My Cancer Story Ch. 44 “A Crick in the Neck”

Chapter 44: “A Crick in the Neck”

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My favorite time of the year was almost upon us: Summer. There was nothing quite like a Maine summer: breezy sunshine, endless things to do, and breathtaking views. I wondered yet again if I would have made it to this point without treatment. Yes, it was a morbid way to envision such a serene two/ two and a half months. But it’s hard not to think of alternate timelines, even with my health fully intact.

And my hair had finally awoken from its chemo-induced slumber. I’ll admit I was a little worried; for a while, the little hair I had left had grown into a spiral, very similar to the cliché spiral pattern that would hypnotize cartoon characters.

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But during the following months, my hair indeed came back, albeit marginally different. My usually brown hair had now become black, slightly curly, and baby smooth. They warned that this would happen, and a part of me always had hoped for a temporary change, but Holy shit, was this going to be the norm?!

I had my brother and cousin Jason stay over at our house often. It was good to keep my friends and family so close by, but especially those two. They were my brothers, and sure, we still occasionally fought, but we were close.

When I was younger – before my parents divorced – Jason and his family (my Aunt, Uncle, and his brother Kevin) would come over for a night of a meal and card games.

Everyone paired off: my parents and my Aunt and Uncle; Travis and Jason (who were the same age), and my sister and my cousin Kevin (who were also the same age). I was the middle child, so it often became a game of “Who Could I Align With Today?” I was six years younger than my older sibling so they would talk MTV and “older kid stuff” like crushes and relationships.

Plus, I was a bratty younger brother. So then I’d play the big brother role to the young-uns and so, we spent the majority of the time together and bonded over the following years. Travis and Jason were forever a part of my posse. Hell, they were the posse.

All was going fairly well. The house was always fun, and work was… work. I had this rejuvenated sense of medical freedom from my recent inaugural check-up. Then I awoke one morning to a crick in my neck. It’s hard to start the day when you slept like a pretzel. I rubbed the pain out but felt something.

OH FUCK OH FUCK OH FUCK.

 

The dread hath returned. This bump was tucked neatly under the back of my jawbone and was hard, not like a tumor, more like bone. I immediately panicked and researched the bump online. The very first keywords I entered “What would a tumor feel like?”

Just in case.

Since my May appointment was impending, I decided to mention it then. Dr. McGann was out, so her tag team partner, Dr. Allen, took reigns over my assessment. I mentioned the bump to her, and she couldn’t find it at first. Was I delusional?!

I found it myself and guided her hand to the spot. She immediately assured me that it wasn’t anything to worry about, but my mind continued to reel with fear. Sure, it was small, but if it would grow at all… I would tell them at once.

Distrust formed in my mind. How can I believe a medical professional when they don’t even run a test or give me a possible cause? Just: “It’s nothing to worry about?!”

I continued to research it on my own time and did indeed check its size every day. I had wondered if the old adage of cracking your joints causing inflammation was true. What if I did that to myself by cracking my neck too often?

The questions and potential life-ending illnesses clouded my mental energy. I must develop a system to prevent an overload of these disturbing thoughts, but what could I do? I tried not to dwell on this and instead focused on enjoying the warmer weather and longer days. It would be hard, but over time I could (hope to) let this worry pass.

Plus, it was going to be June soon, my favorite month of the year, and it totally has nothing to do with my birthday.

-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


This will be my on-going story of my personal battle with Cancer. I’ve been wanting to write this for years, and my hope is that it helps others who are currently experiencing their own battles (whether it be for themselves or a loved one) or to help with early detection.

The way I’m doing it is terrifying for a writer. I’m writing a first-draft outline for an eventual book, chapter by chapter in weekly form. A LOT will change when it’s published.

Stay tuned as I will be posting a new chapter every Monday until the story is complete.

And remember if you experience any Anemic symptoms– get checked for Leukemia as well.


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49 thoughts on “My Cancer Story Ch. 44 “A Crick in the Neck”

  1. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 42 “Our First House” | GuyOnAWire

  2. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 39 “Preparing for the Best” | GuyOnAWire

  3. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 40 “The End of the Tour” | GuyOnAWire

  4. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 38 “Role Reversal” | GuyOnAWire

  5. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 37 “Pure Boredom” | GuyOnAWire

  6. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 32 “Death and All His Friends” | GuyOnAWire

  7. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 33 “Home for the Holidays” | GuyOnAWire

  8. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 34 “A Perfect Circle” | GuyOnAWire

  9. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 29 “Home Away From Home for the Holidays” | GuyOnAWire

  10. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 30 “Amphoterrible” | GuyOnAWire

  11. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 31 “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” | GuyOnAWire

  12. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 28 “Super Smash Bros. Mesmerize” | GuyOnAWire

  13. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 21 “Clogged” | GuyOnAWire

  14. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 25 “Film Fantatic Vol. 1” | GuyOnAWire

  15. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 20 “House Guest” | GuyOnAWire

  16. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 24 “Drugs or Me?” | GuyOnAWire

  17. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 23 “Picky Eater” | GuyOnAWire

  18. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 22 “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost” | GuyOnAWire

  19. Pingback: Chapter 15: “The McDonald’s-Loving Thief” | GuyOnAWire

  20. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 16 “My Childhood in a Nutshell” | GuyOnAWire

  21. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 17 “My Fellow Cancer Combatants” | GuyOnAWire

  22. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 18 “Send the Pain Below” | GuyOnAWire

  23. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 19 “The Starlight Friends” | GuyOnAWire

  24. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 14 “Take the Money and Run” | GuyOnAWire

  25. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 13 “Homecoming” | GuyOnAWire

  26. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 12 “Sibling Rivalry” | GuyOnAWire

  27. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 45 “Summer Soliloquy” | GuyOnAWire

  28. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 10 “Self-Imposed Isolation” | GuyOnAWire

  29. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 9 “Swelling With Pain” | GuyOnAWire

  30. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 8 “Extraction” | GuyOnAWire

  31. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 7 “Growing Pains” | GuyOnAWire

  32. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 6 “The Chemo Fallout” | GuyOnAWire

  33. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 5 “Stephen King” | GuyOnAWire

  34. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 4 “Media Madness” | GuyOnAWire

  35. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch.3 “The First Day of Chemo” | GuyOnAWire

  36. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch.2 “Loved Ones” | GuyOnAWire

  37. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch.1 “Pre-Diagnosis” | GuyOnAWire

  38. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 43 “A Sense of Dread” | GuyOnAWire

  39. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 41 “Sibling Rivalry: Round Two” | GuyOnAWire

  40. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 35 “Trivial Preoccupations” | GuyOnAWire

  41. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 36 “The Destructive Shell” | GuyOnAWire

  42. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 26 “My Guardian Angels” | GuyOnAWire

  43. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 27 “Town I Call Home” | GuyOnAWire

  44. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 11 “Pins and Needles” | GuyOnAWire

  45. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 46 “My First Camera” | GuyOnAWire

  46. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 47 “The Ronald McDonald Bar Harbor Retreat” | GuyOnAWire

  47. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 48 “License Lost” | GuyOnAWire

  48. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 49 “Halloween High” | GuyOnAWire

  49. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 50 “Extended Family” | GuyOnAWire

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