Part One:


Last year around this time I got a strange phone call that rocked my world…

my beautiful happy view at the table…before I got the news of the tumor

I was sitting at Ariel’s Grotto enjoying a late lunch/early dinner with my favorite princess (my daughter), my husband, and the other Disney princesses. I sitting, enjoying the happiness glowing from my daughter as she gobbled up her magical meal and talked with the Princesses.  I was staring at the roller coaster in the background calculating how long until we could ride it after eating so we wouldn’t puke?  Lol. Disneyland vacations are always so fun and so magical! 

Around the time we were waiting for dessert, my cell phone kept ringing… I saw it was University Medical Center calling… I assumed it was just a call reminding me of an upcoming appointment with my PCP that was scheduled for the week after the trip. Well, they left a voicemail and then it kept buzzing.  They called my cell phone again, then my husband’s cell phone, then mine again, then my husband’s, then mine again… At that point I was scared.  I finally answered fearing somebody just died or was seriously injured!

“Mrs. Messmer? This is Dr. W from the ER.  Do you remember me from a few weeks ago?” I was there a few weeks earlier with complications after a minor surgery.  At that time they took a chest CT scan looking for a blood clot in my lungs. My lungs were clear, but we did discover I have right subclavian artery (my subclavian artery is on the opposite side and compresses on my esophagus. But nothing to worry about until I start choking and can’t breathe, alright? Sure! Lol!)

So I said “sure i remember you…” Now I’m thinking, why did I answer? This is bizarre. 

Then he asked if I ever had the MRI done?

“Um…What MRI? I thought you said I didn’t need to worry about the weird flipped artery thingy? Was I supposed to get an MRI? You said not to worry about it unless I have increased problems swallowing or breathing?”

“No ma’am, not for that. An MRI for the suspected thymoma. An abnormal growth on your thymus!”

Wait. What?  Tumor? Nobody…no, YOU didn’t tell me about a tumor!?(I definitely would’ve remembered that!!! And what the F is a thymus??? Isn’t that in your brain?  Wait, No that’s the thalamus…

“Your PCP should’ve followed up with you and ordered the MRI.  I was reviewing my charts and didn’t see a follow up so I called you… It’s suspected thymoma and can be serious and might need to be removed, so do you need me to order the MRI? Or can your PCP order it?”

I had an appointment the week after we returned from California, so I said I’d have my PCP do it.  Dumb move. Because once you tell me something is wrong with me, I want it figured out NOW!!! But, I was at Disneyland and wasn’t thinking straight. I didn’t want to think about an MRI or a tumor!

At this point, my head is spinning… Oh my G-d… I have a tumor in my chest?  What the heck? Is it cancerous?

Will this be the last time I sit here with Hannah all smiles and giggles at Ariel’s Grotto? How can this be happening? Disneyland is supposed to be the happiest freakin’ place on earth!  And I’m sitting here at a Princess dinner, with my princess and my husband, trying not to cry…scared outta my mind. This isn’t fair.

I shouldn’t have answered the phone. I was googling thymoma at Disneyland and wanting to cry. I don’t want a tumor! I don’t want surgery! I don’t want to think about possible chemo and everything else!  I just want to be enjoying my vacation…

CT Scan Results from my ER visit:

full report shows the subclavian artery and suspected thymoma

closeups of pertinent findings/impression

Now what?

(Stay tuned for more: further tests, treading in the deep oceans of the unknown for my medical health (as usual) and finally surgery)


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