Raindrops and Sunbeams

Journal of a journey..

Posted on: December 30, 2009

It started back in early October – as clear as I can remember. That ‘too full’ feeling all the time. Didn’t think a thing about it. Looked forward to a very anticipated trip to Williamsburg with my husband.
Took the trip and enjoyed it SO much – discovered that I LIKE history! I was fascinated with all the tours – was very glad that they had an excellent bus system, or my feet would have quit the first day. Felt badly going out to eat…and being full after a couple of bites. Wrote it off as our trip – eating out 2-3 times a day..vacation mode – definitely not the usual routine. Ignored the being short of breath for the same reasons.

Came home from the trip – and laying there one night, I felt a softball size hard lump in my abdomen – and my mind rejected it completely. It was not there. But it was. I said nothing. Thought maybe I was gaining weight (all on one side?) – but the scales said that was not true. So I ignored it.

Went to my sons’ houses over Thanksgiving – the day before to make pies with my granddaughters….love those ‘grandma’ memories! It was totally fun. Spent the holiday at my oldest son’s house – cooking up a storm….and it was quite a spread! Everyone dug in…except me. Just a few bites…I was done. I’d learned to not ignore it and stuff more in….painful.

Came home from that – the ‘softball blob’ was still there – rock-hard and unyielding. Knew I had to acknowledge it, tell my honey, and deal with whatever is is. It is turning out to be a whirlwind journey.

December 14 – I had a CAT scan…hopefully this would give us answers. We were all thinking it was some kind of encapsulated tumor or growth.. and were totally blindsided to find out that that (now bigger) blob was my spleen – and the laundry list of the reasons why it would be more than double normal size was not easy reading.

Since we still had no answers – my family doc referred me to a surgeon – because the next logical step was a biopsy. Easy, I thought. Ah…no. One cannot biopsy a spleen….unless you want to bleed out. I didn’t know that. So….there were also a lot of swollen lymph nodes surrounding the spleen – so operating on the idea that what was making the lymph nodes swell was also what was making the spleen swell – the surgeon set that up….with a colleague who was an expert in these things.

December 22 – (we were rushing madly – as the Medicare Advantage insurance we had – company was going out of business as of the 31st. We have insurance that will pick up….but that’s gonna get messy I just know) the CAT scan assisted needle biopsy was done….I was scared – no drugs…had to be able to follow the directions of the doctor (consisting of “do not move”). Even though my arm went to sleep, and I was uncomfortable on my stomach (blob got in the way), I got through it fine. The doctor got 4 samples from one lymph node. He had to thread that needle in between my liver and kidney to reach it….quite the delicate procedure.

Of course, thinking we’d get results before Christmas was a dream – not to happen. But last Monday, we did. The biopsy showed NO evidence of cancer! YAY! Celebration time!! Only later did we address the fact that we still have no idea why my spleen is so swollen…and we really need to. Now a whirlwind of activity – a new biopsy is scheduled for the 7th….much more tricky…very small spaces to operate in… have to see a hemotologist (aka an oncologist) because my blood count is extremely low. Not good. That was scheduled for the day after the biopsy. But, thank God (who is taking good care of me on this journey), the hemotologist opened up her schedule and they can get me in tomorrow….all knowledge helps…but this new wrinkle was unexpected. Not painful, just makes me really tired.

Whew! Had to get that all down to get up to date….now the pace will slow, but have good info….I cannot be the only one going through this….besides, I believe knowledge is power – and God put me in charge of my body – have to learn all I can about it and what to do.

More to come…


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  • None
  • Diane: Hello, Trish, yes, we thank God for your recovery! I am having another lymph node biopsy Dec. 7 and if NHL has turned more aggressive, I am consider
  • Larry A. Thompson: If I were a red balloon, I’d fly so free; Above every housetop, Above every tree; Beyond every dark cloud, Without one care; Never to r
  • Jenny: You heading to Raleigh for Thanksgiving? Come by the shop if you can to say Hi! If not Happy Thanksgiving!


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