In May 2013 I started my yearly bout of allergies. Turns out I am allergic to Pecan pollen. Our new house has four huge pecan trees and the pollen rains down like agent orange. As soon as I step out onto the patio I get whacked upside the head.
So it started with allergies, let’s say my sickness started with that. Then I had a cough and a swollen gland in my neck.
I visited three different doctors and had three different rounds of antibiotics, steroids etc. I was diagnosed with tonsillitis and bronchitis. It was my lovely dentist, Dr. Frank Rosales, who finally looked at my tonsils and said it didn’t look good. So I made an appointment with an ENT (Ear, nose & throat) specialist.
I had that appointment today. He was a very neat, no messing about, let’s get on with this kind of guy. He looked in my mouth, prodded my neck and very quickly diagnosed cancer of the tonsils.
At worst I expected him to say ‘tonsillitis, they have to come out’. Immediately he left the office and some minutes later came back with a surgeon’s name written on a card with instructions to call him ASAP. And that was it. Maybe ten minutes at most had elapsed.
I don’t know if you have ever imagined what it would be like to be diagnosed with cancer. I suppose I had reflected on it before but I didn’t expect to be so non-plussed and so calm. I left the doctor’s office and called my wife, Eva. My voice did crack a bit when I told her and she was like “WTF?”
I had to book a meeting room in a local restaurant so I went by there, booked the room and had a stiff margarita. Still no shock, just a strange relief. I had been feeling bleh for two months and really wanted to feel better. I hadn’t been able to work out, so my new exercise regime I started earlier in the year was wasted. Now I had a diagnosis and all we had to do was jump headlong into treatment.