The Answer is NOT Cancer: Joy, Concern, Confusion, and the New Direction of My Life

8 Nov

I swear to all of you that I did not rush blindly into this blog and its title.  Three weeks ago a young oncologist called with the results of a Petscan and told me that I definitively had some form of lymphoma.  A day later my oncologist told me that I surely must have the disease.  The interventional radiologist showed me the scans that confirmed the diagnosis, and swore that the mass in my chest was lymphoma.  I read the conclusions of every report and they all said either lymphoma or LIKELY lymphoma.  Point is, I am not trying to jerk anyone around here when I tell you, “I don’t have cancer!!!!”…….Probably.

The oncologist, not mine, she was out of town, came into the office, and announced that I have a benign spindle cell tumor.  “Why do I have an enlarged spleen and lymph nodes, I asked?”

“I don’t know,” he replied.  “They could be reacting to the tumor, or you could have lymphoma.”  We may be looking at two separate things, here.

And so the truth is that we begin what lymphoma patients call, “watchful waiting.”  I will have a petscan in two months.  If anything has grown, we get it and see if that’s cancer.  If my tumor grows, I consult a surgeon to see how we remove it–that will not be easy, I can assure you.  And so I live in limbo.  I suspect we all live in limbo, but my limbo has bi-monthly reality checks, for now.

I have found the writing of this blog to be cathartic and quite social, and so I will continue to do so and I hope you will continue to read and share in the new normal of my life.  I will change the title, though, if WordPress will allow me to do that.  Maybe “Cancer?  My New Adventure in Uncertainty.  Or “Limbo: Tumors, Cancer, Health, and Madness in the New Millennium.”  Thoughts?


3 Responses to “The Answer is NOT Cancer: Joy, Concern, Confusion, and the New Direction of My Life”

  1. Peter Klein November 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Maybe just: “LIMBO!”

  2. aprilfalast November 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    Great to hear it’s not cancer!

  3. jeanbscott November 13, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Erik! First of all – YAY! Not cancer today is still NOT CANCER today! Which makes me very happy for you. Yes, keep an eye on everything and yes – keep writing – the ambiguity of your diagnosis does nothing to allay your fears (and might even compound them). So write, think, listen and move forward – with optimistic caution! xx

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