Oct 26, 2013 - 6:51 am
I'm a 41 year old dad. Today is my son's 9th birthday... And I'm a wreck. Trying to keep it together, but it's tough. I found a lump in my neck a few weeks ago--a little deep, not easy to find. Feels pretty firm--but not rock hard. There's no telling how long it has been there. PCP acted like it was probably nothing--told me to wait a few weeks. I also recently passed a kidney stone, and I found out I have 4 more still in my left kidney--never have had any in my life. After that, I had a 24 hour urine collection test, and I found out I have hypercalciuria (high urinary calcium)--so something is definitely off.
I waited one week and went to an ENT. He said it's probably nothing--said the node was a little over 1 cm (he was wrong). He put me on antibiotics and said come back in 2-3 weeks. I went back in one and a half. He scoped my nasopharynx--nothing found. I had also had my dentist do an oral screening--nothing found. The ENT said he thinks the node was the same size--and that I could wait or do the ultrasound guided FNA. I chose the FNA--still awaiting results--but I found out it was a lymph node measuring 2.5 cm x 1.6 cm x 0.5 cm. There are so many red flags: >2cm, age>40, ratio of node lxw <2, non-tender, firm, posterior cervical area.
So now I'm waiting, and it's just hard to get through the day. My mother passed at 47 from colon cancer--never saw her grandchildren or her son get married. I was in my early 20s when she wasted away. It was a terrible time. My dad's mother passed at 39 from breast cancer--before I was born.
I want to do everything I can to beat this if I get the bad news that I'm pretty sure I'm going to get.
Any advice on getting a good doctor? I've been reading the Duke website (I'm in NC)--there are many doctors that treat multiple types of cancers--and some that are H&N only. Of the H&N docs, some have published and have better credentials. Is there any way I can have a say in the doctor I get?
Despite this roller coaster of emotions, this site has given me some hope. It's nice to know there are others out there to listen and help.