Pandemic Cancer Fighter

Fighting Cancer through a Pandemic.

2-Initial Dr. Visit

Randy Scales / 2020-03-13

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My journey started with a swollen node in my neck. I had the lump for close to 2 weeks and although I occasionally have anxiety issues around health, I had largely calmed myself in this case and was good with waiting a bit longer before becoming concerned. In fact, on Wednesday (3/11) I decided to run a couple of miles over my lunch break. This was my way of 1.) easing anxiety and 2.) proving to myself I was healthy (hey, I can still run 2 miles). The next day, a coworker at work saw my neck and said something to the effect of “you should get that checked out”. That got my head going again and I decided to set up an appointment. If nothing else, this would put my mind at ease. I called on Thursday and was able to get an appointment with a nurse practitioner the next morning.

While I was distracted dealing with this lump in my neck, it was starting to become clear that COVID-19 was going to have unprecedented impacts in the US. I work in an office, and on Thursday, we were brought together and told that they wanted to stress test a “everyone working from home” scenario and we were to work from home the next day (Friday). It was indicated that we should probably go ahead and take everything we need home as if we wouldn’t be back to the office for a while. Obviously I did not like the idea of such a terrifying virus, but I was pretty excited about the prospect of working from home for a while.

My visit to the Dr. Office the morning of March 13th was pretty standard. They did have a sheet at the counter about special notice that should be given if you had recently traveled to the at-risk COVID countries or if you had a special set of symptoms, but aside from that, it was business as usual. I checked in and was called back to see the nurse practitioner relatively quickly. Everything seemed relatively standard and they did a strep test as well as a throat culture (looking for bacterial or fungal infection in my throat). In the end, they prescribed an antibiotic and sent me for an ultrasound of the neck.