Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"I think I'm paranoid..." -Garbage

I think this is a side-effect of being told every single year that I have cancer still, usually after being told things are looking good. I’ve made very forced effort not to feel my neck anymore because inevitably, there is something always there to bother me. Actually this is incredibly true as I have a lymph node chain on the left side of my neck, just behind, and running parallel to my scar. There are about 3-5 lymph nodes that I can feel, and sometimes even see, especially when I get sick. But today’s paranoia is stemming from a newer lump, and even more disturbing is that it is on the right side. It lies just under my right ear, in that spot where there’s a gap between where your jaw and neck connect. I noticed it about a month ago, then I got sick, then I got better, and its still there.

Its probably just a swollen gland, maybe a blocked salivary gland, or a response to my allergies. For normal people, these are all reasonable things to conclude, and just let it go. For cancer patients, I think finding a lump has a very distinctive fear, or annoyance tied in. You don’t want to be paranoid. After a while, you become so tired of the tests, that you wonder if it would just be easier to let it go.

But there are other issues; it’s a lump in odd place. Even if I went in, the doctors are only looking for nodes in my thyroid bed, and focus on the left side. Asking them to probe a new area is like asking a little kid to eat a second helping of veggies. Then they argue, “that’s not where thyroid cancer is,” and your like, “what if its not thyroid cancer, there’s a lump there, I swear, you can feel it, its been there a while.”

And going along with that, I wonder how people deal with just random lumps when they don’t have thyroid cancer. Who do you turn to? How do the radiologists know what to look for? Why don’t they use that same level of diligence and searching when they handle all patients, just in case, a new bump is something different? In real world stats, getting one cancer doesn’t mean the likelihood goes down for getting another.

I think that sums it up. I’m paranoid. Have little ability to accept that I’m “fine”. And well… there’s another fucking lump on my neck where there shouldn’t be one.

1 comment:

Kairol Rosenthal said...

Hey - Thanks for your post on my blog. I am going to be attending and speaking at an event while I'm in Pittsburgh:

Saturday, April 9

8 pm going late
Modern Formations Gallery
4919 Penn Ave., Garfield
Music ranging from acoustic indie-pop to melodic punk
Donation $5 to $15

Check out my blog post from today to learn more about it. I would love to meet you in person!