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Do I Have Cancer?

Updated on September 27, 2014

Have I Got Cancer?

If you have come to this page looking for a cure for cancer then I am sorry for wasting your time, I am not a miracle worker and I do not offer alternative remedies. This is a personal journey that I am on and hopefully it will have a happy outcome.

My journey began in April 2014 or to be exact and to the point at 11:40 pm on Tuesday April 15th 2014.

It was a normal night and my Children were in bed sleeping ready for school on the Wednesday, my wife Alison and myself were sitting watching a story about a lunar eclipse on Sky News when I decided that my face had been itchy long enough and went into the bathroom to have a shave.

During my shave I noticed in the mirror that the blade of my razor disappeared from my view as I was shaving the left hand side of my neck, just below my ear. It was at that point that I realized that there was a lump on my neck. I had shaved two days before and hadn't noticed anything unusual then so this was new.

I didn't panic simply because I have been prone to ear infections for most of my life and so I just put it down to another ear infection

Is This A Non Hodgkins Lymphoma?

Picture taken the day after I discovered the lump. as you can see I don't have a steady hand when drawing a circle in Paint.
Picture taken the day after I discovered the lump. as you can see I don't have a steady hand when drawing a circle in Paint. | Source

A Visit To The Doctor

The next morning I made an appointment with at my local doctors surgery and not really thinking about it got on with my day, my appointment was for Thursday at 2:40 pm.

I arrived at the surgery with my wife and my youngest son Jason and waited to be called in to the doctors office, and when I got the call I realized it was a doctor that I had never seen before I won't name her, firstly because I think that she would prefer me not too and secondly because she was a locum, I have forgotten her name.

Anyway I followed her in to the office and explained that I thought I had an ear infection, she checked my ears and told me that she couldn't see any sign of infection but gave me antibiotics just in case there was an infection there that she could not see.

The she felt the lump and said to me "This is very important, I need you to come back next week if the lump is still there,"

I said that I would do that and then, I don't really know if doctors are supposed to say this, she said " You do know about cancer!" I can't explain what went through my head at that moment all I can say is that when I got home I was going to have to change my underwear.

Then the doctor told me that even if the lump was gone I should still make the appointment for a week later.

I followed her out of the office back into the waiting room where my wife and son were and for some strange reason when my wife looked at me as if to ask what. all I could say was Dum Dum Dum Dum in the tune of Beethoven's 5th overture.

Bloods

My doctor turned into a Vampire and decided that she wanted my blood.
My doctor turned into a Vampire and decided that she wanted my blood. | Source

Back To The Doctor's Office

A week later Wednesday 24th April 2014 at 9:am I was back in the doctor's office where again she had a good feel of the lump that was still there on my neck, then she turned into a Vampire.

I don't really mind needles so much but when they put a needle in and it has a screw tap on it I begin to worry a little, six syringes full to the top of my blood was taken out of my arm I felt like a born again blood bank!

The doctor said that she would send my blood for analysis and that it would be marked urgent and that I would hear from the hospital in a few days with an appointment to see an ear nose and throat specialist.

I received 2 letters from the hospital a week later the first letter told me to go back to my doctor's surgery and have a nurse take more samples of my blood on Monday May 12th and the second was to tell me that I had an appointment at the Hospital on May 13th.

Ultrasound Scan

An Ultrasound scan uses sound waves to give a picture of inside the body without the need for surgery.
An Ultrasound scan uses sound waves to give a picture of inside the body without the need for surgery. | Source

A Hospital Visit

My first visit to Hospital was like hello, feel the lump doctor your bloods are High good bye, I will book you in for an ultrasound scan and then you can come back and see me. it was all over in ten minutes.

Over a month later on 24th June I was at the hospital again for my scan and again I was in and out in under twenty minutes.

Now the long wait over 2 months this time, after repeated calls to my doctor asking for the results of my scan and them telling me that they don't have any news for me. I finally went back to the Hospital to see the ear nose and throat guy again.

