Wednesday, 2015/07/01 ~ 2015/09/30 -A Stiff Neck


Wednesday, 2015/07/01 ~ 2015/9/30

This is a moderately-detailed description of my experience with cancer. It began as a couple of updates to my immediate family on my progress, and has become a sort of journal. If it is TMI (Too Much Information) for you, it is quite sensible for you to quit reading it, or skip over whatever parts unsettle you, and of course I know that it will not be very interesting to most people, even some I hold dear, who only want to know that I am getting cured.

Until now, I’ve been informing only a few family members and a couple of close friends about what is going on as I learn more, but I‘ve decided to make the information more widely available here. This journal may sound clinical and detached, but my stoicism does not mean not caring or feeling. I am more frightened than I have ever been in my entire life. I simply prefer to have emotions rather than letting them have me, and to plan with both the worst and best possibilities in mind, so that as events unfold, I will be prepared to act effectively. Some information may change as this journal progresses, and I learn more, and plans are adjusted, but I will try to keep it as coherent as possible.

If I am in that relatively small group for which this condition is terminal, pain control has advanced to a stage where I will not have to suffer greatly. The odds are, however, very strong in favor of a complete cure within a few months. My medical coverage, my finances, and my responsibilities will allow for whatever treatment may be needed. I feel very fortunate to have been as healthy as I have for most of my life, and to have a good prognosis for this problem.

As I write this journal, I will generally divide it into days that mark significant events.   Since I did not decide to publish it until I was deep into the process, I will begin with a bunch of entries to catch up, but soon it will be more timely, usually a day or so after the events being described.

The first week of July, 2015

In the first week of July, I noticed a stiffness and swelling on the right side of my neck.   It was just below my right jaw joint (TemporoMandibular Joint, or TMJ). I made an appointment to see my primary care physician, Dr. L.