All my life I have been a healthy person other than the occasional flu here and there. So the day I was diagnosed with extra pulmonary Tuberculosis was a shocking one.
It all began as a joke. I had some lumps on my neck which had been growing slowly. Trust me I paid no regard to them as usually I find the body has a way of healing itself most times. Only this time the lumps were not going away but only getting bigger. My family started taking note of the lumps on my neck and begun getting worried telling me I need to see a doctor. I am very stubborn and adamant about going to the doctors. I am the kind of person who unless a situation is dire I never see point of going to the doctors.
This time round my family was not ready to let it go and I too had started getting worried that the lumps were getting too big for my liking. It became very obvious when a friend pointed out to me “What are those things on your neck?” I finally caved at my family’s persistence and went to the doctor.
Example of nodes that were on my neck.Sorry lost the pictures i had taken with phone.
The doctor stated that he was not worried about the lumps as they were lymph nodes and usually combat infections in the body and disappear with time.He however asked me to return if they got any bigger.
See at the time I was going to see him, they were about two kinda noticeable lumps on my neck. Now the next time I walked into his office voluntarily this time, the lumps had increased in number and not just noticeable but huge lumps.
In my last appointment the doctor was seated comfortably and in fact we were both were having a light conversation and laughs. This time round he sat upright at once and his demeanor became serious. Now that’s when I knew this might not be as simple as I thought it was. He immediately wrote for me a couple of tests to be conducted.
As waited for the blood and chest x-ray to be ready, I remember sitting on the public benches in town completely lost in thought. Everything around me disappeared as my mind ran all worst options. I don’t remember being as tense as this period, my goodness. I got the results back and went to doctor. The pneumonia test came back positive however my doctor was not satisfied with the result as I physically did not have any pneumonia symptoms.
He wrote for me another test to be conducted and this got my heart for sure because it was to have the culture in the lumps be tested for cancer. CANCER! As in I felt like asking the doctor if he was serious. Have you ever lived but seen life at that moment like a movie? As in how was all this happening? All of a sudden my day to day interaction was between the doctor and labs. How so quick life can change.
Photo:Actual day i was going to get the cancer test.Was full of thoughts.
The test was to take one week before it was ready. You can imagine how myself and my family was the week leading to the test results. As a Christian you want to remain positive and believe in God’s word at such times because you truly can be broken.
I am a strong believer God is great and works all for good of those who love Him. You may not feel like it such days but the Word of God is the most comforting promise in such times.
The day finally arrived and I got my results. They give you the results in a sealed envelope. Trust me I had opened the results before I came out. If there was anything I wanted to be the first to know and know what to do about it. I saw nothing else on it because my eyes were looking for only one word and I saw it. Negative!
Relief and joy came upon me but after a few minutes I was like “Ok, then what is wrong with me?”. The doctor read results silently and wrote for me yet another test. When I looked down I saw the Quantiferon-TB Gold (QFT-G). I looked up at him and was like “Tb?” That’s when he let me explained to me though they had not found cancer cells, the culture had revealed the lumps had characteristics of Tb. That’s the part I never read. That had never occurred in thoughts ever.
Understand this was confusing for me because I was not coughing not looking sick in any way except the unpleasant looking lumps on my neck which by now had taken on painful turn. Did the test and waited again. You know by now when you have been back and forth like this you stop being in wonder and start expecting anything.
My steps towards the lab were very purposeful as I reminisced on what the disease will mean for my life, family and relationship with God. It was one of those moments where like Job, you wonder even in the bad times will I praise the Lord? My heart’s response was very positive and assured “Even in the tough times Lord, I will praise You,honour You and go to the grave with the confession GOD IS GOOD.”I was kind of making peace with myself as I got ready to receive the news. In that moment the words I received before reaching the hospital were ‘this sickness is not unto death.’
Again I did not wait to reach the doctor’s office to hear the news. I opened the test and the only words I saw were, positive!
In my next post will share my experience living with tb and common problems others going through the same can learn and avoid.God bless you all.
Picture credit :Google images.