When I contacted my local oncologist 2 weeks ago, it was out of an abundance of caution.
When he prescribed antibiotics it was out of an abundance of caution.
When I returned to see my doctor after a week, it was out of compliance. He wanted to see how I'd faired on antibiotics. My throat was no longer red, but I still had small lymph nodes in my neck that were palpable.
For the record: I never had a sore throat. No fever or cough. Had my doctor not told me that the right side of my throat was red, I never would have known anything was amiss there.
Dr. B. sent me straight in for a CT scan with IV contrast.
The results came in the following day. Inconclusive. Multiple, small nodes were present on the right side of my neck. My doctor scheduled a biopsy for Friday.
The radiologist performing the biopsy had a few problems getting samples from my nodes. The needle kept getting lost on the ultrasound screen, so he had to try a variety of larger gauges. The node he was after was 2 cm down in my neck, next to my carotid artery. The needles kept bouncing off of the node and sliding sideways.
This procedure is performed with a little lidocaine injected near the biopsy site. It's not the most comfortable experience.
After several attempts, the doctor managed to get some samples. I should know the results by midweek.
In the midst of all of this, I contacted my transplant team at MD Anderson. They've scheduled me for a CT scan on Monday. I'll see my transplant doctor a few hours later. It's a matter of caution. No one is saying it's cancer. Until I've been seen by all the doctors who want to see me, I won't know what we're dealing with.
At this point, it may be a mystery infection that I can't shake, or it could be squamous cell carcinoma. We don't know.