By Harley Hudson
It was supposed to be a routine annual physical, and that is how it started. Lungs ... check. Heart ... check. Prostate ... check. Everything was A-OK.
At the close of the physical, I pointed out a swollen place on my neck. I thought it was a fatty tumor.
"I'm going to send you to an endocrinologist," my doctor said. "He will probably do a biopsy."
About that time, the nurse brought in the results from my complete blood count. My white blood count was high, way high. "No. I'm going to send you to an oncologist," my doctor said, correcting herself.
Scary words indeed. Something I never thought I'd hear nor wanted to hear in December 2006.
"What do you think it is?" I asked. My doctor suggested it was chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
She felt really bad for giving me the news. I hugged her and told her it was OK. She was right.
Six days later, I saw an oncologist who confirmed my chronic lymphocytic leukemia diagnosis, but ran further tests to verify it. Thus began my dance with cancer.My first seven years of CLL treatment