Monday: CT scan of the head and neck
Tuesday: phone call from doctor telling me "trouble" on scan...pharyngeal mass
Wednesday: attacked by bully while in the d-chair
Thursday: appt with ear, nose, throat doc cancelled en route...doc called into surgery
Frday...called back to family doc so she could discuss CT scan
Dearies, I am about as fritzed out as I have ever been. Let me start out immediately, though, and say that I am OK and the mass on the CT is thought to be a swollen lymph node. I will know more after visiting with the specialist next Tuesday.
So here's what happened:
You already know about Monday, so I will tell you that the phone rang on Tuesday morning as I was pulling my shoes on to go play golf. It was my family doc's medical assistant, and she was calling to tell me that the CT scan showed something that my doctor was concerned about and we needed to schedule a specialist asap.
For a normal person, this would have been a frightening phone call. For me....the room started spinning. I am a thyroid cancer survivor, and even though it's been almost 30 years now, nothing is ever just something simple...a headache becomes a brain tumor, a lump becomes non-Hodgkins.
(This doesn't make me a hypochondriac necessarily...just someone who is 55 years old, menopausal, a cancer survivor with Crohn's and end stage renal disease, who is on dialysis, and who is waiting for a kidney.)
(Oh...and with a family history that has been decimated by cancer and heart disease.)
So I freaked out completely, got in the car, and then chattered like a circus monkey the entire 40 minute ride to the golf course, and then the whole way around nine holes. Thank God for JB and my friend Cheryl...they know me and knew enough to just let me ramble on hysterically
On Wednesday, after an agonizing night of no sleep and stress off the charts, I went to dialysis and settled in for treatment. I told my tech Marcella what was going on, and she and I both cried a little that it seems like rain and pouring are a permanent part of my wheelhouse lately. I was sitting in my d-chair reading when a podmate came in for his treatment (late), made a big to-do of his being there, and then proceeded to turn on his music loud enough for the fish in the pond outside to hear.
(Podmate is on the other side of the half wall.)
I didn't say anything at first, but the longer it went and the more my head pounded and the higher my blood pressure went, I finally motioned Marcella over. I said that I hated to do it, but was there any way she could ask the gentleman to possibly turn his music down?
Marcella said "It's absolutely not a problem, Coni. He isn't supposed to be playing it anyway, and should put his headphones on."
Well, what was a simple request for some common courtesy went ugly, racial, personal, and awful in a split second. He stood up (while hooked to the machine...very very dangerous) and basically went batshit crazy on the "fat old white lady bitch that just wants to be in everybody's business" while glaring at me, pointing, and calling me every awful name in the book.
I am not ashamed to say that I was so completely stunned that I sat there in my chair shaking like a leaf, crying, with my heart in my chest, and wanting to crawl into the floor.
The techs and nurses swarmed and calmed him down, but as soon as it was quiet again or a new person arrived for treatment, he stood up and went off again.
It. Was. Awful.
At the end of my treatment, the lead nurse came over and apologized profusely and told me that she was moving me back to my original pod on the other side of the building effective immediately, and that if he came near me or said anything to me to let her know and he would be dismissed from care.
I have been wracking and wracking my brain to try to figure out why I am still gutted by what happened, and the only thing I can come up with is that I got traumatized by a bully again and was completely helpless to do anything about it.
Wednesday night is a blur...I basically sat here and bawled to my JB and he listened lovingly and told me to just try to forget about it and concentrate on the next day's appointment with the specialist.
No sleep again, but I managed to get showered and dressed and was on my way to the specialist when his office called to tell me that they were going to have to re-schedule my appointment because he had been calked into an emergency surgery.
(This is where I ended up...in the parking lot of the Notre Dame bookstore, because I was afraid that if I didn't pull over and sit someplace while on the phone, I was going to crash into something or somebody.)
I'll fast forward through all of the hand-wringing, begging, and pleading for somebody to please just call me and talk me through the CT results, but all I could get was a lot of "I'll send the message back to the doctor".
JB left for New Jersey this morning, and soon after the phone rang and it was my family doctor asking me if I could be in her office in 20 minutes.
Off I went, convinced that it must be very bad for her to want to see me in person, so I white-knuckled it the whole way there, had a mini breakdown in the parking lot, and then finally made it in to see her.
Dr Niklinska came in with the report and read it to me sentence by sentence, explaining everything as she went along. The CT shows a 1.5cm mass that is an "oval retro pharyngeal nodule" at the level of C4 that is probably a lymph node. Nothing else looked amiss, but I do have some pretty significant arthritis in my neck, and "intracranial vascular calcifications" that she told me not to even think about right now.
She ordered some labwork to see if anything showed up there, and told me to see the ENT on Tuesday and we would go from there.
I am home and in pajamas and have just finished a nice light lunch while the sheets and blankets do their thing in the laundry room. I paid bills, cleared the dining room table off, and added some potting soil to my fern, and I am officially DONE for the duration.
A nice long nap will definitely be had once the bed is remade, and then I think it will be stitching and movies and a cozy blanket, and absolutely nothing else other than rest and calm for the remainder of the weekend. It is supposed to be gorgeous on Sunday, and I really really want to play golf, but I feel like I am right on the tippy tippy edge of a crash, so I want to re-gather my wits a bit before venturing out.
I'm going to put the iPad away and just enjoy some down time for a bit, so I will bid you all a-dew and hope that you and yours have a happy, healthy, peaceful, and lovely weekend!
Come tell me all about it!