twas a working birthday but maybe the best birthday ever

I got home a little after midnight last night after sitting for 9 hours straight with various students (one of whom is not one of ‘mine’ but one from another department that I’m tutoring and so got paid for my time so that was all good). I’ve been going nearly out of my mind trying to get everything done that must be done in order for me to fly stateside for two days at the end of this coming week and still have a list of stuff to do that is a mile and a half long. I won’t even know until Sunday night if I’ll be able to make the trip. BUT the email from my Ema I opened yesterday made it possibly the best birthday ever.

You know, my Ema was diagnosed a couple of years ago with two different forms of lymphoma, one of which could be treated and eradicated with chemo and radiation but the other has no cure or effective treatment and is a killer but more slow-growing than the one that can be treated, but only giving a max of like 5 years survival time. She went through a round of hell with chemo and radiation that damn near killed her (no exaggeration). Then a few months ago, she was told the chemo wasn’t effective, that the treatable cancer was even more advanced (stage IV and not stage III) than they initially thought and they set her up with a battery of tests at a cancer specialist hospital in Houston.

Well. The test results Andersen did are saying now that she doesn’t have cancer. Of any kind. They’ve done a biopsy but may need to remove a full lymph node for further testing. They know she has something that does major attacks on her immune system but don’t know what it is other than the results show it isn’t cancer — or anything else commonly known. There are several system-attacking viruses that can get deep in your system and recur (become activated) again and again while going dormant in-between and, it seems, some other possible things that she may have that are pretty rare and don’t show up on standard tests.

I’m pulling out bells and whistles and doing backflips but not lighting up the whole fireworks store just yet. She has been misdiagnosed and misdiagnosed so many times. Whatever their final test results show we are going to take her to either the Mayo clinic or another clinic that specializes in lymphoma in Colorado for additional testing for a new set of ‘second opinions’ and I want to bring her here for an intensive battery of tests with every specialist in just about everything we’ve got here. I trust our doctors (after getting a second opinion) but the U.S. medical system — not so much. Not at all anymore.

Today, though, I’m celebrating. If these latest test results are accurate then this will be the best birthday I’ve ever had in my life.


11 responses to “twas a working birthday but maybe the best birthday ever”

  1. chairwoman says :

    Rooting for both of you, Minxie. I have Lymphodoema, which plays havoc with one’s internal cleansing, makes one wear compression garments, and, in my case limits mobility, but is not in any way the same as Lymphoma.

  2. Lynne says :

    Yaeli, next birthday I hope that we will be celebrating in style! It is too soon to say what I have, but all the major diseases have been ruled out, and lymphoma IS still a possibility, but if so, what kind? (there are more than 60 kinds). It could be something else, or maybe a disease called sarcoidosis which is often difficult to identify. It could be a genetic immunity issue since it is so long-standing. They are working on it, and in the meantime, I am feeling better and my lab work shows that I am not at death’s door (hey, good news for me!)
    Next birthday, I hope that you will have a relaxing and restful day!

  3. Lynne says :

    Chairwoman, lymphodoema is a very difficult problem, too. I am hoping that you are managing it ok.

  4. Mike says :

    Yaeli, happy birthday (a little late). Lynne, glad to hear it’s not cancer and hope they can give you a good diagnosis and treatment plan for whatever it is you have. In the mean time, I will keep positive thoughts and pryers headed in your direction.

    Shabbat shalom.

    • Lynne says :

      Mke, thanks so much! The doctors are still looking for an explanation…I think we will know something soon.

  5. israeliminx says :

    Chairwoman, Lymphodoema is definitely nothing to even remotely sniff at and I am so amazed at your strength, fortitude and life outlook considering all that you have and are still going through. I am an admitted wuss and have long stood in awe. There are all sorts of battles and heroes and heroines stand out in all of them — I count you and my Ema at the top among them.

  6. Mac says :

    That’s great news Lynne, very glad to hear it! I hope they figure out what is going on though. Happy B-day Yael! Lynne, I don’t know your symptoms, but have you tried a gluten-free diet? Seems like a lot of people are having problems with gluten these days. Are you eating a lot of food with MSG in it?

    • Lynne says :

      Mac, I try to avoid products with gluten in them as much as possible, mainly by choosing my own ingredients for my meals and avoiding most packed products and bakery goods. I could try excluding them completely! Be worth a try!

  7. Jake from Philly says :

    Lynne, I’m very happy to hear it’s not cancer. I hope that they figure out what’s wrong and that you have a good prognosis. I’ll keep sending good thoughts your way.

    Yael, happy belated birthday!

  8. WipeOutHamasOnceAndForAll says :

    I told you so!! Here it comes.
    Read “Poll: Most Israeli Arabs Support Violent Uprising – Inside Israel – News – Israel National News” at

    I had quite a few discussions with Yael and others on the Israeli Arabs. Basically, in a nutshell, Yael said in the past that Israeli Arabs are peaceful citizens who love the State of Israel and who are not a danger to Israel. The truth is that, at the first compelling occasion, Israeli Arabs will murder Jews in as many numbers as possible!! That is the reality of these Israeli Arabs who are, for most of them (99% of them), pro-Hamas and pro-Hezbollah and who also have, like their Gaza brothers, the compelling desire to see the entire State of Israel become a Muslim state and all the Israeli Jews murdered. That is the true reality of the Israeli Arabs!! At least the Muslim ones, as the Christian Israeli Arabs are a special case.

  9. Lynne says :

    The last biopsy detected B cell lymphoma.I am to have additional testing. Even so, my doctor at MD Anderson has optimistically said that it is likely curable.There are worse types…sort of good news though.

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