Why is a cat the featured image on a post titled “It’s not a tumor”? Because I do what I want. Say hi to Oliver.

I’m here to write my obligatory “it’s been a while” post. Not wanting to bury the lede, I’ll let you know I’m still here. Just miserably so.

I’ve had a LOT of doctor appointments the last few months trying to figure out why one of my jaw lymph nodes is inflamed to 3.5 cm.

It started maybe two years ago. There were antibiotics, a biopsy, more antibiotics. Nothing helped long term, and nothing was diagnosably wrong.

Over time I have become fatigued to the point I have to calculate if I can do a thing and still get myself to the toilet in time. (Sometimes I can’t.) I spend most of my time in bed. 

My pain is off the charts too. Weed is my one respite, but I only take it before bed because it tends to dehydrate me–even with all the Gatorade and Liquid IV and DripDrop SSDI can buy.

Anyway, with the first biopsy saying it wasn’t more cancer, my oncologist referred me to an ENT who suggested removing it surgically was an option, but I had time to think about it. If it was still bothering me in the Fall, I would call to schedule the procedure.

Well, Fall arrived and I was so fatigued and the pain was worse and I went from reluctant to be cut open again to “get this fucking thing out of me” overnight.

But, naturally, the worsening of symptoms concerned people who know more about such things. I’ve had a CT, a PET scan, and a biopsy in the last month or so. It’s no longer a single lymph node. There was some mention of lymphoma, but it’s not that.

Of course, I got that information long after the anxiety had taken over. Last night the oncologist’s office called after hours and I spiraled again. It was just an appointment reminder for January 2nd. My mind was reasonable, but my gut was not.

It’s my opinion that I have some kind of infection or a bunch of reactive lymph nodes, but I guess I’ll see what the doctor says after the first of the year. Doctor Google didn’t have anything conclusive to say about the lab and biopsy results, which is why I’m “like this.” Some deep, dark part of me remembers what happens to the undiagnosed.

(I have better doctors now than the Rheumatologist from Hell and an attorney to keep Lincoln Financial in line, but still. Try telling that to my colon.)

The good news is I got a stair lift out of the deal. Lol. It really has helped me so much, now that I have to leave for medical appointments all the damned time. 

I’ve also been listening repeatedly to Tara Brach‘s podcasts, especially the episode titled “Awakening from Trance – Embracing Unlived Life.” It hits home enough that listening is a good distraction and it has given me tools to cope when I can’t listen. I’m not without anxiety, but my more intense episodes don’t last as long as they used to. I’ll take it.

I’m going to leave off with an ask that you visit my YouTube channel and share a video with someone. (I’ve got bills, they’re multiplyin’.) I’ve also got an updated Amazon wishlist. Know that things are not dire now. I’m just financially anxious about what’s ahead.

I hope you have a celebratory December, what’s left of it now, and a wonderful New Year.

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