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My Name Is Stephen Jackson – I’ve Been Diagnosed with Cancer
Join the Cancer fight with Stephen Jackson and help him beat cancer naturally. This is your chance to get involved and help someone willing to beat cancer without conventional therapy.
By: Stephen Jackson's Cancer Fund
This journey really started for me around May 27th 2014. I was shaving and noticed a lump or bump on the left side of my neck just below my beard line. Now, I've had swollen lymph nodes before, so I wasn't really alarmed at first. I really felt on the lump for a while because it didn't hurt and normal swollen lymph node will give off some sort of pain.
Telling my Wife:
I didn't say anything to my wife and started out my day as I always do. Throughout the day I kept feeling the lump as if at some point it would have just disappeared, it didn't. By the end of the work day, I thought I would go home and do a little research to find out if this is a common occurrence among men my age, or something very special.
Doing a little Research:
After getting home, I Googled "Lump on left side of Neck." A lot of different results came up including benign and malignant tumors, cysts, and general tooth related infections. Well, I had no pain or tooth infections, so for the most part, this ruled out the latter. After reading the information about tumors, I really began to get nervous. This is when I decided to tell my wife.
Making a Doctor's Appointment:
After speaking to my wife, I began to simply get irritated. I was thinking to myself, how in the world could this happen to me? How could I, a person in fairly good shape, get cancer of any kind? Well, my wife and I decided to call and make an appointment with my doctor, and find out if they could determine what the lump was on my neck.
The initial Diagnosis:
When visiting the doctor for the first time in 3 years, I told him about what I had found. He decided to give me a full physical as well as a thorough blood work-up. By the third visit, and 1 week later, the initial diagnosis was in. He felt the lump in my neck was some sort of infection and prescribed an antibiotic to be taken for 3 weeks. My blood work-up came back negative for low blood counts. In fact, he said all of my counts were at normal levels.
Returning to the Doc:
After the three week session with the antibiotics was up, I returned to the doctor for a second exam. At this point, the lump had grown and you could actually grab it between your fingers and squeeze. My doctor was acting a bit nervous as well. After the exam, he left the room for a moment, came back, and proceeded to tell me what the new diagnosis could possibly be.
The second Diagnosis:
After coming back in the waiting room, the doctor told me the lump could be one of two things.
1.) A clogged lymph node or benign lymph node.
2.) A malignant lymph node or lymphoma.
Since I had no other swollen lymph nodes in the areas of my body where these things can grow and become visible above the skin, the doctor decided it was time to refer me to an E.N.T or an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. So I made an appointment, but I couldn't get in until July 16th.
Visiting the E.N.T:
I went to the E.N.T visit. By this time, the lymph node had grown a bit and was protruding on the side of my neck. It was very visible. The doctor started to examine me and checked other areas of my body to see if it was more involved than just the neck. Satisfied that it wasn't he then proceeded to check my throat as well as my neck. They call this procedure a Laryngoscopy. They stick a camera down your nose, which ends up in your throat. After doing so, it takes some time for the results.
The results from the first visit:
The results came back from the first visit with the E.N.T. I was told I needed more tests performed as well as a possible biopsy. The swollen lymph node was called a level 2. The Laryngoscopy discovered a swollen left tonsil as well. This all came together on July 29th 2014. Still in the diagnostic stages, I was scheduled for a CT scan of the neck on August 6th.
The 3rd visit to E.N.T or Radiology:
I went for my visit on August 6th with Radiology, where, they had me wait for an hour, strap me down to a table, inject some funky-stuff in my arm that made my balls burn. After a few minutes, they ran the scan machine, and after ten minutes I was done. I left after I had asked how long it would take for the results. They said a couple days. When I got how that day, my E.N.T called and told me he had scheduled the biopsy for the following week.
Remind you, it's been a month and a half, still no official results. So, the 13th of August was the new date for the Biopsy. I went back to Radiology and they had me waiting again. I finally get in and the doctors, Radiologist, Pathologist and a Surgeon, all tell me everything is going to be OK. Don't worry, this is a simple procedure. But they all had full scrubs on as if I was going to infect them. It was a Needle Biopsy where they stick a needle into the tumor (or lymph node) and remove some cells. These cells are then given to the pathologist so they can determine if they are cancerous.
The Final Results:
By this time, I was already convinced I had something wrong with me. From the demeanor of the doctors, and the testing being done, I was almost sure it was some type of cancer. In the mean time, I was already researching cancer, the causes, the treatments, and everything else that goes along with that because I knew very little or nothing. I was even considering creating a Will and getting my life in order just in case it was some devastating news. I had checked into the raw food diet, because I stumbled on a web site by Chris Wark or Chris Beats Cancer. This was just in case I had to make a drastic life change. On August 20th, 2014 I was officially diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma or Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Cancer of the Neck and Throat.
To Be Continued:
If you would like to support me in this fight, donations will be accepted at the fund raiser below: Just copy and paste!
Page Updated Last on: Sep 24, 2014