Lumps in neck

Afternoon Naps…

There is something special about taking a rest and drifting off to a peaceful place in the middle of a hot sunny afternoon. The fans were drowning out kid noises and someone turned out the light and closed the door, while mama tried to grab a few extra zzzz’s. I have been making it until mid afternoon and then my head aches and longs for sleep.

I was thankful for a do nothing day that afforded me some quiet time to retreat to my room. My sanctuary, albeit littered with kids toys and reminders that lovely little people live here, when I need some time just to step away. Even if that sleep ended in someone turning on the light and jumping on the bed just to see if I was awake (he’s 5 and I love him and we had a good snuggle).

Pain is nothing new. Having been in pain for the better part of the last 10 years with one thing or another, I can handle it, most of the time. This time, I just wish I knew what was causing the pain, the lumps, the headaches, and the fatigue. It has been a little over a month since I first went to the clinic complaining of lumps in my head and neck (on the right side only) and I don’t feel like I am very much farther ahead than when I started.

I am no closer to answers, but I have an ultrasound booked for next week. I have no idea what they do when they ultrasound your head (clue a girl in here). I have had baby belly ultrasounds before, so I assume it is similar, but that is all I have to go on. At least I don’t have to drink crazy amounts of water and hold my pee (being thankful for what I can).

At the end of August is when I go to see the ear, nose, and throat specialist. I wish it was not so far away. If I don’t get some relief soon, I might have to start being a squeaky wheel. I almost wrote squawky wheel – that might work too. If you know me at all, you know that I am good at being squeaky when I need to be. It is really hard to focus and accomplish anything when all I want to do is curl up in my room and have a nap to make the pain go away. And yes, I do have pain meds, but they wear off.

We are entering our birthday season around here which will be a wonderful distraction. Does every family have a birthday season, or just us? We start the end of July and the song goes like this – Moses, Jonah, Our anniversary, Grandpa, Auntie, Malachi, Grandma, and Cousin – finishing up on August 24th. It is a busy month. Then September, October, November are event free around here.

Another wonderful distraction will be family visiting from the US next week. We only get to see them once or twice a year and we love our time together (well, I really do, I can’t speak for them – I really hope they enjoy their visits with us). There will be 15 of us staying in our place for 5 days. Call me crazy, but I am actually very excited at having wall to wall people around here.

There is no shortage of things to be doing around here: like finishing up some client work, working on graphics for some special projects (I’m learning new skills), doing taxes (for last year, yeah, don’t shoot me), ordering homeschool curriculum (just a little behind here, come on, give me a break, I have had a headache), and the usual, daily, keeping up with a big family, kind of stuff.

Thanks for listening to me share my heart and whine just a bit. I do try to keep things positive around here, but dealing with the lumps in my head, and whatever they are, is a bit consuming for me right now and I need to be able to share those things (and how wonderfully refreshing afternoon naps are) with you.

We do appreciate your prayers.

Did You Ever Have One Of Those Weeks?


I took the day off from work to go to the clinic to see about some lumps in my head. My sister took me to clinic number one and it is PACKED. We go to clinic number two and there is one person sitting in the waiting room. Wahoo. But my excitement is short lived when we discover a little boy in the back has a sliver one and a half inches long stuck in his foot. (I feel for the little boy – yikes). Still, the wait was fairly tolerable. The doctor has no ideas about these lumps in my head, sends me for blood work and tells me the clinic will call me if anything shows up.


The next morning I am getting ready to work with a client when I get a phone call from a weird telephone number. The voice on the other end of the line says they are calling from Nigeria. Of course I think, “I don’t know anyone in Nigeria.”  When the caller asks for me by name and proceeds to tell me that they know me from this Bible study at this lady’s house, with that other lady, and do I remember them. They are coming to Canada in August and want me to help them format their children’s books.

While I am on the phone with Africa (that is so cool just to say it) the clinic calls (I let it go to voice mail) and I am trying to multi-task with my client. I get contact info for the lady across the world and call the clinic back. All the clinic will tell me is that I need to come back in (don’t you love that?). So now I distract myself with clients and children while waiting. I am not a good waiter.

Let me tell you, this was shaping up to be a very strange day.

A little while later the phone rings again (our phone never rings unless it is my sister or my parents) and it is a complete stranger asking for information on how to enrol their child in a DL school in Victoria. How often can the brain switch gears in one day? I answer the lady, pass along some information and do a follow up email. Then back to work.

I manage to make it to the end of the day.

Time to head to the clinic (oh yeah, I am so looking forward to this – not).

There is one lady ahead of me and the wait is minimal (and they had the AC on high – so wonderful).

I get in to see the doctor. I tell him all about the lumps in my head. He looks at me like I am a bit nuts (like I’ve got rocks in my head). He looks at his file and he says, “Your white count is high. You have inflammation.”

Then he starts asking if I have pain anywhere, do I feel sick, do I have a sore throat, do I have a fever? He takes my temp.

I tell him again, “I came in for these lumps in my head (6 + at last count).”

