This is the Kind to Get

Linda Edwards, Writer

“There’s another spot”

I had just dropped my mom off and was driving to Armata’s Market in Longmeadow. My coworker told me beef tenderloin was $6.77 a pound, which was a lot less than Arnold’s. I figured there wouldn’t be a line there, and I could get in and out quickly. I had planned to make the tenderloin on Christmas Day and I was running out of time to get everything done. My […]

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Blonde or brunette?

My sister teaches cosmetology at a vocational high school and has been a hairdresser for over 40 years. I trust her opinion on many things, but especially when it comes to hair. She was my first call when I was looking for a buddy to help me shop for a wig. I came home with a wig, four scarfs, and two night caps. I left a few tears.

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Essentials

“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on tv.” Actually, I don’t play one on tv, but I have a snazzy black bag that’s an essential for any patient with multiple medical appointments, a growing amount of medical-related information, and a need to keep everything handy in one portable place. Another handy item you get for free during new employee orientation is “the binder.” Yup, everything you ever wanted […]

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Support group

Family who loves me. Now and always. Emails. Phone calls. A field trip to buy a wig. A bracelet that arrives in the mail. Church members who pray for me, extend themselves, inquire, and offer. Friends. Friends who I see once a week or once a year who drop off homemade cheesecakes and line up to drive me to chemo appointments. Work colleagues who care. Who ask me what’s next, […]

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A proven protocol

Today’s visit with the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care at Baystate was positive.  Don and I met with Dr. Luke Mantle and Dr. Armen Asik. Dr. Mantle, the much more talkative of the two, met with us first, and answered every question I had on my steno pad, including the fact that I would definitely lose my hair. Don asked him about his accent and he explained that he was […]

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This is the kind to get

I was sitting at my desk at work when my cell rang. I could tell from the caller ID that it was Dr. Shoushtari. Maybe she has the results of the biopsy.  “Linda, this is Dr. Shoushtari. I have the results.” She paused. I waited. “I’m so sorry. It’s cancer. You have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.” I had become a Google expert in various types of cancer, including the differences between Hodgkin and […]

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2/2…or experience counts

Today is a double header: biopsy in the morning, CT scan in the afternoon. I’m home from the biopsy, which seemed to go according to plan. This will be the second CT scan I’ve had in three days. This one, of my lower torso, includes contrast dye injected through an IV, as well as a liquid version of contrast dye that I’m to drink before the procedure. Two bottles. Sounds […]

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1/2

I followed the nurse, Angela, into what first appeared to be a store room.  There was a hospital bed, but the bed almost looked like part of the extra junk that had landed there, along with the supply cart with “ULTRASOUND” scribbled in black marker.  Every surface was cluttered with stuff.  The sink directly across from me, in full view as I sat on the bed, had some blue-colored substance […]

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I’m learning the lingo

Today’s CT scan confirmed I am not allergic to contrast dye (yes!) It also documented several enlarged lymph nodes in my chest cavity. An enlarged lymph node is what they referred to as a “mass” in the chest xray I had previously. The lymph nodes range in size, from about a half inch to a couple of inches. At least one of them is pushing on an area of my […]

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Surreal

It was about 6:45 pm. My cell was ringing and the caller ID read, “Dr. Shoustari,” the physician I saw a few hours earlier. Oh. About a week and a half ago, I went to the doctor to have a swollen area in my neck looked at. My regular physician wasn’t in the office, so I saw her colleague. Dr. Usmani expressed concern, said the lump could be cancerous, and […]

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