I visited my general practitioner in February 2019 with a sore throat and a swollen neck that caused pain in my ear. I was diagnosed with tonsillitis. I was prescribed antibiotics which reduced the swelling and eased the pain.
Later on, the same symptoms came back, so I went back to my doctor and was again told it was a bad case of tonsillitis. I was prescribed more antibiotics, which again eased the discomfort. However, I felt a soft, squishy lump at the back of my throat and began choking on my food. It seemed like the lump was taking up space in the back of my throat. I also felt a hard lump on the left side of my neck. So for the third time, I went to my doctor, but this time asked to be referred to the local hospital. I was concerned about the lump and I wanted to know the reason it was there. What was causing it?
I made an appointment at the hospital, in its Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department. After a biopsy and some scans, they said it appeared to be tonsil cancer. However, after more blood tests, I was found to have Difficile Big Cell B Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, stage 2. It was on my left tonsil and in the lymph nodes in my neck.
Future chemo appointments are scheduled. As a preventative measure, I will receive lumbar punctures to direct the treatment into my spine. Normally, chemo doesn’t reach the spine or brain, but there is a possibility that the type of cancer I have could spread to those areas.
Learn from my experience. Look for a second opinion—especially if you suspect more is going on with your health. That choice may just save your life! My doctor treated me for what he believed was a nasty bout of tonsillitis. I fully accept he had my best interests at heart, but I just had a gut feeling it was something more. I remain positive as I begin my journey to recovery.