Jun 22, 2010 - 3:13 pm
I had already found the lump on my shoulder, that would turn out to be non-Hodgkins lymphoma. As a physician I knew that lymphoma was on the list of possibilities for the upcoming excisional biopsy. I went on line and searched on "lymphoma". I found the web site of a guy who found a lump in his groin that turned out to be lymphoma.
I had not checked my inguinal region for any enlarged lymph nodes. I stood in front of the computer and dropped my trousers and started palpating. That is when I realized that my 16 year old son was not out of the house as I thought but had just walked into the room and was standing behind me. He was not aware of an impending medical problem as we didn't want to make him anxious if this turned out to be nothing. I pulled up my pants and asked if he would give me a few moments alone. He left and closed the door.
I had a dilemma. Did I tell him I was going to have a biopsy that could show cancer, or let him think his dad was a dirty old man. The latter seemed to be the best option at the time. I came out of the room and asked him to please just forget what he saw. "no problem dad. It is forgotten already," was his response.
When I had the diagnosis about 10 days later we told all the kids what was going on. My wife asked if I told our 16 year old son what had really happened in front of the computer. I had not. When I did he laughed and said "gee dad, I thought you had one up on me." It was the only really humorous event of having cancer and chemo. We still laugh about dad getting caught with his pants down, standing in front of a computer. Things are not always what they seem.