The Unwelcomed Lump.

 

The lump is on the left side of the picture. This pic was taken just before the operation.

this pic was taken 6 days after the operation. Notice how disfigured the neck still looks. Ofcourse the mass is out, now what remains is swelling.

This ugly scar is where the operation was done. It covers my entire profile. Pic was taken one day after the operation.

Somewhere in February, I realized I had started binging alot.  It did’nt seem right that I was cracking down on Modern Bakery’s laddoos or was completly spellbound by the Boston Kreme DD.  I believe that until I dont hit rock bottom, I wont make changes. Little do we know what is enstore … one minute we think we have everything planned up and the next minute , one telephone call can change the entire course of your life.

I have been so restless this entire year .. just waiting for something to happen, well if nothing happened, then I tried to make it happen. Towards March, We had seen a couple of villa’s  already and We decided that if we could try, we would get the kids admitted to a school in town and rent a place somewhere in mirdiff and probably rent out our own villa at the Ranches.  Generally these kind of things fall in my lap and I love working and organizing such things. Once Sam gave me his consent. I started packing the excess stuff in the studio, preparing cartons of toys for the garage sale, clearing up pieces of art that I felt could save some space in the house etc..

Things had still not run in full swing, becoz I had not jumped into the school admission scenario. I have no idea why I wasnt hoping around as I would have wanted to, except for some larger force was at work. I convinced myself the kids needed time to prepare for the assesments.

Meanwhile on a busy friday night somewhere early march, I discovered a lump in the right side of my neck. Initially I dismissed it thinking it had to be one of my tooth infections … then I assumed it had to do with something related to the hearing loss I had experienced in my right ear just 8 months back. Then I felt it could be something related to the allergy and subsequent severe rash I had by the DermiCool Powder that I had used while in India, to relieve me of some sweat.

What was peculier was that it was large enough to prutrude thru my neck and yet not pain at all. There was absolutely zero pain in it. I suppose we all love to live in denial or then indulge in self obsession !!  Becoz it did not pain, i didnt have to turn to any medication and becoz it caused alittle discomfort, it kept playing on my mind. I decided to give it a week or 10 days … perhaps it may be some sinus caused inflamation of my lymph nodes !! who knows !!!!!

Well 10 days later and the little lump on my neck had travelled right till behind my right ear.  And still no sign of pain. It almost felt like a large protruding swelling or a flab of double chin.  Finally Sam put his foot down when I told him about some muscular pain in my right arm. We emerged at the Emergency at American Hospital.  Dr Akbar  prescribed some antibacterial for the rash and suggested it could be a reaction to the rash that some lymph node had inflammed.

He suggested consulting Dr Tarabishi which I did in a week. Dr Tarabishi had seen me earlier for my ear injury. He did several examinations including passing a camera thru my nose !! and aspirating two places on the gland too.

He prescribed 2000 mg of Augmentine each day for 10 days !! His guess was that if it was some infection, it would clear itself. There was a very small chance of a tumor … which at that stage seemed out of the question.

15 days later, and Mr lumpy had made himself very comfortable in my neck. Thank God for my hijaab or else I would have really been embarrassed with the humungous size. At this stage I could sense the Doctor getting alittle annoyed with not being able to figure this thing out. 

He asked me to get admitted of a byopsy and CT scan on 7th. The idea of having general anesthesia after 8 years was not well received by me. I had hoped and by this stage, started praying that this unwelcomed lump would just disappear but it was here to stay.

Just around this time ….. The cancer in Sam’s Kidney was diagnosed.

Two people in one household having a tumor at the same time !! Unheard of !!! It almost seemed like a dream, I was really hoping someone would wake me up and I’d finally say, “thank God, it was an awful nightmare.”

It was not to happen.

That friday before 7th April, I called Bhaiyya and broke down to him.  In my weekest hour, I found solace talking to Bhaiyya. From then on, I kept him informed about all the devolopments…  His humility and selflessness are amazing. If I have found anyone resemble my Sam in my family or otherwise, it has to be my brother.  I trust his judgement completly and really hold on to his advise.

Alot happened between then and now.

On 7th, I was supposed to be at the hospital by 12 for the CT Scan but at 11 for the admission. For whatever reason just about everything that could have gone wrong with the hospital had managed to go wrong. Everything was failing … everything was a complete chaos.

I was completly irritated, anxious and frustrated. I dropped the kids at the hospital and Sam picked them and dropped them at Kidzania. Finally he joined me after the CT Scan was completed.

My CT was done just 2 hours before my operation … The doctor had decided in the OT that they would remove all the mass and tissue. I believe they had carried out the frozen test and thereafter it was taken out.

The operation started at 15:00 hrs and took 3 hours to complete. I came around at 20:00 hrs and felt as though nothing had changed except some strangely uncomfortable feeling in my neck.  

I remember sham and Arif kept saying why my cut had been so large for a simple biopsy. Strangely enough I was hungry. I was so desperate for something to eat !! and EAT, I did !!!!! Infact I ordered for an extra sandwich meal at 23:00 hrs !~!~!!!!!!  I never slept all night ….. happiness and anxiety kept me awake.

Following day, Dr Osama had informed me that the tumor was benign and apart of the tissue sample was sent to the pathology for investigation. To think of it !!! what were the chances of a tumor ?? 2 % !!!! Well, that was one story with a good ending.

I was already waiting for Sam to take me to Abu Dhabi so that we could discuss his case with Sheikh Khalifa Medical City that afternoon.  That never happened coz Sam arrived late. We had a meal and reached home. Finally I got my beauty sleep only to wake up the following morning with what felt like a large tyre around my neck. The swelling was so large that it almost scard me to see my reflection in the mirror. Poor Sam, what he has to put up with !! 5 days later, the swelling is subsiding … I am enjoying pulling off the dead skin around the area of the incesion. Infact I get a real kick pulling the dead skin off the entire stitched area.

Inspite of all my strength, I find myself dragging me around. Its hard to gather up strength and get chores done. I tire easily. For someone as active as myself, it is a very sinking feeling not being able to achieve 100 % all the time. But one thing this entire episode has taught me is to enjoy every minute and put more time with my boys.

Sometimes we take our lives for granted and then we need wake up calls like these that can set us straight.

Healthy Misconceptions :

Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it…  don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually.  Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster.  Want to live longer?  Take a nap.  

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies.  What does a cow eat?   Hay and corn.   And what are these?  Vegetables.  So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system.   Need grain?   Eat chicken.   Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable).  

 Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?  
A:  No, not at all.  Wine is made from fruit.  Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way.   Beer is also made out of grain.  Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one.  If you have two bodies, your  ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can’t think of a single one, sorry.  My philosophy is: No Pain…Good!

Q:  Aren’t fried foods bad for you?  
A:  YOU’RE NOT LISTENING! !! …..  Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil.  In fact, they’re permeated in it.  How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?  

Q:  Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.  

Q:  Is chocolate bad for me?  
A:  Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It’s the best feel-good food around!

Q:  Is swimming good for your figure?  
A:  If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q:  Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?  
A:  Hey!  ‘Round’ is a shape!  

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And  remember:
‘Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – Chardonnay in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘WOO HOO, What a Ride’    

AND…..

For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.  

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.  

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION

Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.