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Someone Get My Brain Medicine

By Wyatt Earp | November 24, 2010

As I mentioned last week, I told my doctor about a lump on the back of my head. It was about the size of a Super Ball, and was painful when anything pressed against it. The doctor scheduled me for a CT Scan a few weeks ago, and I received the results today.

The doc checked the films and immediately said that it is not a cyst. That was disconcerting because a cyst would have been the easiest, least dangerous option. Apparently the lump is from my lymph node. The doctor said that I have three options available to me:

1. Get the lump cut out.
2. Have a needle biopsy of the lump to see if it’s cancerous.
3. Do nothing for a few months, and monitor any changes to size, etc.

Not really a great option among them, in my book, so I asked the doc his opinion. Sadly, he said he couldn’t, because the scumbag malpractice lawyers would jump on him if he made a recommendation that would later be considered “wrong.” (So you know, PA is one of the worst states for doctors and malpractice lawsuits.) I wouldn’t sue the doc if his recommendation turned out to be incorrect, but I understand his position. He did tell me – off the record – what he would do, but made it clear that it had to be my decision.

The doc said that if it were his son, he would wait. From what he saw on the CT Scan combined with my symptoms, he said he would bet his paycheck it’s not cancer. He also implied that he didn’t feel comfortable with surgery unless it was absolutely necessary, and even the biopsy had risks. I trust him, so I went with waiting. The doc said that if there are any changes – however slight – I should call and he’ll take me in a.s.a.p.

So, the good news is that I know what it is (lymph nodes), but the bad news is that I still don’t know with 100% surety if it’s cancer. What I do know for sure, is that I trust this doc – he’s one of the best in the area – and that’s good enough for me.

Topics: All About Wyatt | 38 Comments »

38 Responses to “Someone Get My Brain Medicine”

  1. BobG Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Good luck on that; hope it is just something minor.

  2. Ferrell Gummitt Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I would wait till ObamaCare fully kicks in in 2014. Because at that time you will have any doctor you want, when you want, the treatment will be seemless, the Unicorns will dance in the rainbow colored sky, there will be peace and love throughout the world.

    Wait.. Got a little carried away there with the lib Hippie Utopian paradise stuff.

    Seriously, pray about it.

  3. John D Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Cancer? Nope, couldn’t be. Cancer wouldn’t get within 10 feet of you, Wyatt. Last time it did, you kicked its ass. Gotta be something minor, but I’ll keep thinking good thoughts anyway.

  4. dragonlady474 Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Will continue to pray about the situation, for now just take it easy. Now go forth and eat some turkey!

  5. Jon Brooks Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    The biggest reason for swollen occipital lymph nodes is an infection, there are others, but infection is numero uno
    so probalistically (<—is that a word?) you're gonna be around for a good long while yet. Prayer on its way anyway.

  6. Ingineer66 Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Hoping for the best and glad to hear that the doctors first option was not to just cut the thing out. Sometimes they seem a little scalpel happy. So that is probably a good sign. And I am with John D and Jon B. It is likely something that will resolve itself and you will be good to go.

  7. GroovyVic Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 3:13 pm


    I know things. Trust me.

  8. Robert B. Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I tend to agree with your decision. Wait, and maybe your body will take care of itself. I had a lump years ago in a sensitive area. The doc said he’d cut it out and run tests on the tissue. I opted to wait a week or two and the darned thing disappeared.

    BTW, IMHO, when you get three doctors in the same room, vultures (and lawyers( start circling.

  9. Rick Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I will be praying for you

  10. mrmacs Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    [Thick Austrian accent:] It’s not a tumah.

    Feel better soon. Not a good time of year to be ill.

  11. Nickie Goomba Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at Goomba News Network®, a Division of Nickie Goomba Ltd.

  12. Raptor Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    That’s happened to me before several times. Swollen lymph nodes, that is. I’ve gotten them checked out by the doc: always infection or simple inflammation. After a while, I stopped worrying about them, and the lumps would hang out for a week or so before disappearing. I’d bet my paycheck (if I had one) that you’ve got the same thing going on.

    Even so, I’ll still be praying for you, Wyatt.

  13. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    BobG – Has to be. No one can possibly have fortune this bad in such a short time span.

    Ferrell – I am resigning myself to the fact that the doctor’s knowledge outweighs my negative attitude. And if it is something bad, I’ll deal with it at the appropriate time.

    John D – Thanks. My dermatologist told me the other day what a good job the surgeon did with my cancer surgery. Scar-wise, I mean.

    DL474 – Turkey is good, but I live for stuffing.

    Jon – He gave me antibiotics in case it was that, but they didn’t lessen the swelling. Either way, if it was serious, I figure I would have been sick by now.

    Ingineer66 – Hope so. Losing the occasional headaches would be a step in the right direction.

    GroovyVic – If you knew things, you wouldn’t be a Buckeye fan. :)

    Robert B – If the family doc agrees, the stress will go away. Of that, I’m sure.

    Rick – Thanks much.

    Mrmacs – Actually, it is my time of year to be ill:

    11/07 – Femoral contusion
    10/08 – Appendicitis
    11/09 – Cancer surgery
    11/10 – Lymph nodes, sprained wrist

    I haven’t seen a full season of hockey since 2006.

    Nickie – And to you and yours, sir! Thanks for reading.

    Raptor – My only concern with that is that I’ve had this for six months to a year.

