, you know I'm scared, but I'm going to believe that you will heal me, that this swelling will go down, and that I will be well."  Throughout the day, when I would get fearful, I would remember my prayer, brush away the fearful thoughts and believe.  During the day, I could swear that my swelling was going down.  At 4pm, my regular doctor called and said that none of the samples were malignant or cancerous!  He said they didn't know what was wrong with my lymph node, but whatever it was, they were sure it was benign.  I told him that I thought my swelling was going down, and he said that if it was still swollen to call him in a couple of weeks but that it should eventually go completely down.  I told him about the Scripture that had such an impact on me that morning, and he told me he was Christian - I never knew that.

Anyhow, it's been two awesome days, and my swelling continues to go down.  To go from thinking that I'm going to have to fight for my life - again, to being set free and allowed to enjoy my family and plan a normal school year is beyond wonderful to me.  I know this is laced with a lot of talk about God, but I feel it incumbent upon me to share this story completely.  There is no other reason besides divine intervention why my lymph node is suddenly getting healthy.  I saw it on the ultrasound, and all the docs had no other clinical reason besides cancer to explain what was going on.  I am thankful for the prayers on my behalf, and I hope I still get prayers for the swelling to completely disappear.

Enjoy every moment you are gifted.  Don't be harsh with each other.  Love any kind of weather that comes your way.  Appreciate each other's differences.  Notice nature.  Be vegan.  And finally, Praise God!

In a few days, I'll be back to blogging again.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.  God Bless.


  1. Praise God! I could not be happier for you! ((hugs))

  2. thank goodness!!! many blessings to you as you continue to heal. xoxoxox

  3. We're glad you're alright. Take care of yourself, or better yet, let your loved ones do it for you :) Feel better.

  4. What an ordeal! Such a trying experience, and I'm glad you were able to lean on G and your faith! What a blessing that you are healing!

  5. It was unprofessional for the doctor to say it was 'most likely' cancer before doing a biopsy. At least he didn't make you come into his office for the results.

    Just glad you are on the road to recovery and I'm looking forward to new recipes.

  6. So happy to hear you're feeling better and that huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. What an awful experience to go through. I'm glad you have your family and your faith to lean on during hard times like this. Be well!

  7. Oh wow! Thank goodness. I'm so sorry you've been through that roller coaster but what an ending!!! I wish you all the happiness and health you deserve xxx

  8. Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry you had to go through that scare. But thank goodness you're OK! I'm sending lots of healthy thoughts your way. :)

  9. BM, your story is so moving, I am praying for you and know my love and desires to be a support from afar is mighty strong. Your experience took me back 22 years when my baby boy Sammy was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma (cancer of the Lymph nodes). Sammy was only eleven yrs. old when he discovered a marble size ball on his jaw. He used to play and move this ball from one side of his jaw to the end of his jaw. He played with it often, but when he turned 12 he began to complain of constant headaches and tiredness. One weekend he had a fever, a severe headache, the ball on his jaw had gotten bigger and the left side of the front of his chest was very swollen. After his doctor saw him he immediately ordered ct scans and an mri of his chest and head. Sammy had a massive tumor in his chest that had moved the left lung to the right and it had collapsed the right lung. It was difficult for him to breath. He was immediately transferred to Cleveland's Rainbow Children's Hospital. After the surgeon removed the ball on his jaw and 3 of his lymph nodes he was diagnosed with cancer...Sammy died 18 months later. I treasure every breath I take, I thank God for each day (rain or shine) and I give HIM all the praise...Prayer can move mountains and in God's hands nothing is impossible.

  10. WM, thank you! :-)

    Kelli, thank you so much.

    FF, I feel well, thank you. Just waiting for the last of the swelling to go down.

    Ingrid, it was very stressful, indeed. And, I definitely leaned on G and my faith. :-)

    SV, I wondered that at first, too. But, then I realized, he was trying to be unprofessional or doom and gloom, just trying to prepare us. I harbor no hard feelings - there wasn't any other option available to explain the swelling. New recipes are coming up!

    Andrea, thank you! It was not a fun month, that's for sure. What you might find interesting, is that the people that Hebrews 11 referred to, were all from the Old Testament - or the Torah. :-)

    Claire, the ending to this story was so sweet. I'm looking forward to staying healthy for a long time.

    Sage, thank you. :-)

    Millie, I knew your son, Sammy, had passed away, but I didn't know from what. The cancer that my lymph node was pointing at was lymphoma, so I know how scary that can be. I am so sorry for you loss, and thank you for your prayers.

  11. Oh my, what a trying experience for you to go through! I'm very glad to hear that things are okay and hope they continue to be so.

  12. Prayers and hugs! You are such a strong woman, I would have been a basket case!

  13. Rambling, it was so trying, it's hard to believe. I am very, very thankful I am healed. :-)

    CVM, ah, there were times, I had a few basket weavings going on, if you get my drift. But, thankfully, God grounded me. Thanks for the prayers!

  14. I had wondered where you'd been for the last few weeks, but so, so, so pleased this story had a happy ending. I'm so glad it turned out to be a scare, and you're on the mend. How great to be effectively given another go at life!

  15. Theresa, Yes!

    Joey, it can be a curious thing when a blogger suddenly disappears. I am happy to return.

  16. What a scare. I'm so happy to hear you are doing better. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  17. Blessed Mama! I wanted to skip to the end of your post first because I was so concerned, but I made myself read it through first. As someone who has been through cancer, also, blech, the whole mess - I know how that feels...the look from the husband and everything. I'm glad you shared all of your feelings and details related to your recovery. I've been a little blue lately, so your advice was definitely a good reminder for me.

  18. So glad you are ok. Praise God, indeed!

  19. omgosh, first off, love your name! How cute. :-) Thank you for the good thoughts.

    Jenny, now we have cancer in common, too? What else can there be? :-) Gotta have a sense of humor sometimes, right? I'm glad my reminders helped. Hope you're feeling less blue soon.

    Susan, thank you! :-)

  20. I didn't realize this was going on. So glad to hear the scare is past.

  21. Lynette, me too, thank you so much. :-)