As my husband’s 9:00am alarm goes off for work I begin thinking about the list of things I need to get done today because we officially leave for our cruise in one week, and this is my last day off before vacation. As my husband rolls out of bed he hears my not so attractive dry cough that I’ve consistently had for almost 3 months now. A dry cough in which I do not have time for between work, and trying to prepare myself for traveling out of the country for the first time. If it were up to me I would take DayQuil and continue with my day, but unfortunately (more like fortunately) for me my husband doesn’t accept the fact that this cough is just allergies. “Go to Urgent Care today, get that taken care of before we go on vacation.” he says. Me rolling my eyes, because that’s what I want to do for the 3rd time in 3 months is sit at Urgent Care again, but I know he’s right so I get ready and I make that my first stop.
This is where it all begins,
Thankfully it’s right before 10:00AM and I’m one of two patients in here. I check in like normal and wait. They call me back and ask their usual questions “Whats your symptoms?” “Any Changes?” The Dr. was honestly stunned as to why I was there for the 3rd time in 3 months with the same exact problem which should have been solved with the first or second visit. He says “I don’t feel like you have pneumonia, but we do need to take an X-Ray of your lungs to see whats going on.” Let me tell you the thoughts going on in my head are “I need this vacation” “Please let it be antibiotics for 5 days, so I can enjoy Mexico.” For those of you who know me you know 2018 has not been off to a great start, but we’ll get to that on another post. Anyways I go into the room to get my X-Ray, put on the gown and wait. He snaps a frontal view and a side view of my lungs, and then there’s more waiting.
I’m still sitting in the room with him at this point while he’s trying to pull up my images. He calls me over and asks me if I want to look. I walk over to the computer screen and I have no idea what I should be looking at or even for, but I can tell it’s something by the look on the tech’s face. He says to me “It’s a good thing you came in here today, we need to see what this is.” I’m thinking GREAT what now, so I go back into my little room and wait some more. The Dr. comes in and says he’s waiting for email of what to do and how to continue forward but all he knows right now is that something isn’t right. At this point I feel as if everyone is speaking a foreign language and I have no idea what’s going on. He finally receives an email, and it reads “Please refer her to the Emergency Room ASAP” Here I am alone in this Urgent Care freaking out at this point because I literally came in for a dry cough and now I have to go to the Emergency Room. The first thing I do as always is call my husband. Our conversation was very short and to the point “I have to go to the Emergency Room I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s serious can you take me.” I sit and wait some more in the waiting room at this point with paperwork with a bunch of large words on it (all I wanted to do was google and WebMD) but for my anxiety’s sake I held back. It was taking everything for me in that waiting room to not completely lose it. Finally my husband is here.
I can’t quite put into words to explain the overwhelming emotions I felt on the way to the Emergency Room. What in the world could possibly be wrong with my lungs? I’m trying to hold it together but I completely lose it in the car because for 3 months not one person has had any answers as to what is wrong with me, and now I’m on the way to the hospital. We park and start walking towards the ER. There is luckily only 1 other patient in here and we get checked in right away and of course…there’s more waiting. We go through the motions, the questions, the background. Here’s a fun fact about me, I’m 26 years old and sitting in that ER was the first time I had ever had my blood taken, and an IV put in. (thought I would pass out and didn’t) Once all the formalities were done, and paperwork was filled out I was put into a room where I was told they wanted to do a CT Scan to double check my lungs. This is the part where we wait in a room for a few hours waiting for them to call me back to do this CT Scan to hopefully get any kind of answers.
After a few hours of cat naps, bad TV, and a few snacks it’s time for the CT Scan. They say it only takes a few minutes and the results aren’t too far behind, so I prepare for yet another test. We get to the room where I lay on this bed with blankets and he informs me it’s going to take a few pictures and then we will be done. Also side note they give you this liquid in your IV and it makes your whole body warm, and you feel like you peed your pants, but don’t worry they warned me before. No actual peeing happened thankfully. Once the pictures are taken he takes me back to the room, and the waiting begins yet again.
An hour or so later a handful of doctors are at my bedside in this large room in the ER and they’re staring at me. After all the introductions (which thanks to my anxiety I missed half) they get on with the CT Scan results. “Your results are irregular, and there is definitely something going on in your lungs.” They list off a few things it could be and then the 6 letter word no one ever wants to hear came out. Cancer. We think you have Cancer. I’m sorry what? “We can’t be too sure until we run other tests, but right now we are thinking that you have Lymphoma, and in that case it is very treatable, and you can beat it” Honestly I didn’t hear or comprehend anything else said at that time, and all I could think was WHY over and over and over again. I also remained hopefully that the other tests could say something else, they could say ANYTHING else. The main nurse comes back and says “Here is your gown we are admitting you into the hospital.”
Now more waiting.
“God never gives you more in life than what you can handle”