I am not sure what to write here I am just feeling like I need to share my experience.
I have been experiencing a swelling in my cheek for the past year.
It came on in a very strange way.
It would enlarge several times a day to the size of a golf ball. I assumed that there was something wrong with salivary duct. When the large swelling was not present a small bump smaller than a pea could be felt in that area.
When I went to my family doctor and they said I would be delayed seeing and ENT specialist because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As I was waiting for my ENT appointment to be booked I noticed that the bump was getting larger.
I returned to my family doctor with the update. They decided too send me for an ultrasound sometime in May. I got a call the next day and was told that there were no tumors in my cheek but that my lymph nodes on the same side of my neck were enlarged. I was actually pretty happy because I was never concerned about my lymph nodes but very concerned by the swelling in my cheek.
I was sent for a follow up a month later and the nodes were still enlarged. They booked a biopsy with the ENT I was referred to for late July.
While waiting I did notice that my cheek was getting progressively larger.
When I went in for the biopsy the ENT decided that is was unnecessary and instead sent me for a CT scan. He said that he did not think what was in my cheek was anything sinister and it was likely a saliolith. I got my CT Scan booked for Early December in mid October.
After my CT Scan my family doctor called me telling me that I had medium sized mass in my mid cheek and the lymph nodes in my neck are enlarged. Three weeks later I had a follow up with the ENT. He referred me to a Head & Neck Surgeon. I also got an MRI a few days ago.
I am concerned with the rapid growth of the mass especially. There was nothing detectable in my cheek 6 months ago now there is a 2cm x 2.8cm mass there. It seems fast.
In the last month I have started to feel a lot of discomfort in my neck and cheek including some numbness in my mouth.
Although I do not have a diagnosis of Cancer I very concerned that this is a possible outcome and am preparing myself for it.
I am scared and frustrated. I feel like a lot of my friends and family members feel awkward and uncomfortable talking about my concerns.
I think that I have a legitimate concern regarding the issue being cancer but whenever I try to discuss it I am met with the "you don't know that yet" response or insinuations that I am catastrophizing .
Which is true. I do not know that but I want to discuss my fears in an open way. I am trying to detach myself from the situation but its not an easy thing to do.
I think my day to day emotional state is overall positive but I need an outlet to express my concerns.
I am in a pivotal point in my career at the moment and put in 10-12 hours daily and I am making huge progress.
I am very concerned that a surgery or other treatments could significantly hinder me professionally and personally.
I know that is a lot but I feel like I needed an outlet.
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