It's kind of ironic that finding out about this did not at all arise from my health anxiety; I didn't think anything was wrong.
  1. β€’
    It was July 2015.
  2. β€’
    The morning of my friend Carla's surprise half-birthday party.
  3. β€’
    I awoke with an intense, out of nowhere pain in my back and right shoulder area.
  4. β€’
    It was really bad, felt like a pulled muscle or pinched nerve or something but I didn't know how it happened.
  5. β€’
    So I went to the urgent care to get some drugs and make sure it was nothing.
  6. β€’
    They said it was muscular, gave me muscle relaxants and a sling so I didn't move my right arm, and sent me home.
  7. β€’
    They took an X-ray just in case.
  8. β€’
    I missed my friend's party. 😒
  9. β€’
    The next day, the urgent care called me.
  10. β€’
    "We saw something on your X-ray. Call your doctor. You need a CT scan."
  11. β€’
    Umm 😨😰 what?!?!
  12. β€’
    I called my doctor and got an appointment.
  13. β€’
    She ordered blood tests and also I had to get a copy of the X-ray (a damn pain in the ass, I tell you).
  14. β€’
    After the blood tests, which showed high ACE levels but nothing else wrong, she sent me for a CT scan.
  15. β€’
    I was in a state of unbelieving worry.
    Like what the heck is happening?!?! 😱
  16. β€’
    I went in for the CT scan.
    I was nervous but it is really not that scary after all.
  17. β€’
    The doctor said yes she did see something, swollen lymph nodes in my chest, and sent me to a pulmonologist.
  18. β€’
    He said it was most likely sarcoidosis but they would do a bronchoscopy and a biopsy to make sure it wasn't lymphoma.
  19. β€’
    Now I was kind of scared.
  20. β€’
    Also, what kept going through my mind was "please don't let it be cancer, because I don't want to lose weight from chemo and not fit into my wedding dress."
    I have decided this thought isn't totally shallow, and it masked scarier thoughts.
  21. β€’
    I did talk myself through it and think "if it is cancer, I can handle it. I can do this."
  22. β€’
    They did the biopsy.
    My throat was sore for a while and it took longer than I expected to recover from the anesthesia. I felt generally bad and was glad to have my then-fiancΓ© around to help me.
  23. β€’
    I got the test results: sarcoidosis.
    I breathed a sigh of relief.
  24. β€’
    I talked with my pulmonologist about treatment options.
    The options were prednisone (which we wanted to avoid especially with my anxiety) and trying out Plaquenil. I am now on Plaquenil.
  25. β€’
    Even though my doctor never really thought cancer was likely, it was still a terrifying experience.
  26. β€’
    I had to limit my google use for a while.
    No use scaring myself until a diagnosis.
  27. β€’
    Happily my ACE levels are better now so I seem to be responding to treatment.
    And sarcoidosis is generally manageable though not treatable.
  28. β€’
    Now I just get to get tests periodically on all organs in my body.
    And likely more CT scans to see how my swollen lymph nodes are doing.