The Lurker

The Lurker

Damn you cancer. You may leave but you never really go away. You’re always in the background, lurking. Somewhere. Even if you’re not there you kind of are. Every symptom, any “normal” illness like a cold, any irregular result in bloodwork becomes a possible recurrence. It’s not only your own over-reacting, it’s your doctor who over-reacts as well.

 

I’ve had a swollen gland in my neck for the past 4 weeks or so. It’s one single gland that is painful to the touch, sometimes. After a while, thinking I had a sinus infection (because I had one a few months ago, after the flu) I went to an ENT. He replaced my former ENT who just retired. He was young and eager. He took a quick look at me, felt the gland and said he wanted to schedule me for a biopsy immediately. When I asked why – he said he thought my lymphoma was back. As soon as he heard that I had lymphoma previously that’s all he could focus on.

 

They said the surgical center would call me and tell me when to show up the next day for the biopsy. They never called so at 4:35 I called them and they were closed. I took it as a sign. I didn’t go. I went to my primary care doctor the next day to discuss everything. After evaluating me and running some bloodwork he said we would see what it showed. It came back the next day showing that my neutrophils were abnormally high, as well as my High Sensitivity CRP which is normally low. I had some inflammatory issue going on possibly due to a virus, bacterial infection or allergy situation. My lymphocytes were perfectly in range and I had no immature granulocytes – another “marker” for a blood cancer. He said to wait the weekend and call him Monday to check in, or before if something changed. The next day, Saturday, my swollen gland started going down. Today, a week later, it’s down about 75%. Whatever I had is resolving on its own, with some natural intervention from me. This natural intervention includes Oregano Oil, DMG, Vitamin D3 (as always), Flax Oil, Turmeric, Vitamin C and something called ApEX water that I am testing out anyway for another purpose.

 

Experience counts. The ENT should’ve run bloodwork on me first, gotten the results back the next day, then made an assessment. Not scare me out of my mind by hearing I had lymphoma in the past, have a swollen gland now – so now it must be lymphoma and we need to biopsy it ASAP. My primary care doctor (who threw me in the hospital originally from his office for what was then diagnosed as lymphoma) understood how to evaluate symptoms, run the appropriate non-invasive tests first, and see where they would lead. His years of experience gave him perspective on how to treat this kind of situation. Please don’t let him ever retire.

 

Such is the life of a (former) cancer patient.

 

In gratitude and health –

Sheryl

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