So it's been over a month.....
Relieved that my BP was normal and cardiac arrest wasn't necessarily around the corner, a month or so had gone by and the pills did little for my shoulder pain. I decided to stop by and see a high school buddy, a chiropractor just around the corner from me.
He first took some xrays of my neck and shoulder. Checking them out he noticed that some congenital issues with some vertebrate in my neck (badly formed as I was about a two months premmie)and it looked like I had a bone spur that may be contacting the nerve (Ulnar????)passing through my left shoulder and down my left arm...which was having numbness off and on.
His manipulations and electrical stimulations helped a bit but only lasted about an hour. But now I was armed with xrays, so back I went to my family doctor. By now it's the first week in June.
Dr. W looked the xrays over and asked me if I had insurance, (he is known to take eggs as payment---a practice not really offered by my local hospital---Refreshingly, he gets it....), and I said yes. He told me he was going to schedule an MRI to "see what's going on in there."
About a week or so later I went into my local hospital for an MRI. Not knowing what to expect I was a little nervous as I had heard that claustraphobia could be an issue. It turned out to not be an issue as I just laid there, listened to some music on headphones and it was done in 20 minutes. That wasn't all that bad. So off to work I go.
Around 3:30pm I got a call on my cell phone from Dr. W's office. His nurse wanted to know if I could stop in today to talk over the MRI result. I told her that I was about a hundred miles away and could not make it. She said that Dr. W was leaving the next day for about a week, so I should hold on.
Dr. W got on the phone. "Mark? I really don't like talking about these things over the phone, but I'll be leaving for a week. It looks like you have a tumor in the top of your left lung. Where the tumor is located it looks like it may be pressing on the nerve. I want to schedule you for a CT scan that will show more detail."
My ability to comprehend anything he was saying ended at the word tumor.
This was one of those lfe moments when you know that everything has changed in a blink of an eye. The 3am phone call from the Minnessota Police to tell my wife her 32 yr old brother was killed in a car accident. The Saturday night that the nusre called me on the cellphone to tell me that she had just checked in on my 83 year old Alzheimer inflicted mother in her assisted living room to find that she had died.
Time just stops. I could not believe that I was actually hearing these words being spoken to ME. The hundreds and thousands of times I was warned about smoking.....my having to pick up my dead Fathers body from his bedroom floor at 3am some 12 years ago after he finally lost his battle with skin/stomach cancer...my first wife's father dying in 1979 of liver cancer right before my eyes in an Albany hospital...my wife OH MY GOD, my wife Kim!!!
Dr. W went on about how there is a chance that it doesn't have to be malignant and how the CT scan and a biopsy will tell the tale...He said that his nurse would schedule the CT scan for next week...that way "we could get together and review the results when I get back in two weeks."
"Two weeks!!!!!" was the first thing I could get out of my mouth. "Easy Mark, we have time here, this is very early on..."
I hung up and just stood outside the Giant Eagle supermarket that was my call that day. I had forgoten what was wrong with their photo lab that I was there to fix. I even forgot where I was for a moment. All I really knew is I had to call my wife Kim. "She can make this better somehow...I just have to be gentle in telling her....God how I love her....."