Dr. Evans is a professional. He deals with ear, nose, and throat issues for a living. So he's seen a lot of things that immediately cause him concern or alarm.
Me? I'm just a guy… A guy that goes to an ear, nose, and throat specialist because I have an issue. I don’t know the severity of the conditions or the possibilities. I just know that I have an enlarged lymph node in my neck. That's how it was on May 21 at the initial consult.
As the doctor entered the room, he asked how long this lump it had been in my neck.
“I really don’t know. I'm guessing somewhere between four and six months.”
His eyes focused on me in an almost “dad” kind of way (you know the look).
“Like... between four and six months?” he repeated.
“Yeah,” I replied, more as an admission of guilt than an answer to his question. I told him I got the same response from my Wendy when she saw it.
Then he started asking the normal questions: Does it hurt when you touch it? Does it bother you throughout the day? He got a negative reply to every question, and that the lack of pain was the only reason I hadn't gone to the doctor in the first place.
This is where Dr. Evans stares me down in that “Dad” kind of way. You know... the look where he just stares at your eyes. The look on his face is almost like “C’mon, man!!! It can't be this!”
I stare right back at him, my facial expressions are saying, “Yeah, that's it! It doesn't hurt so I haven't seen a doctor about it.”
There's that moment of silence where he and I continue our faceoff. He finally breaks the silence.
He drops his head down a little, kind of shaking his head "no." Then he cuts his eyes back at me and says, “So... you're just being a guy, aren't you?”
I nod my head in agreement.
He offers up his unique chuckle he seems to be known for. Then he reminds me that I have a really great wife because she told me to get into the doctor.
After this little episode, it was pretty much a normal medical exam. He checked my ears, nose, and throat cuz, like I said, he's a pro... that's what he does. I believe he had an idea of what was going on. He didn't speculate or guess. He didn't talk about the possibilities. He said that he needs more information, and this is how we’ll get it.
As we're wrapping things up, he’s compelled to make the point one more time: "Stop being a guy!!!"
Guys... Girls... those still undecided…
Take care of yourself when you see something ain’t right. Don't wait 6 months because "you're being a guy," it doesn’t hurt, and you don't want to delay today the things you want to get done. Those become weak excuses when shit gets real!!!
Such an old cliche… but some ideas do not need to be worded in a trendy way to be worth listening too. It's true folks... if you got issues, have a doctor check them out soon.
I may be fortunate enough to have caught whatever this cancer is early on. But it might have been a very different outcome. So... as repetitive and as redundant as this is… (and I know that I will still have a hard time getting good at this idea) when you see issues… Get them checked.
Ponder this too! There may be people who care about you and want you to stay on the globe for a few more years. If you will not go to the doctor for yourself, will you be kind enough to go for those people who love you and want you to be in their lives?
Got questions? Please send them. There is no subject that is off limits.