Monday, August 16, 2010

A Weekend of Panic ...

I'm almost too tired to write ... far too tired to think ... so this may or may not make sense. Please bear with me.

This weekend was not as much a "weekend" as it was a medical marathon. Saturday morning, Mr. ThirtyWhat woke up with a knot by his jaw under his left ear. I called the telenurse who paged the doctor who said Mr. ThirtyWhat would be fine unless a) it grew bigger, b) it became painful, or c) he developed a fever. And so I took his temperature every hour on the hour ... and, aside from the worry and anxiety, the day carried on as usual.

But by Sunday morning, Mr. ThirtyWhat woke me up to an alarming sight ... the knot had grown two to three times in size and was terribly, terribly painful. He'd take three Vicodin over the course of the night and he STILL couldn't sleep.

We called the nurse back and spoke to the oncologist on call ... who suggested we go to the emergency room as soon as possible. By 9:30 a.m., we were in a room at Memorial's ER and had began the long process of blood work, more blood work, x-rays, CT scans, and more blood work.

I'm not gonna lie ... it made my heart stop. I was relatively certain the cancer hadn't spread. I mean, cancer doesn't grow that fast. If you wake up one morning with a marble sized lump and it morphs into a goose egg in 24 hours ... it may be one of a hundred terrible things ... but a new tumor probably isn't one of them. I didn't know if something was bleeding or if the radiation burns had gotten infected ... your mind gets away from you, you know?

But after many hours and many doctors ... they think he has an infected salivary gland. Once a salivary gland gets swollen, it blocks the ducts and the inflammation can very quickly get out of control. And that's where we're at. Not deadly or dangerous or life threatening ... just extremely scarey.

Baby steps ... just keep taking baby steps ...

We're running with the Shadows of the Night
So baby take my hand, you'll be all right
Surrender all your dreams to me tonight
They'll come true in the end

Pat Benatar - Shadows of the Night

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