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Old 03-06-2007, 07:35 PM
dlaura1980's Avatar
dlaura1980 dlaura1980 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12
Red face Duke Hosptal

When I was 12 years old, I began to master the art of "playin sick" to stay out of school. I decided one particular day to tell my mom that I was having chest pains. So she took me to the doctor. I think mostly to scare me into saying I was really o.k. But I went with it. Especially since I had really had some slight pain in my chest. I was sent to our local hospital for x-rays. When the results came back they had found a large mass over the left side of my chest. My pediatrician called my mom to tell her that he thought I may have lymphoma. (For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a form of cancer that developes in the lymph nodes). My mom was devastated. When ended up drivng up to Duke University Medical Center that very night. It is about an hour and a half drive from where we live.

When I got there I was put on the floor with all the very small children with cancer. Sadly they had run out of bed space for pre-teens and teens. I was surrounded by kids that were so sick they were unable to move around alot or eat and they had all lost all of their hair. I was so scared and sad. I felt so sorry for all those babies and children. I couldn't stand to walk the halls. It was too much for me.

The team of doctors I had were so wonderful! They did everything in their power to make me feel comfy and secure. I had a great lady come to see me regularly and I cannot remember her name now but she was such a beautiful person. Outside as well as inside. I remember coloring her one of those felt pictures and giving it to her the day before I left there.

After running many, many tests ( including two biopsies, both which were severely painful) it was concluded that I in fact didn't have cancer at all but an "Enlarged Thymus". (Again for those of you that do not know what that is, it is part of your immune system. When you are born, it is visable on an x-ray but as you grow older it shrinks. You shouldn't have been able to see it by 12). Apparently it had grown bigger instead of smaller. Which in turn was causing my heart to beat against it. Thus causing my chest pain.

The doctors were nearly in tears when they came in to tell my mom the wonderful news. Almost all children that are diagnosed with lymphoma die. It was one of the best moments in my life and everyone around me's lives too.

When I had initionally told my mom about my chest pains they werent severe. And that day I was faking sick I wasn't actually having any pains. But I figured I would use that excuse. Needless to say, it taught me a valuable lesson about faking sick.

But that is one of the bittersweet memories that I have.

Please remember all of those beautiful children that fight for their lives every day. Keep them in your prayers.

The lord works miracles every day!
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