The Diagnosis

It was an extraordinarily long time coming.  Agonizing and worry-provoking.  Sicker and sicker I felt with each passing day, week and month.  A time filled with surgeries, tests, medicines, doctor appointments, and endless waiting.  I knew in my heart from the CT Scan what the general diagnosis was going to be, and it was confirmed in two tortuous months.  I then learned along the way that narrowing it down was a necessary and tedious process.  One that required more endless waiting, more tests, and more medicines to address my constant sick feeling.   Two more months and I finally have my diagnosis.  I have Non-Hodgkin’s B-Cell Lymphoma.

In early April, my husband woke up around 4am to see why I was so restless.  I’d been up on and off all night trying to make sense out of my severe abdominal pain, and doing every thing I could to wish it away.  It just wouldn’t let up.  I asked him to take me to the emergency room.  Without delay, we were on our way.   I received immediate attention; an IV and morphine, and an order for an abdominal CT Scan.  While waiting for the results and feeling no pain because of the morphine, Brian and I talked about retirement and the things we were dreaming of doing.  Then, the doctor walked in to discuss the results.  Enlarged Abdominal Lymph Nodes with evidence of some of them dying off.  I can’t say I was completely surprised because I had heard the term “Enlarged Lymph Nodes” directed at me three years ago when I had a similar problem.  I had visited an Oncologist then and he thought that there was nothing out of the ordinary, that some people have larger lymph nodes than the average size.  And I felt fine then, so we stopped worrying and continued living.   This new report whisked my peace of mind and sense of well-being away.  I thought, I’m officially a cancer patient.

Although my condition in April required emergency medical attention, in looking back, I realized that I hadn’t felt well since the end of February.  I noticed that I started using a smaller cereal bowl and I started to lose a little weight.  I justified everything by blaming it on aging and stress.  The other thing that got my attention during late winter was that I stopped dancing.  I stopped playing my favorite music and did my chores in silence.

Hind sight is 20/20.

I began treatment on August 4th.  I’m writing now because today is the best I’ve felt in several months.  As fatigue has been a constant, I’m running out of energy and will continue my story as I’m able.  It’s full of worry, waiting, complicated explanations, phone calls, finger crossing, and praying.  Mixed in are happy doses of good will, amazing support, phone calls from family and friends, cards, emails, text messages, Facebook messages, food, flowers, books, medals, and overall guidance and encouragement from my closest people.


Photo taken yesterday at one of the Prospect Mountain lookouts in Lake George. It was good to get out for a ride.

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8 Responses to The Diagnosis

  1. madeline sicko says:…family and friends——that is what I wish for you! And you have it all! You are getting closer to the goal. Love and healing hugs.

  2. Raining Iguanas says:

    I am forever inspired by your strength of spirit.

  3. Glynny Schiavoni says:

    My dear, sweet, Diane…….I am shocked and saddened bt your latest communication. You have been on my mind and I thought it odd that you have been silent for so long. Now I understand why….
    I will surely be praying for you and Brian regularly, in the days ahead.
    You are dearly loved by all, but esoecially by GOD.
    I love you too,
    Please send me your email address, so I can keep in touch. You already know mine.

    • Diane Fiore says:

      My Dear Glynny, I have thought of you over these last few months because you are so wise, and sometimes I needed to know what you might say to ease my worrying. You said it nicely above in your comment and I thank you for that. I’m so lucky to know you. My email address is:

      I actually don’t have your email. Please write when you have a moment.
      All of my love,

  4. Diane, I have always been a realist, seeing disease take members of my family before their time. The one thing I’ve learned is that the human spirit is capable of miraculous things, extraordinary things! We fight hard for what we believe in, for what we want out of life. So don’t ever give up, never back down and make those in the profession of medicine give all that they have and can do to fight for you. No one gets out of this life alive, but it’s the fight that makes us who we are.

    • Diane Fiore says:

      John, Your words are filled with wisdom and worthy of constant reflection on my part. Giving up has not been a path during these trying months, but it has been considered for a few split seconds when I feel really sick. Thanks for reminding me that it’s really not an option. My best to you, always.

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