I haven't written much lately about my own cancer. I guess I'm trying to find a little niche in the blog-o-sphere and am hoping to write more about science-related and cycling-related topics. But sometime, I just need to vent:
There's this little spot on my neck, pretty high up...basically over my larynx, where there is a palpable non-tender, oblong nodule, which is not freely movable. Basically, a lump right on top of my larynx, aka voice box. My doctors know about it and the last 3 neck ultrasounds I've had, they spend a bunch of time taking dimensions. Last time I asked the radiologist if that nodule definitely represented metastatic disease, and they answered yes, but that it has been 'stable'...so nothing to worry about.
That's well and good, except for the fact that it is on top of my larynx. If any one cell in that lump of over 10^10 cells (10^9 in the least number of cells present in a clinically palpable or detectable tumor...and this is bigger than that, so probably a log-scale difference) acquires the ability to overcome senescence and express genes required for invasion of soft-tissue, I'd basically loose my larnyx (to surgery).
Today I was listening to NPR and heard a story about a PhD student from Germany who invented a computer program that assimilates data gathered from cutaneous electrodes placed on the face of someone who is lip-talking...moving their face like they were talking without actually using their voice; and the computer is about 90% accurate at producing a reasonably well sounding voice that speaks the words that the person with the electrodes stuck to their face is mouthing. Crazy. I wonder if I could ride a bike with one of those things?
Anyway, scary stuff. As I wrote about last fall, I do have some pain and stiffness in my neck but other than that, don't have any bone pain or breathing problems. Therefore, my psyche tends to gravitate towards my neck and treak things...making me not trust my body.
When I was a little kid, the one recurring nightmare I had was me fighting in some kind of ancient japanese samari battle...swords, spears, crazy looking body armor, the whole bit. The dream always ended with someone grabbing me and from behind, without me ever seeing who it was or being able to fight back, taking a sword, and slowly slitting my neck. Then I'd wake up.
Man, it has been awhile since I've written this way. Everything I've typed or written lately has been academic. I wish I could do it more often, but honestly I don't really know what to do with this whole blog thing anymore. I'm a but disillusioned with anything related to cancer support groups or advocacy things...and I try pretty hard to live my life without thinking about my own situation. But every once in awhile, stories like the one I heard today on NPR come on, and I freak out. Let's just say that I didn't get much work done today. Instead, I cooked a bunch of food, went to the gym and stretched, washed 4 loads of laundry, and cleaned my bike. Then I drank a bunch of wine, had dinner, and am getting ready to pop some valium before bed. What else can I do?