I woke up with a tube in my neck

07/29/2021 By Christian B.

It was supposed to be a routine surgery. A fine needle biopsy on this mysterious lump on my neck showed it as being benign. However, my doctor recommended removing it because who wants to have a visible bump on their neck if they don’t need to?

So one day, I went to the medical clinic, changed into a gown, counted down from 100 (probably made it to 93 or something), and fell asleep.

As I groggily woke up, I distinctly remember a “sticky” feeling at my neck where the surgery took place.

As I came to my senses, I realized:

I have a freaking tube sticking out of my neck! What the heck?!

For the next two weeks, I had my friend “Kyle” accompany me everywhere.

Meet Kyle:

Kyle was a collector of chyle, a kinda runny sour cream’y fluid that is composed of fat and lymph juices, from the chyle leak the surgeon created when they removed my lymph node.

I had to purchase some shirts just for Kyle so I could stuff him in a front pocket.

He was pretty gross. I had to dump that junk down the toilet pretty often.

This surgery allowed my medical team to do a pathology report on the lymph node they removed.

It turns out that lymph node wasn’t so benign after all.

I’m about to hit my four-year cancerversary. Many people celebrate their cancerversaries in different ways. I choose to celebrate mine when I heard from my oncologist that I no longer have any evidence of disease.

Some mornings, I wake up and feel that same stickiness that I felt when I woke up from surgery that one day. It used to panic me significantly.

Nowadays, it makes me remember Kyle and the time we shared. I still have some panic moments, but they aren’t as bad as they used to be.

What kind of “triggers” do you have, like my sticky neck feeling? What makes you feel panicked or anxious? You can chat with me about it on the GRYT Health platform or app – search for Christian B. You can even tell me if you gave medical equipment you deal with nicknames like I did. You can also comment below!

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