Well I’ve had a lot on my mind this past week. I had found a lump under my arm about 3 weeks ago, it didn’t hurt and it wasn’t that big. I never thought about it again until about a week ago when I noticed it had gotten larger. Immediately I got on the Internet like I always do to figure out what it could be. Can be some pretty scary stuff. I called and went into the doctor.
The doctor confirmed what I had read on the Internet. He had done a breast exam and they were lump free. He checked out the lump under my left arm. He said if that is a lymph node then that is a large one. What does that mean I asked him. He finished the exam and I sat up. This is the part of the situation I never really wanted myself to be in.
“Well Rachel,” he said, “it could be a number of things; some of them bad and some not really a big deal. It can be Hodgkin’s, non Hodgkin’s, infection in your body, lymphatic disease of another kind, or it could be just a fatty tumor.” I was in shock from the moment he said Hodgkin’s. I really had to fight to try to pay attention to him because I wanted to go off in my head with the thoughts that were lingering instead of listen to him but I knew I had to pay attention. He ordered blood draw and an ultrasound. He said we have to find out what the lump is before we go forward with anything. He told me not to worry myself to death over it right now, just wait and see.
“OH YEAH that is easy for you to say pal!” screaming inside my head.
“Well I’ve some bad run of luck with health issues and cancer is very thick in my family Doc but I’ll try not to worry.” I said to him.
He left; I got my top back on and sat in solitude waiting for the nurse to come back with papers and orders. I sat there thinking isn’t this just bullshit! I quit smoking to avoid my biggest fear, cancer, and here I am. I’m in the seat my dad was in 13 years ago, in the seat my aunt Eve was in 5 years ago, the seat I wanted to avoid at all cost. What am I going to do if this is cancer I thought to myself as images of my kids floating through my mind?
I know the chances of cancer are pretty high seeing that I was a dumb ass and smoked for 15+ years. It runs in my family as if we all have adopted it. I always go to the worst of course too and I know this so I was trying to push myself into denial. Denial is so friendly feeling, and calming isn’t it? I wanted to go there so bad but I couldn’t with the symptoms facing me, health history, family history and just my damn luck.
I’m only 31. Almost 32. If it is cancer I could see a five-year survival rate. That would make me 36 or 37 when I’d have to worry about the cancer returning with a vengeance. That puts me back to fighting it, which could be two years and eventually it would probably kill me. I’m looking at 40-45 if I’m lucky to live to. This is what I was thinking sitting in the car out in the parking lot before I left the doctor office. Not that I was counting myself out, but I was just trying to see the future outcome if it does turn out to be cancer. That is a good scenario I played out in my head. It could always be worse. It could be a rapid growing cancer that doesn’t die with chemotherapy treatments and in that case I’m looking at less then five-year survival rate. That makes me 37 my average chance age to live to.
Something crazy is while the doctor is telling me in the room that this lump could be cancer I’m also thinking to myself I sure could use a fucking cigarette right now. How fucked up is that? The one thing that most likely put me in this situation I’m thinking is a good idea to have one! That just proves to me that it is one strong addiction.
Anyway I don’t know yet if it is cancer, a fatty tumor or any of the other stuff the doctor said it could be. I really am trying NOT to worry about it being the worst but that is so hard for me to do. Wish I had my dad to call right now….I have been worrying about lung cancer for over 12 years never, ever did I think lymphatic system cancer. I even worried some about ovarian cancer at times but lung was my biggest fear and worry. So many cancers….still no cures. I’m scared I won’t lie. I also have faith. My faith and belief in God will get me over this hurdle whatever size the hurdle be. I’m a fighter like my aunt Eve. I miss her too.
I have survived an eating disorder, physical abuse, a drug habit, sexual abuse, shingles, fibromyalgia, death of my best friend dad, death of my aunt Eve, and the tumor in my back. None of those have shaken my faith away nor will they take God out of my heart or life. If it turns out to be cancer it won’t either.
I’m going to post a prayer on my page. Just leave your first name if you want to pray with me or if you want me to pray for you. I believe.
Thanks for reading. I hope you all come back soon and I have good cancer free news to post on Wednesday. God bless you all. Be safe.