As most of you know by now, I have a lump. It’s a huge lump….on my neck which I now have named the Heffalump.
It looks like it might be with me for a while, so I decided the other night while sitting in bed feeling a tad lost about it all, to make friends with the Heffalump and perhaps it can be persuaded to leave me and go elsewhere. Mutual agreement, you know.
The lump appeared in no time at all, for no apparent reason just under my right ear. I was at the doctor’s on one of my very rare visits for a flu injection, when I asked her what she thought it might be. Well that led to all the usual stuff I try to avoid, such as ultrasounds, blood tests, CT scans and so on.
There are some of us who tend not to go to the doctors when we should. Mothers usually are convinced they can work their way through the illness, because apart from it being a case of having to, most of the time, it is the short term fix.
By the end of that week the lump had grown to about five times its original size and had stretched his legs down the side to the base of my neck and across to the windpipe area. Even I couldn’t ignore this fact. It was beginning to concern me a little.
These things only happen on weekends or close to weekends, so of course when I returned for the results, I was ordered to the emergency department of the Maryborough Hospital. Having been there before for my broken arm, I knew the care would be good. It’s an old hospital with its services seriously downgraded, but it’s still a good place in times of need. My sister was born there many years ago, and I remember my mother having nothing but praise for those who worked in the elegant red brick building adorned with Queenslander verandas.
However it was decided by the doctors there that my Heffalump was too big to handle for them and I was sent on to the Hervey Bay Hospital. Wow! New and shiny with every gadget you could imagine. The staff from the orderlies to the doctors are so friendly and helpful….and caring. I keep saying caring because I have seen so many nurses (especially) in recent years who don’t give a fig about how the patient is feeling or is going through.
There, Tim and I met the handsome Gareth. When I was nursing many moons ago, most of the doctors were old, and far from good looking, but these days each one I’ve met so far has been an absolute dish to look at, and so nice with it. After more scans and blood tests and many phone calls to specialists in Brisbane General Hospital, Gareth was hoping it may be just an infection that could be wiped out in time. Having said that though, it was decided I would be flown to the big smoke for further investigation, compliments of the RFDS.
If I ever have a spare million, I will donate a new jet to the Royal Flying Doctors’ Service…their jets need updating for the fantastic job they do for all Aussies who have a distance to travel for health care.
The combined effort of the RFDS and the Paramedics of Qld, got me safely to the Brisbane Women’s Hospital, which turns out to be for both males and females. A sign of the times I guess of lack of beds.
My ENT Specialist, Daniel, didn’t mince words at all and painted a grim picture for me. A biopsy was arranged for the Monday, so the waiting game began.
When the procedures are explained before the actual event, it is much easier to cope with and handle. The saying ‘Put on your big girl panties and deal with it’ doesn’t really cut it though, but it does make one smile.
The Radiologist, Fallon, took some fantastic samples for testing yesterday, and with her comprehensive description and explanation along the way, it wasn’t as scary as I had first thought it would be. Of course my BP went soaring to the roof as you would expect, and they had to give me a pill to get it back to as near as normal as possible.
So now the waiting begins again. When we know what it actually is, and where, we can start sorting out treatments that will get me back to the road of being squeaky clean again.
Till then, I’ll put those big girls’ panties on, and try to be brave.
Updates as they happen.