"We found two areas of Concern," he told me, " One right beside your ear and one on your neck," he went on to tell me that at the moment there was nothing to worry about as these could be Cysts. but he then took out a needle and took a sample or a needle Biopsy as it is commonly known.

On Wednesday 10th of September 2014 I went back to the Hospital for the results of the biopsy, All ready to brace myself for bad news but also ready to breath again in the event of good news.

This whole appointment was a complete and utter waste of time, the doctor would have been better to call me and tell me the result.

We can't give you any results today because we missed the area with the biopsy and we need you to come back and have another biopsy, this time it will be taken with ultra sound so that we can get the exact location.

Picture Taken Yesterday 09/27/14

Selfie taken yesterday, no need for a red line marker this time
Selfie taken yesterday, no need for a red line marker this time | Source

Life In Limbo

So here I am over seven months after finding Lucy lump on my neck and I am still no farther forward than when I first went to the doctors office in April.

Since that first visit the word cancer has never been said again to me either at the doctors office or at the Hospital, "Two areas of Concern," are the closest thing to a diagnosis that I have had.

I am still awaiting a letter from the Hospital about my second biopsy under ultrasound and I hope that it comes soon.

How Long Will It Take For A Diagnosis?

How long should it take to find out if you have cancer or not?

See results

Do I Have Cancer?

Over the last few months I have been on a roller coaster ride in my mind, I have gone through the whole range of emotions and my family have been with me all of the way, like me they just want to know the answer one way or the other and the wait is just adding to the stress.

With two areas of concern Lucy and Louie Lump are growing on me and the original lump has almost doubled in size.

Do I have Cancer? I don't know but I will keep you updated as soon as I actually find anything out.

Update Wednesday September 24th 2014

I was sitting at home yesterday when the telephone rang, It was the Hospital asking why I had not attended my appointment at 2:30 pm, I was shocked! I had not received a letter from them asking me to attend and I haven't received a telephone confirmation as I usually do a week before any appointments.

They have rearranged a time for me to attend for an Ultra sound Guided Biopsy on Thursday October 2nd.

Nearly forgot to add, Got a letter from the Hospital today asking me to attend yesterday, strange thing is there is no post date marked on it.

I will keep you posted on how it goes.


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    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      I am glad that your test are all cleared and that you had a good news from the hospital. I have read it the other day in fb. You must have gone through a horrible time knowing nothing right what was going on. Take care. Voted up and shared.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 2 years ago from North America

      Jimmy, How is it going? My best to you and your family always.

    • MaggieMerrywell profile image

      MaggieMerrywell 2 years ago

      I hope you hear positive news soon. All that I would add is that the prognosis for lymphomas is way better than it was even a few years ago.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 2 years ago

      Jimmy: I have been where you are and know how frightened you must be. I do not know what the health care system in Scotland is like, but in the US, if they have any inkling at all that you have Cancer, you know within 24 hours that there is a problem and are called back for more tests. If the people you are seeing are NOT cancer specialists, you are going to the wrong doctors. If there is a teaching hospital near you, go there. If there is a cancer hospital near you. go there. But do not delay. I know you are a proponent of smoking, and the fact that you have two areas around your neck they cannot define is suspect. Do not let them make you wait any longer. Demand from anybody and everybody that you get answers asap. Your life could depend on it. My heart goes out to you, believe me. God Bless and good luck.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      Wishing you the best of news when it finally does arrive. One good thing about hearing "an area of concern" is often times that means the cells are just beginning to change. Fortunately our immune system will do everything in its power to try to prevent that from happening so often times bad cells will right themselves and get back into normal mode again. Hopefully your news will be good.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 2 years ago

      I am sorry to hear of the stressful situation you are in and not yet knowing after months what your diagnosis is going to be. I will be praying for your Jimmy.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Get well soon. You have not mentioned the present condition of lump. It is a height of carelessness on the part of hospital. By this time metastasis could occur. But several types of cysts are harmless.

