It's been two weeks since the fine needle biopsy. I've been waiting for that call and it came today. I was completely unprepared for a drive into Jerusalem... sans GPS, on my own with two tots. (My 3 year old daughter has been home for over a week - a story I might share in a separate post). I went into Google Maps and printed out directions which I apparently did not follow very well because it took me 90 minutes to drive a 41 minute journey - story of my life. Thanks to 2 Arab taxi drivers and an apparently German lady tourist and her handy map I made it in the end. The German lady tourist was amazing! She told the angry drivers where they could go while my car idled alongside hers and she looked up the hospital in her Carta map! She was my hero today.
The place I needed to go within the hospital is a clinic that primarily operates as a mammography center. Lots of women and their stressed out husbands. I anticipated a quick wait and then very easy news/results from the Doctor.
What I didn't expect was the ceremonial wait in the private room and the somber look on the doctor's face as he proceeded to imply that I have a non-benign tumor. The diagnosis: Myoepithelioma or Myoepithelial Carcinoma. I saw the words, "carcinoma" on the paper with my name on it. I let him speak. I didn't interrupt. When he was done I started asking. Basically I left in tears understanding FROM THE DOCTOR that I need surgery ASAP to remove the parotid gland and I may or may not need chemotherapy or whatever other treatments are out there. I left the clinic thinking I had crossed over that red line - a CANCER patient.
Yes, I cried the whole way home.
One swift Googling, as soon as I got home, made it pretty clear that the "diagnosis" was more like an inconclusive tushy-covering. No doctor wants to be sued (except maybe my family doctor, Dr. B.). Myoepithelioma is most often benign. It's a mixed-cell tumor. From what I understand, Myoepithelioma and Myoepithelial Carcinoma are very rare. What are the chances, right?
My parents spent the rest of the day researching every possibility with their doctor friends who are ENT surgeon and breast cancer surgery specialist and pathologist etc.. The next step is to go back to my ENT and see what she recommends. I'll probably need a head CT before surgery and I'll need to find an excellent neck surgeon.
It's a lot to take in. I have no choice but to sit tight and wait for each step and take it as it comes. I'm still a mama... and that doesn't change just because I'm worried I could fall into that 20% of rare parotid tumor cases that are actually cancer....
I have to wait and see.