The Start


The day was normal. I went to class and then I went to my typical 5pm-9pm shift at the James. While I sat at my desk I couldn’t think of anything other than the lump in my neck and why in the world it was still there. Surrounded by doctors, I knew one in particular that focused on head and neck patients. He had been operating all day and I knew he must have been exhausted. The knots in my stomach only got worse over time. I did not want to hear any bad news, but yet again I didn’t really expect any. The doctor walked past me and I knew this was my chance. Awkwardly I went up to him, introduced myself, and asked for his opinion of the lump in my neck. I explained to him my symptoms and about my tonsillectomy. I felt scared. So scared. Not necessarily of what he might tell me about my neck, but the thoughts going through his head about the random 19 year old girl approaching him because of a silly lump while he has tumors to go remove. While he seemed to be listening very closely because he could hear the nervousness in my voice, he did not seem too concerned with my explanation. To ease my mind, he made me an appointment in his clinic for two days later. My dad and I went to meet with him and there they performed an ultrasound on my neck to look at my lymph nodes. He told me that the lymph node was large enough to do some more testing to find answers as to why it is the way it is. Before wrapping up the appointment he took a glance down my throat. His reaction was odd. He told me my throat wasn’t symmetrical. The right side, the same side as the swollen lymph node, was different. Now I felt his concern.