An update on Don's health adventure.
About 2 weeks ago Don had developed a sudden (non-painful) lump in his lymph or salivary gland under his right ear. A cat-scan showed a hard necrotic lump in there that indicated an ultra-sound guided biopsy was in order. That happened on Tuesday (11/30).
The radiologist has had to call in the cavalry - Another try next Monday at 9am (12/6) with an additional doctor. The hard knot in his lymph gland could not be penetrated by the needles the radiologist had available. Monday they’ll have sturdier needles (maybe a miniature jack-hammer?). The issue is where they need to penetrate the lymph gland is right next to the carotid artery. A slipping needle could poke it and that would rather complicate things for Don (and me).
Yesterday (12/1), the swelling in his neck had increased a lot. Don called the nurse at our small hospital. Later she called wanting him to come in for another ultra-sound. Was this just poking-around-irritating-kind-of-swelling or had a vessel been nicked and blood was collecting? Two hours later they determined it was just “normal” swelling – but a lot more so than expected.
Next Monday at 9 is still on the books for the second try to collect specimen from the hard knot.
12/6: The biopsy went very well today with the doctor using a larger needle. He got two separate specimens. The lab results should be ready in 3-4 days. Of note: the doctor indicated that he couldn’t really tell if the lump was in the lymph gland or behind it and adjacent to the salivary gland. Don is a little more sore this time, since the area of the first biopsy was still bruised and tender.
12/10: The lab results stated: “Keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma within altered fibrous connective tissue.” Don’s Primary Care doctor has referred him to the care of an oncologist. Will see her on Monday morning. It’s a little more difficult for him to swallow hard bites and more tender when he moves his head. He will go the emergency room at Advent Hospital if things get worse over the weekend.
Stay tuned and thanks for all the positive vibes.
Blessings, angels, spirits, prayers, and bushels of white, healing light are welcome.
December 10, 2021
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