As the month of August approaches I don’t realize it at first of the whys and wherefores, but I find myself to either be weepy or crabby. I pay more attention to my body as August approaches and I seem to think it must be telling me something with every little ping and pang.
The other day I told my wonderfully, patient, understanding husband I thought maybe I was dying from brain cancer. I had a headache, but in my defense it was in a weird spot, the top of my head. Then my ear started bugging me, DANG the ooze from the brain cancer must be leaking into my ear! But before all that craziness I realized I could move something in the front of my neck back and forth and make it pop. I wasn’t overly concerned with this one. The Doctor in my own brain told me, “eh that’s nothin’ but your thyroid; it just completely died and turned to stone”.
My thyroid has been damaged from the radiation treatments I had almost 10 years ago now. Yeah, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Tonsil cancer on August 27th, 2004. That’s a big part of why the month of August sucks! The other reason is my mother died on August 2nd, three years ago, from cancer. She and I were diagnosed just weeks apart from each other and we walked, crawled and kicked and screamed our way on this journey for seven years together, until her death. Yeah August can really suck the wind out of my usual crisp sails.
The one good thing about this August is that my husband and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on the 25th, just two days before the 10th anniversary of that stinkin’ cancer diagnosis. We’re going to celebrate both of these milestones with happiness and hope. I don’t want these pings and pangs to rain on my party so I made an appointment to see my GP so she could reassure me I wasn’t dying of brain cancer. I like my GP, she’s pretty down to earth and we’ve chuckled over stuff over the years. She’s also my husband’s GP, so she knows us both.
Today I went to see her and climbed up onto the exam table for her to check me out. I told her about the popping in my neck and so she gently placed her hand on my throat and felt around, moving slowing, I showed her how I held my hand to the area and she held her hand there and moved it like I did and POP! She jumped a little, and said, “Oh that’s WEIRD!” I said, “I KNOW right? I’m glad you felt it because my husband just rolled his eyes at me when I told him what it was doing!” “Oh no”, she says, “That’s definitely weird”! And yeah, we both chuckled! I told her how I told him about the brain cancer and she smiled and laughed and said, “yeah, no, I don’t believe you have brain cancer”. I told her I knew I didn’t, but “its August you know, my sucky month”. She understands, so she’s sending me on to see my ENT Doctor, because she can only speculate on why it’s doing that. It could be symptomatic from the radiation, it could be from the surgery to remove the lymph nodes in my neck, it could be broken cartilage. I chuckled when she told me she wanted me to see my ENT. He’s the one that diagnosed my cancer and over the years I have seen him A LOT. The first year I saw him every single month! I told her after 10 years I finally got a clean bill of health from him and he doesn’t want to see me anymore! We’ve said our goodbyes, with the understanding that I would continue to see my Oncologist. Yeah, she and I chuckled. She wrote out her notes for my ENT to see and his nurses will give me a call. In the meantime the good news is, my ears are really very clean!