Diagnosis 3/16/19

So after a month of having strange left sided neck pain, ear pain, and weird reflux, I also noticed my jugular vein was distended. I’d already been to Urgent Care 2x in the last 30 days to get antibiotics for my self-diagnosed “sinus infection.” Of course, I didn’t have a primary doctor.  She left me 2 years ago, and I hadn’t made time to replace her. So I couldn’t handle my symptoms anymore. I’d already taken long catnaps at work and, my Lord, why was my neck being starting to bulge? So I left my husband to take the kids to Boy Scouts Pine Wood Derby. That event drags on anyway, so I’m happy to miss this year. I get admitted as an ER patient because some of my symptoms mimic a heart attack with chest “tightness”. I describe my sxs to the PA who proceeds to say, “can you describe what you’re feeling in a different way?”... no, ummm NO!  I’ve never felt like this before and I can’t take it any more.  So I get a chest X-ray showing significant swelling around my heart.  I’m not freaked out yet but I call my husband because he might like to know what’s happening.  I have a CT scan of my neck and chest as I wait for my husband to join me. He arrives in time for the PA to tell us I described my symptoms perfectly. She just never would have guessed I have an 11x7x7cm mass encompassing my aorta. WTF? I have cancer??!  My husband and I cry and freak out.  My mass was so concerning I had to stay the next 5 days in the hospital. Couldn’t leave until I had 1 round of chemo, with more in the books. But first it takes a few days to get all the test completed to confirm that it was lymphoma, B-cell specifically, not aggressive.  My oncologist went on Spring Break while I was in the hospital. Must have been nice. But seriously, he has a good team, so I was ok. As I’m sitting in the hospital I am thinking how funny it is that I am Cancer Rehabilition physical therapist. It’s like this was supposed to happen to me because I work with people every day to help them counter the side effects of chemo and radiation. Now I’m sitting in the other seat. I know I don’t really ‘deserve’ this diagnosis because of my profession, but I do hope I come away with some better understanding and even more sympathy for my patients when I return to work. 

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Vital Info


April 1, 2019

Denmark, Wisconsin 54208

February 12, 1980

Cancer Info

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Diffuse large B cell

March 16

over 6.1

The fact that it still exists and is more prevalent

To slow down and enjoy my time with family

Keep me laughing and know I’m loved

Prayers and visits

Aurora BayCare Medical Center

Keep moving!

Left ear pain and throat tightness x 1 month. Didn’t get better with 2 rounds of antibiotics. Also incessant reflux symptoms without the burning.

3/20/19 first cycle R-Chop



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