My wife has had a lump near her left collarbone area for about 5-6 weeks. The doctors first assumed that it was related to an infection, so put my wife on antibiotics. Those produced no noticeable result, so my wife was scheduled to go to the hospital to get a biopsy and CT scan. That was today’s mission.
I took my wife in, got her situated, and left to try to attend to work if possible (it wasn’t – couldn’t find a free wireless hotspot). When I got back, after about an hour and a half (maybe a little more) they had still not brought her back to the room from the scanning area. Even the nurses were surprised that it was taking that long. They were very apologetic, which was unnecessary seeing as they had done nothing wrong! I will say the staff at the hospital were very friendly and helpful. But I digress.
They finally wheeled her back up, and we all find that they did not do the biopsy. Apparently the lump is situated near a vein and an artery, and there is a lot of other proper tissue blocking. The doctor felt that even if he did the biopsy that if nothing was found, there would be no great certainty that they had actually biopsied the lump. So that left two alternatives. Either wait a month and see what happens, or do minor surgery to take a whole node and test it.
Even when told that it would cause a permanent (though small) incision scar, and the pain, etc. Kim’s inclination was towards the surgery. Just to get the waiting and questioning out of the way! At this point, the doctor began trying to assure us that the likelihood that this was something serious was small, that waiting would not be any riskier. Kim was still very tentative. But the doctor’s question remained on the table. Which track would we like to take?
Before making a decision, I asked what I thought was a reasonable question. And am glad I did. Did the CT scan show anything that would give additional information to make this decision? The doctor responded that he had not yet had the opportunity to review the results of the CT, and that if we had a couple minutes, he would review and come back to us before we left the radiology wing. It took a little bit more than a couple minutes, but he eventually returned.
His opening to me was, “Forget everything I said before.” That may not be an exact quote, but it is close. He then proceeded to say that Kim had an additional node on/near her heart, near the aorta (thus hard to biopsy), and that she also had much smaller buildups on the back of her neck (hard to pinpoint in order to perform a biopsy, but visible on the CT scan). With these findings, it would seem that things are much more serious. The doctor indicates that he has some confidence that Kim has lymphoma. The good news is that lymphoma is fairly treatable, per the doctor (I don’t know that as a fact myself).
Bad news is that now, to verify, Kim will definitely have to go to get a lump removed surgically in order to test (after another doctor’s visit with another doctor – simply to meet and greet and fill out paperwork). Then, if we find that this is in fact the diagnosis, we have to deal with treating for the diagnosis.
So, be in prayer for my wife and for my family. It will not be a fun season. But I know God is in control, and I will rest on him to provide healing, support and grace in his time and measure.