      I think the hospital is making money. Keep the records and consult another specialist.

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 2 years ago

      Jimmy, the lab and pathologist should be able to read the tissue slide within 24 hours. I worked in a hospital lab for several knows and know this to be the case. Raise hell! This is no time to be a nice guy. My very best wishes to you and your family.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Will keep checking back and sending positive thoughts.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wow, that's quite a roller coaster ride you're describing. We have a lot of cancer in our family (unfortunately) but none of us has had to wait so long for a diagnosis or to start treatment. In fact, we were stunned by how quickly my treatment began after my very quick diagnosis almost five years ago. If you have the option of pestering, I mean advocating strongly for yourself, I would suggest you and your family do so. I'll be praying it's just a benign cyst or two and that you'll find out and have it taken care of very, very soon.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Jimmy - I agree with Paula that you should start making DEMANDS for results and (if needed) immediate treatment! There is no acceptable excuse (the word 'reason' does not apply here) that it should take months to complete a viable biopsy and inform you whether or not that lump is malignant or benign.

      Please don't accept the idea that 'no news is good news'--not in this context. While there are many good doctors and other health professionals practicing all over the world, there are also many who should not be practicing. In my lifetime, I've met more than my share of both. Your health is of paramount importance. You deserve answers and appropriate treatment if it's warranted. Be aggressive. Be obnoxious, if necessary. That old adage about the squeaky wheel getting the grease is true.

      Blessings.....Jaye

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 2 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      This is so typical of how most hospitals seem to be. My prayers go out to you that you will find and answer soon and that it is not cancerous.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      So sorry to hear of this health concern. I am keeping you in my prayers. I hope you hear soon and get a great report of hope.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Hello, Sir Jimmy! You're cool as you can tell your personal journey during the entire period of medical check-ups.

      All I can say that we all have 'cancer'cells, but it is dormant all the time. That's what I've heard from my elder sister who studied a medical course in midwifery.

      It is quite common for a person to have cancer cells. Even stem cells can turn into cancer cells, if those adjacent cells of other kind don't recognize it to be one.

      There are many kinds of cells in our body. Some never die and mutate, form tumor or lump ( I even have one on my right upper leg (back side).

      And as we grow older, we are prone to such illness.

      My sister added that a healthy lifestyle can protect us from such health malady or we can control having such disease.

      It's in our own volition, suffice to say.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I wish you all the luck in the world with this. My prayers are with you. You should never have to wait a long period of time for your results.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Take care, sending all my prayers and may God shower his blessings in you and your family.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      Jimmy - I feel bad for your health concerns and the long delay in finding answers, and feel that any lump or tumor should be diagnosed quickly. You have my prayers for good health and a quick, positive resolution.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Jimmy.....I barely know what to say. I am completely appalled at the incompetence you are having to deal with and believe there must be some action you can take.

      This is unacceptable, Jimmy. Under any and all circumstances, you should have had a firm diagnosis, no later than 2 weeks (tops) from the time the biopsies were performed.

      I would like to suggest that you contact the Board of Directors of Drs & medical staff or whatever agency or organization controls the rules, regulations and ethics in the medical field.

      You are within your rights and it seems quite justifiable, under the current circumstances..that you DEMAND to know accurate results of testing you had months ago!....Best of luck and thinking of you throughout this ordeal....Peace, Paula

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Jimmy, thanks for sharing your journey. The word "cancer" is a scary one and doctors and health professionals should know the worry you are going through not knowing one way or the other. They say almost all cancer is treatable if caught early, well you did the right thing. We like to think we can trust our doctors to do the best for us. I find that if I have tests for anything that no news is usually good news. If the tests show anything worrying the doctor's surgery phones me. Cross my fingers that no news is good news in your case. Wishing you all the best.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

      Jimmy, first of all, you are a brave man. It takes a lot of courage to even talk about cancer but to share this much of your story is beyond brave. Now, having worked for a cancer program for a very long time, I am sickened by what you are going through. It is absolutely unacceptable. You should have had a definitive answer within the first week. The technology is there so it is humans that are leaving you in this place of limbo. It's just wrong.

