You know as if this past year could not have been more of a shit show ride for me and a severe fall from the absolute high of finally graduating college in May 2016, thinking my life was finally going to change for the better and getting a nicely paid seasonal summer environmental job to get all important work experience. Then it all went to shit. Someone actually said to me online yesterday: "Did you take a shit on an ancient indian burial ground or something? I cannot believe your bad luck!" Right about when that job was ending, my 10 year relationship ended (and all the insane drama that went with that), I had to pack up half a house by myself and move to another state and live out of a room with most of my stuff in storage, the utter futility of trying to find a entry level environmental job (no one will hire me), the weird little health issues like infections that would not heal- and then me to begin to question my own sanity here in isolation. It's been rough. Seems like the only person that wants to talk to me is a married ex with kids from 20 years ago. I apply to jobs, I pay to get certifications to help make me more employable, I take civil service exams, I started eating better, I try to be active-exercised/ did weights for awhile but that's stopped since the lymph node thing. Now the culmination of what appeared like enlarged lymph nodes in May has come full circle. My primary didn't know what it was- said I was in good shape but maybe it was an abscess that I had the year before that came back. I got a ultrasound, endured 3 male mamograms (I totally feel for women on enduring these now!), ct scan- by then the doctors knew it was not an abscess- went on to fine needle biopsy, and finally last Friday a full lymph node biopsy where I was put under for surgery and cut into. My surgeon, who I have good repoire with and doesn't pull punches gave it to me straight over the phone on Wednesday: "You tested positive for Hodgkin's Lymphoma" I went through the full gauntlet of emotions, sobbing, anger, denial. I mean I honestly do not know how I got a supposedly rare disease. I kept thinking fuck I've never had Epstein Barr, no one in my family has ever had cancer that I know of, I've been super stressed- was it because I worked in the surrounding geological area of a nuclear waste facility last summer? I mean that waste is contained like Fort Knox and I was never anywhere near it. Is it these damn toys? Was it Buffalo (high cancer rates)? My mind raced. I mean in one way I was relieved I finally had a fucking diagnosis, but fucking cancer? Me? I've never even had a pulled muscle or broken bone. Doc said she believes it's localized to just my left armpit, because she checked all my lymph node areas and there is no other swelling anywhere. I caught this swelling in May (thank fuck I where tank tops when it gets hot so I saw it right away) and it's taken 3 months to get a diagnosis. As someone who is completely unaware of how the health field works (never been sick) I guess that's good? I mean everything kept coming back negative because my doctor said the fine needle biopsy just showed fatty tissue and no sign of cancer but she did the lymph node exclision because she needed lymph node tissue to send to pathology. She said it was weird looking in my arm because the 3 lumps were actually fatty tissue surrounding the lymph nodes. She said the one she took was the size of a blueberry so I guess that is also good they are not too big yet. I went through a phase last night and today thinking pathology got it wrong somehow because the only other signs I have are fatigue and my legs itch from time to time. So I go to a hematologist on Tuesday for I guess a treatment plan? I've done nothing but read on Hodgkins for days and while no cancer is good at all my surgeon said it's highly treatable and I'm 100% sure you will make a full recovery. I really hope I get a PET Scan, I really want to know how much cancer is in me and where exactly it is. In fact I'm getting a little peeved I have not been given anything like a pathology report. Something! Anything. My major concerns are really treatment. I don't want to be a Harkonian from Dune and get a port but I don't want my veins on fire either, the chemo drugs are highly toxic, radiation therapy- even localized can't be good right? I'm already bald so not worried about my hair but I'd look like a freak with no eyebrows lol, I'm active, I like exercising, love being outdoors, I just don't want to get wiped out by chemo and lose some heart function, develop secondary cancers from treatment, kill my immune system completely, just turn into a fragile old man. I'll be 49 in October but I've taken decent care of myself, that would suck if I aged like 10 years in 6 months. The cure is more frightening than the disease it seems. So I'll know more Tuesday, hopefully I'll get set up for a PET Scan and the staging of the cancer. I mean this diagnosis sucks ass BUT my sister said it best: "At least you're here with family and not stuck alone in Buffalo!" She's absolutely right- I would have lost my mind by now if I was still up there and got this news. I can tell you this much, no fucking mutant cells are going to take me out after all I've been through!