Mitch Teemley

are_you_there_god_268x268In the year 2000 I found a golf ball-sized lump in my neck. Not having swallowed any golf balls recently, I decided I’d better see a doctor.

Dr. Yamagata was the opposite of the cold-but-efficient Asian doctor stereotype. He was friendly, laid-back to the point of “dude, what are you on?” and had a hopelessly disheveled office. He felt my neck and said “nothing to worry about,” then scheduled an MRI.

When I returned three cuticle-chewing days later, he said he wanted to do a biopsy (extract the golf ball from its hole). I asked to see the MRI Report. He said, “I tell you what you need to know,” then left the room to schedule surgery. The Report was still on the counter. I scanned it. The word “lymphoma” jumped off the page and floated around in front of me.

I spent the rest of the day reading up…

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