Saturday, May 26, 2012


For most of my life I have been told I am beautiful. Other comments have included "I don't seem american" "not a regular white person" and "exotic for a white girl." I always laugh it off, but this is good, beauty is very valued in our society, its unfair, but it can be helpful. I've used it to my advantage many times. Would I rather people think I am smart, clever or creative? Certainly, but society doesn't require depth like that day to day.

I've never felt extremely beautiful, certainly not a model, I've struggle with confidence just like anyone else. However at 25 I was finely starting to feel.... okay. I have a master's degree under my belt and the world was seemingly my oyster.

 So let's back up. Two years ago I got in car crash. After the crash, I couldn't move my right arm, it hurt constantly, my neck and back and shoulder were fucked up. I went about life. I did what I was supposed to do and more, physical therapy, acupuncture, personal training. It helped but it wasn't "fixed." Finally I went to a neurologist, they found that the nerves were inflamed in my neck. And then to pain management, and with time, drugs and traction, they would eventually heal. At this time I had a MRI done of my neck and brain, the results came back good. I would not need surgery for my neck.

However the MRI revealed something else, a few cysts. The neurologist did not seem to think it was a big deal and said if I wanted to I could go to and ENT and have them assessed further. So I made the appointment, and a month later I finally got in to the the ENT. It wasn't going to be a big deal.

We talked, the sinus cyst was not a problem, my allergies could get under control, and no I did not get my tonsils out. But there is a mass on my parotid gland. She examined me and said she didn't feel anything and to come back in six months, then another MRI might be ordered. But her last words are ringing in my ear, "Most of the time this things are benign, but I don't want to tell you it is if it might not be, occasionally they are cancerous, we need to monitor it."

I left in a haze. Possibly cancerous? Your parotid gland is where salvia comes from, didn't one of the beastie boys JUST die from that. And what the hell? I wouldn't have even known unless I had been in that damn car accident. I'm 25, in relatively good health, my stress has been off the charts, my cholesterol is slightly high, but other than that, I'm okay. And this is weird.... really weird.

So I called my friend, and I could hear his voice was concerned, and I needed a second opinion.
So I called my dad... my dad was obviously shaken. Mass + neck + 25 + the C word, even if its a possibility... not words a parent wants to hear. 

I started researching when I got home, what the fuck this meant, and I wish I hadn't. 80% of the time these things are benign, and 20% of the time they are not. The parotid gland is the largest of your saliva producing glands. Risk factors for developing a mass is that you are caucasian and female and over 50. Buy you see, even if it is benign they will still eventually take it out, because of the possibility it turns malignant (unlikely) or more likely it grows and starts to effect "the surrounding structures". But the operation is tricky, the parotid gland is wrapped up with the facial nerve. If the operation goes wrong your face will be affected in your ability to control your facial muscles. The recommendation is you seek out a "very experienced surgeon specializing in parotid gland surgery". Does that even exist???????? Thank god I live next to stanford and UCSF. Lastly they will cut you open from ear to neck, leaving a lovely scar.

So, life is funny that way. I prayed and ask God to save me from having cancer. He spoke to me and told me I needed to take better care of my body and get rid of the things in my life that are causing me stress. To quit playing games and move forward with my life and work with helping people. He told me that I was needed in this life, I was meant to help others and to follow the path, and this was a wake up call. He told me to seek guidance, and I will.

The pictures were really horrible, some of them looked like botched face lifts. Certainly they can do better, I mean sharron osbourne doesn't look like that, but what if they can't... what if it is the worst case scenario, what then. What about my oyster? Didn't I finally deserve some, didn't I work hard enough? 

All you can do is be here now. I will try and enjoy my youth and beauty while I still have it. I traded my sunday shift out with someone else and decided to go to the beach with all the girls from school. You never know what can happen.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Kirsten. Thinking of you, and remember to keep breathing.