Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Recap Of How It Came To Be

Christmas day seems to be like a good place to start, but let's rewind roughly six weeks to where my symptoms began. A solid week of intense night sweats which literally left myself soaked, my clothes soaked, and even the bed sheets soaked. Follow that by fever after chill and fever after chill and so on and so forth. I even got a soar throat and a head cold.

Now, anybody that knows me knows that I have what others call a super-immune system and for me to have this non-stop illness was extremely odd. I finally took my wife's advice and went into see my doctor, Megan Spohr, but she was out of town so I had to meet with what was left, that being Tracy Williams. I met with him the Tuesday before Christmas where he checked all my vitals which were all high and even did a couple blood tests. The tests came back showing negative for mono (duh, I had that 3.5 yrs ago doc) but my white blood cell count was highly elevated meaning I'm fighting some sort of infection. Dr. Williams' hunch was that I had a recurring viral infection and prescribed me some antibiotics. I started taking those Thursday and they were of no use, I only became worse.

Friday, which was Christmas Eve, I began having what felt like a lot of pressure and tightness in my chest, and later some difficulty breathing, especially when I would lay flat on my bed. This led to a hacking cough. I was not about to go to the doctor being it was the holidays, afterall, I had to see what Santa brought the kids in the morning : ) ... Christmas day it only became worse.

Kathryn once again finally persuaded me to go to the urgent care clinic downtown where her mother works. I went in and at first Nurse Michael and Dr. Nichol were laughing and joking with me trying to make the best out of the fact that we all had to be there Christmas day. Dr. Nichol was thorough enough to order a chest x-ray and when he got the results both him and Nurse Michael had a total change in their demeanor, one that was sorrowful. Nichol showed us the results which showed a rather large unidentified mass in my chest. He then transferred me to SW WA Med Ctr for a cat scan to get further details.

Once at SW ER we met with Dr. Reed who also was very afluent and taking every necessary precaution which the Vancouver Clinic had failed to do earlier. After about 3 hours of testing, blood draws, urine samples, and cat scans we finally got the results. I have a tumor in my chest (roughly 12cm x 14cm or the size of a softball) and it is probable lymphoma. I wrote Santa a letter which read I would have been happy with a lump of coal instead! Dr. Reed was very adament that of all the cancers to have, lymphoma is one of the more treatable and even curable forms. He then said I needed to schedule a chest biopsy to confirm the cancer.

From their I went back to SW on Wednesday 12/29 and met with Dr. Kansal who also was amazing. He performed the chest biopsy where he first tried entering through my left peck but that was not working (all that pain for nothing) so he moved directly to the center of my chest and went in through the sternum ... hahaha and I thought the peck hurt, boy was I wrong. At least they gave me some sort of sedative to relax me.

This is how the cancer started, more to come regarding the results and our choice of center for treatment.

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