  14. proof Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Sometimes these can be treated with extreme heat, producing what we call the “lymph biscuit”.
    Seriously, hope that it is nothing serious, but if anything ever happens to you (God forbid!) can I have your Christina Hendricks collection!

    Be well. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Loaded Dice in Vegas Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Trust in God……..
    We’re all praying for you………………..

  16. richard mcenroe Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Stat strong, Wyatt, we’ll pull for you… and not in a bad TSA way…

  17. bob (either orr) Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Prayers duly offered.

  18. Lou Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I sincerely hope that you recover quickly from whatever this is. It’s a good thing that your Dr isn’t overly concerned about it.

    Hope you have a good holiday!

  19. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I’m with GroovyVic.
    If they cut it out, and it is a Superball can I have it?

  20. Old NFO Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Here’s hoping it’s minor. Happy Thanksgiving to all of y’all!

  21. BlackOrchid Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Okay, I’m going against the grain and saying if I were you, I’d do the biopsy. Particularly with your history, I have no idea how you could even choose to not just know and get it over with.

    I have salivary glad cysts and they recur. they always seem to be “at their finest” (most noticeable) when I go to the damn dentist – well, irritation DOES make them more noticeable. So, I’m always being told “need to aspirate them and be sure just cysts” and it’s annoying. I still do it tho. Of course a needle aspiration is a lot less than this biopsy would be, but still, it won’t be so bad. And you will know, and then when it recurs (which I’m sure it will, cos I’m sure it’s some lymph node messy thing) you will be able to more confidently say “leave it be.”

    so I dunno. bear in mind my dad was a surgeon – I’m always quick to go with the cutting.

  22. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Proof – Done. Have at her!

    LDIV – I may trust in Him more if something nice happened this week . . .

    Richard – No one wants that kind of pull.

    Bob – Thanks much.

    Lou – That’s what my friends have been saying. If it was more serious, I’d know about it from him.

    Mrs. Crankipants – Bounce away!

    Old NFO – And to you and yours.

    Orchid – Probably because I’m a coward, and would rather not know. I mean, let’s be honest: that’s what it is. And with the two weeks I’ve had, I don’t think I could take any more bad news. I’ll still ask my family doc next week for his opinion, and I can always go back and get the biopsy.

  23. realwest Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Howdy Wyatt! Well you know that you trust the doctor and – unless I missed your commencement day at Medical college – he knows a lot more about this than do you -and he knows about your skin cancer surgery.

    But even if you were inclined to get the biopsy, Lordy Wyatt, don’t do it in November! LOL! Hang in there my friend, we’re almost thorugh with this month!!!
    and, from me to you and yours: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  24. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Real – I’m still in med school – going on my 19th year. :)

    The doc said much the same thing: if I decide on the biopsy, wait until after the holidays because a needle biospy back there will hurt for a week or two.

  25. JT Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Jeepers, Wyatt, didja break a mirror or trip over a black cat lately ?

    Hang in there, better days are comin’.

    In the meantime, from the looks of it, you have a lot of nice people praying and rooting for ya. Including me.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yourn, Wyatt.

    And to all who blog here.

  26. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    JT – I do appreciate the kind words and prayers. I have the best readers/commenters anywhere.

  27. C/A Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Remember what Reagan said: “Trust but verify.” Second opinion, CTC of America post haste. Maybe even a third @ Genes. Even smart guys have off days and we have the world’s best right in our area. I’ll drive.

  28. Kim Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    He had the best readers/commenters until I came along. ;)

    You are fine. Do you know how I know that? Because you and your family have not been out here for vacation yet. We have the best fishing/hunting/camping around.

  29. Glenn Mark Cassel AMH1(AW) USN Ret. Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Damn there Buddy!
    Got the Sheriff in my prayers. WE gotta stick together on this one.

  30. Code Monkey Says:
    November 25th, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I still think it’s an alien.

  31. Wes S. Says:
    November 25th, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Prayers sent.

    …At this rate, I think I’ll just go ahead and make you a permanent addition to the prayer list, especially in the fall season. Might be easier in the long run…


  32. RogerDee Says:
    November 25th, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Get well Wyatt. NOW!!

  33. Bob G. Says:
    November 25th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Consider yourself added to our thoughts & prayers in the Heartland (from a born & raised in Philly guy).
    (besides, the distance is only a few INCHES on the map)

    Stay Strong.
    Stay safe.

  34. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 25th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Captain – Planning to talk it over with the family doc and go from there.

    Kim – Don’t forget the best soap.

    Glenn – No worries. Just a rough two weeks, I’ll be back to semi-normal soon.

    Code Monkey – As long as I don’t

    Wes S. – I just need them in October and November. The rest of the year, I’m good.

    Roger – Yes sir!

    Bob G. – Thank you, sir.

  35. Mike47 Says:
    November 25th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    This is what happens when you don’t use Brain Bleach on a regular basis.

    Praying hasn’t produced desired results lately. Will think positive thoughts for your future health.

  36. Picky Says:
    November 26th, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Wyatt, when I read your reply about this “time of year” being bad for you, I thought your dates were MM/DD not MM/YY. I thought, Holy Cow! He HAS had a bad month!

  37. Kerri Says:
    November 26th, 2010 at 3:26 am

    Ill be thinking of you. Hope everything turns out well and its not cancerous!

  38. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 26th, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Mike47 – Serves me right for posting the occasional photo of Helen Thomas.

    Picky – No, every October/November since 2007.

    Kerri – Thanks, dear!