He tells me, “Take your temperature 4 times a day for 2 weeks and come back and see me again.”


I get up early and call the family doctor and book an appointment. The only time is for Thursday afternoon – after a day at the water park. That works.

Wednesday is pretty normal and uneventful. I was going to say “boring,” but I don’t want to hurt my clients by having them think, that I think, that they are boring. Boring is a good thing (in this instance).

I work through lunch. I work through break. The big kids go out with grandma. The little kids play nicely. I get to the very last client. Thankfully, this client needs Jonah to work on some tech tasks. I take a nap. Late afternoon nap. What a glorious thing.


It’s park day, it’s park day. Yippee!

We cart the little kids and me to grandma’s car and the big kids and Jonah head to the bus. We really need to get a van again (big grey ugly van, oh how I miss thee). It was quite the adventure just getting there, but we did it. And we are doing it for the next seven weeks (wow, that sounds like a long time). We plan to spend every Thursday at the water park this summer. Note to self – next time remember to pack the sun screen (oops – thank goodness it was cold and cloudy this week).

We announced the water park to our homeschool group and only my sister and her family showed up. I was kind of sad, but not really. I love spending time with my sis and her kids (who, by the way, are totally awesome). We sat and talked while the kids played and ate and got really wet and cold and ate some more. It was fun. Same time, same place, next week. If you are local (email and I will give you details).

We load grandma’s car back up, get the kids in dry clothes, get the twins into the car, and the big kids and Jonah head off to the bus. Everyone looks weary and sun kissed. Dad orders quiet time for the rest of the afternoon.

Grandma and I take the long way home (to give the big boys time to get there by bus). We walk the twins into the house, sit for 15 minutes and head back out the door to the doctor’s office. The doctor’s office is empty when we arrive (early – I was so proud of myself). The wait is very short.

The doctor feels the lumps in my head. He hears my story. He reads my file. He is concerned about the lumps and wants to investigate more and get to the bottom of things (after telling me a few stories about cancers his patients have survived). He orders more blood work (I am getting to love the blood lady), requests an ultrasound of my neck and the right side of my face (sounds like fun – um yah), and books an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat specialist who also does surgeries if needed (that is comforting). I head off to the lab again.

Now, let me tell you about the lab. I walk in and I am greeted  by the same perky face that greeted me Monday afternoon. On Monday, I told her that I don’t particularly like getting blood drawn and she proceeded to tell me that there are things way worse than having a blood draw. Well, yes, that is true. So we start this banter back and forth about things that would be worse than one measly (gulp) little (yeah, right) pin prick. A colonoscopy is worse (never had one, don’t really know). A c-section is worse (had one of those, definitely worse). She made my day because it made me not think of the needle prick, but how minor it was in the grand scheme.

Grandma took me on a drive along the water front. We chatted. It was wonderful and relaxing.

Then I come home to discover a couple of emergency tech clients happened while I was out. Thankfully the kids were so tuckered from the park Jonah was able to work while they watched a movie.

I tried to talk to Jonah about the visit to the doctor, but the kids kept coming in the living room, one after another, to see me and snuggle. Then my dad phones to see where we are. Then my sister phones to find out about the doctor’s appointment. I feel loved (truly). So, we finally talk over dinner.

The kids are getting tired and the sun kissed cheeks need to go to bed. Some kids are more pink than others and we start a search for the aloe. Isn’t the aloe under the bathroom sink? I asked Moses to bring me the buckets under the bathroom sink… which he reluctantly does. Reluctantly because they are wet. Really wet.

Detour – – > Well, that brings me to a funny story. I go under the sink about once a month, for a week. You ladies know what I am talking about. You know that time of the month where you need those little packages, that you normally store under the bathroom sink? Well, I went under the sink not too long ago to use them only to discover three bags ruined. Completely SOPPING wet. So I threw them out (what a waste of money) and decided not to store “those” there anymore. We also put a bucket under the sink to see if there was an actual leak or if it had just been a kid flood of some kind.

Which brings us back to tonight. Apparently, there is a leak. There is something ugly going on under that sink. The wet bathroom cupboard. The floor in the hall beside the wall (not near the bathroom door) is also damp. The ceiling in the living room has a bubble. The floor board in the hall upstairs has been loose for awhile, but now there is a visible line across the ceiling in the hall on the floor below.

So, my bathroom is leaking and I don’t know where and I don’t know how bad, but I have this feeling… that we might be asking for a transfer (like tomorrow – ugh).

All I can think is, “Why now.” I have so much going on in my life (and I didn’t even tell you the half of it). I don’t need ONE MORE THING.

Then I think I just need to fall back into the arms of Jesus and let Him carry me. You know those activities where you are learning to trust and you have a person fall back into another person’s arms and have them catch them? Well, I am thinking that. I just need to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and fall back. Have Jesus catch me and carry me (us) through all of this. There is certainly no way I can do this on my own.

For tomorrow, I pray for peace. Peace in my heart, peace in our home, and peace in whatever circumstances lay ahead.

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