Were my running friend’s parting words to me that morning. We had attempted to do our usual 4 mile run – but I couldn’t. We tried to power walk it – I couldn’t do that either.
“I will take a shower and see how I feel.” I replied.
So I did.
By the time I finished showering and got dressed - the heavy feeling in my chest and difficulty breathing were still there. I made a couple of phone calls to family and to work; drove my daughter to daycare; and then casually drove myself to the local ER.
I checked in at the desk and told them that I thought I might be having an anxiety attack or possibly a heart attack – I wasn’t sure.
They ushered me into the usual curtained ER room – where they gowned, wired and oxygenated me and asked if I felt better?
“No. I still have that heavy feeling in my chest.” I replied touching the exact spot with my fingers where I felt it.
My EKG was normal – so they sent me for a chest x-ray.
While I was waiting for the results of the x-ray two of my sisters showed up – just stopping by for moral support. They started joking that “as long as you are here you should have them look at the blue vein under your left eye – maybe they can fix it!”
We were all laughing when the ER doctor came in. “We are seeing something on the chest x-ray.” he stated.
“What?” my sister Wendy asked.
“Some enlarged lymph nodes.”
Wendy followed with “Where and how large?”
She had just finished being our father’s patient advocate in his unsuccessful battle against non-hodgkin’s lymphoma – so she was well aware of what to ask.
That is when it starts to get a little blurry for me. I remember a CT being ordered immediately. I remember being wheeled back into my ER room after the test and the doctor coming in almost simultaneously with my mom, my brother and my third sister.
Wendy had called the other family members – she knew that things were going to go downhill from here.