Oh, yes it is. I have tumor.
I actually had this tumor for a couple of years, even before I had found the tumor in my left breast (see Cancer of 2013).
I found this tumor in my salivary gland in 2009. Alarmed, I visited an Ear Nose and Throat doctor. He examined me and told me not to worry. To let it be because…
“removal of a parotid gland tumor is risky because of its placement to the facial nerve, which controls movement on the same side of the face. This nerve passes through the gland. For these operations, an incision (cut) is made in the skin in front of the ear and may extend down to the neck.”
Basically, my face could be paralyzed with surgery…but on the bright side, I’d look YEARS younger…
Just let it be. Ignore it. Except if it got bigger…
So I ignored the tumor.
Life went on. Things happened. Then all of a sudden…it got bigger. All of a sudden bigger.
Two weeks before Christmas, it swelled up to the size of a walnut. It hurt. It was red. I panicked.
I went straight into my general practitioner who told me, “Don’t worry about it. It’s just an infection.” He gave me antibiotics, but sent me to the ENT “just in case.”
Unfortunately, the ENT I had seen years ago, was no longer in practice so I took the first available appointment with a doctor WAY younger than me. This doctor was a little wet behind the ears, however, it was the holidays and beggars can’t be choosers when one wants a biopsy during the holidays. This doctor did my bidding and performed a fine-needle biopsy in her office on the spot.
The biopsy results came back late Friday afternoon. The doctor on call read the results as “benign, but could not be 100% certain without removal of the mass.”
The following week, I had a regularly scheduled appointment with my Medical Oncologist. I explained the recent events and she said, “Well, why didn’t you see (your surgical oncologist)? He’s the expert in these types of tumors. I send family members to him.”
Talk about a total waste of time with my GP and that ENT! How the heck did I not know he operated on other body parts besides boobs?!! For 15-years I have been a patient and assigned a medical room with boob posters on the walls….
After the holidays, I scheduled an appointment with my surgical oncologist. (This time I got the room with anatomy posters of heads and necks.) Doctor ordered a CT scan.
The scan showed a 1.4 x 1.1 x 1.3 cm round lesion in the superficial lob of the lower left parotid gland. Usually these tumors are benign, however malignant transformation is possible in about 25-30% cases. If malignant transformation occurs, the cure rates are very low. So because of my history of producing excellent cancer cells, it was recommended we remove this mass from my body.
Tomorrow I’ll be going into the hospital yet again to have yet another surgery and yet another tumor removed.
I will not only meet my high deductible co-pay, but also add another scar to my collection, but more importantly perhaps add many more years to my life. And who knows, it may be absolutely nothing, but at least I can have piece of mind…along with a tight jaw line.
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