July 15, 2016

About 8 weeks ago I felt the beginnings of a sore throat. It never got worse. But it never got better. Two weeks ago I felt a lump in the back of my throat, it was visible to the naked eye if you shined a light in my mouth. Ten days ago I saw a doctor. Eight days ago I saw a specialist, who performed a biopsy. Five days ago I had a CT scan. Two days ago, on July 13 2016, the specialist called and told me that I had cancer.

Squamous cell carcinoma; otolaryngology, caused by HPV strain P16. Highly curable, apparently. Later today I’m going to see a surgeon who will review the CT scan and tell me if I’m a candidate for robotic (!) surgery immediately or if I need radiation/chemo to shrink the tumor first. Either way, the specialist said this was the best bad news I could receive, and that the downside was that the next three months were going to be “bumpy,” in his words.

I’ll know a lot more after today’s appointment.  I have a five year old boy & a ten year old girl (the LBC on the cover of this blog). I haven’t told either of them anything. I don’t expect to die, but I’m worried. I’ve never had anything wrong before.  I mean, sure, I’ve gotten parking tickets or stubbed my toe, but I’ve literally never been the bad luck outlier.  No broken bones, never had general anesthesia, never had my appendix or tonsils or even wisdom teeth out, never had a serious car accident or accident of any kind, really. And now this.

I’ve known a bunch of people who had cancer. All of them lived.

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