Tumor Board

Elli:

The night was rough. I found it hard to sleep through the tossing and turning. My mind was still trying to process everything that had suddenly changed within just one day. After little sleep I woke up to appointments, labs, scans, and meetings already scheduled to fill my day. Suddenly my priorities changed. My daily routines were over and no prior plans mattered.

Today I had an MRA scan. Apparently that is something to look at the blood vessels inside my body. While no part of this is fun, this scan was something I really did not like. I was given an IV before the scan in my arm that was already bruised from the needles the day before. As I laid on the scan table I was given earplugs to help tune out the loud noise the machine makes. Then I was strapped down and my head and neck were braced so they could not move during the test. Laying there without movement for close to 50 minutes, I felt very uncomfortable. I was warned before we started that if I was to move, the entire scan would have to start over. While trying my best to remain still, I felt something that could not come on at a worse time….a sneeze. Thankfully I talked myself out of sneezing and the test ended in one attempt. Later that day after more labs and test were completed, my parents and I met back up with my doctor. There he had a swallow test for me to have done where they placed a camera up my nose and down my throat to check out the way my throat and vocal cords work. The right side of my tongue was already paralyzed, along with my right side vocal cords. The right side of throat was seen to be weak but still performing. The doctor reassured us that he had a plan. He told me that earlier that morning he met with something he called “Tumor Board” to go over my case. There, many oncologist, surgeons, radiologist, and nurses decide the best way to go about treatments. They decided that surgery to remove the 6 cm tumor in my parapharyngeal space is necessary and should not be held off much longer.
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