      That said, I will now turn my efforts to praying that you get an answer soon and that it will be GOOD news. You may not realize it now but in sharing this story, you have shined the light on a gaping hole in healthcare. I hope that someone reads this that knows your care providers and shows this to them. They should be prosecuted. In that light, I am sharing, sharing, sharing.

    • jimmythejock profile image
      Author

      James Paterson 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you everyone for your kind words of support, I am at the stage now where no news is good news and will keep it that way until I find out differently. The NHS in the UK is supposed to be one of the best health services in the world and I am hoping that they can prove it to me soon.....jimmy

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 3 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

      Waiting is hard. That's sounds like too long a time. I'll keep you I'm my prayers!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 3 years ago from USA

      Here in the states, those doctors would be sued. That is ridiculous ot wait that long. I'd be getting nasty with the doctor at this point.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      jimmythejock

      That is way too long to wait for a diagnosis. I would have been camping on site at the doctors until I had one. I have been down a similar road though mine was a melanoma, it was caught very very quickly and I had a diagnosis within weeks rather than days. I can't emphasize enough how important an early diagnosis is. I would consider changing my doctor if I had no joy. Here's hoping that things go better for you.

      Sally

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Cancer sucks. Waiting a ridiculous amount of time to find out if you have cancer sucks equally. As someone who's been through this (endo-uterine cancer) I feel your pain. I'd be jumping up and down demanding answers NOW.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 3 years ago from San Francisco

      I have been thinking about you a lot, Jimmy. Please keep us posted. I know this must be incredibly stressful for you and your sweet family. You are in our thoughts and hearts right now. Stay strong, my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I can't believe they're making wait this long! If it is cancer, isn't finding out sooner better than later? And why do they keep having you return for procedures when they can take care of it while you're there? Bureaucratic crap!

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 3 years ago from Sweden

      It must be terrible to wait so long time for an answer! What has happened to the healthcare these days? To have a technically advanced health care should make it better but I don't know if it gets better or worse. I hope you will get a positive answer very soon.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You have my prayers and best wishes, Jimmy! It is unbelievable that you have had to wait this long. Keep us posted, please, and bravo for the strength you are showing.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      That seems like an insanely long time to find out. I had skin cancer, and after they did the biopsy, I think it was only a couple of weeks to find out. Hope everything turns out ok.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Jimmy,

      Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us. I'm so sorry you're having such problems receiving a diagnosis regarding something so serious.

      Please keep us informed. I'm looking forward to reading good news.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Jimmy, you know I've told you this before and I'll say it again.... no one should have to wait this long to find out if they have cancer or not. In this day and age with all the resources they have they should be able to tell you pretty much right away. I will keep thinking positive thoughts for you my dear friend and if it does turn out to be cancer you'll have to kick it right to the curb as Linda would say. Take care and please keep us posted. Sending you Big Bear Hugs.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Hi Jimmy, whether it is cancer or not, it sounds to me like they are stringing you along. Is there no way to get a second opinion? I would think that the blood tests should indicate levels of whatever and really, they missed the biopsy? How hard is it to do that?

      I think the fact that you went in to the doctor immediately was the right decision, and hopefully whatever it is, they have caught it early. Remember, medicine has come a very long way since a cancer diagnosis was a death sentence. While getting cancer is no walk in the park, it often can be beat especially in the earlier stages. Good luck and keep us informed.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Wow that's a long wait to find out the results! Hopefully you'll get an answer soon and you'll get good news. At your autopsy would be considered much too long to wait. Lol