I Have a Tumour

I debated whether to write this post or not, and whether to write it now or wait for later, when I know which tumour I have. In the end I decided to start a post and write what comes out, and not try to overthink it.

I have a tumour in my chest cavity (mediastinal). Back in February this year I was forced to stop running for about two months due to a rather serious bout of Plantar Fasciitis. Due to Covid restrictions I had delayed replacing my insoles, and this was the price pay. After two months of rest, stretching and a course of anti-inflammatory pills I felt better and in the beginning of April I started running again.

Or at least I tried.

I had shortness of breath once I started, to the point where I had to stop running a few times during my run. I thought that it was due to me not running for almost two months. But the runs after that first one didn’t get better and after a few more I went to the doctor.

My GP said that my lungs were clear and he couldn’t hear anything. I told him that I was wheezing at night (at this point I was), and that I found running impossible and walking increasingly difficult. He said that it was a virus that was going around, and prescribed something to help with congestion. It was a 10 day course of tablets, and it did nothing to help with my shortness of breath or my wheezing and coughs.

I knew that something was seriously wrong, and thought that at the age of 39 I may have developed asthma. At this point it was time to fly to London, so I took my mother’s inhaler and went on the trip. I have no idea how I made it through 13-15,000 steps per day for 12 days there, but I did.

Once I returned I went to see my GP again, this time demanding a referral to a spirometry test and and to a lung specialist. Last Thursday I took the spirometry test and the results were abysmal. I had 35% lung capacity, and I scared the technician enough that she tried to do everything possible to get me to see a lung specialist that day. She didn’t succeed but my family managed to book me a to a lung doctor that day. He said that it wasn’t asthma, but he had no idea what it was. I needed to get a CT done.

I took a spirometry test at 13:40. I saw a lung doctor at 16:30. At 18:30 I had a CT angio done (my first CT ever). At 19:10 I had the results in my inbox.

A large mediastinal tumour. Possibly lymphoma.

Me, a healthy, non-smoking, non-drinking, physically active 39 year old.

I was admitted to hospital on Friday, and had a series of tests done, including a super painful, super traumatic biopsy on Sunday. I was released home for a few days of rest on Tuesday, and now, Saturday night, I’m back in hospital waiting for my very first PET CT on Sunday morning.

The hospital

I have no idea how I’m coping. For now I’m in a cloud of uncertainly and with zero control over my life as a phalanx of very good doctors try to figure out exactly what we’re dealing with here. It’s a tumor for sure, the question is which kind exactly. I’m moving around in my life as if it is someone else’s.

I’m back to journalling, after a break due to my mom’s health problems, Covid and several other personal issues. Recording everything as it happens has helped me deal with things. Analogue tools are still best for processing, and even though I would have loved to luxuriate with a Parker 51 on some Tomoe River Paper, I know the practicalities of hospitals enough to use a Karas Kustoms Render K with my favourite refill (Uni-ball UMR-85) and a Moleskine instead.

36 thoughts on “I Have a Tumour

  1. Diane

    How terrifying. I hope it something that can be easily treated. As an oncology nurse, I can tell you that a whole lot of cancer I see is simple bad luck. Being in shape prior to treatment helps a lot with coping with side effects. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping for the best possible outcome.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lauren

    Just an internet stranger, but wanted to send you my best wishes. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I hope the remaining tests will be non-painful and that you will have answers soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff

    I have been a silent reader for a while and don’t often post but I am writing just to let you know you are in my thoughts and I am sending all the positivity I can muster your way. I am hoping for the best for you and hoping for a quick recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Makayla

    Wow, I never expected to read a post like this from you. Your blog has been a little ray of paradise in my inbox every few weeks. To see your sketchbooks and notes helps transport me away from my own life for a bit and I am extremely grateful to you for it. You will be in my prayers every night and I wish you the absolute best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. C Dyson

    I’m glad you reached out to your community of stationery friends at this time. It must be frightening and unreal and I can only imagine the level of worrying you’re doing. Like other commentators, I’m just someone who reads your blog among others for a bit of stationery gossip and to see what other people are up to so I can’t claim to know you but you’re a person your readers care about and we all hope that you get the best possible news. We’ll be here when you want us to be and all of us will be thinking of you and wishing you well, in all our own ways. Think of it as a virtual handclasp. I hope that helps a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Andrea

    I am so sorry this is happening to you. I am so sorry your biopsy was painful and traumatic. I am a random internet stranger but I hope you make it through the next days and weeks knowing that random strangers on the internet are holding you in their thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. urbanspinner

    I’m a silent reader who has been following your blog for a year. But I am moved to leave a comment, to let you know that I will be thinking of you, and adding my prayers to those of everyone else here. This is such difficult news. I am so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Roca

    A lot of positive energy, like Jeff i never said anything, my english is awful but i all your readers hopes you are recover soon.
    Best luck, cheer up.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. paulien

    Another random reader here who has never yet commented, but who regularly reads your blog. It is one of the most inspiring and interesting in the stationery sphere and I want you to know that. I am very sorry for what you are going through, and wish you all the best. Hope for the best outcome and that you are surrounded by family and friends in this difficult time!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Izzy

    Hello, my heart sank for you as I read your post. I am so terribly sorry! I came across your blog a few months ago and have absolutely been enjoying your posts. My thoughts are with you, I truly hope for the best for you. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. SG

    I have been reading your blog for quite some time, reading your blog helped me through a lot of times during the pandemic. As with some many of your random readers, our thoughts are with you and praying for the best outcome!

    Liked by 1 person

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