As the spring turned into summer we started on a journey to find out what I actually had.  Ryan started looking into every different kind of infection that would cause the bumps, we looked at things, common and some uncommon.

It got to the point where we even thought it may be one that you can get from a gnat, in the Central America region.  Ding, ding ding,  we had just been there on a "Mee at Sea" cruise and gone cave tubing in Belize.  I got bit a few times by gnats and only one of them needed to be carrying the fungus, so that had to be it.

The problem was, the only test available was at the infectious disease lab in the Pentagon. Really the Pentagon, come on, how on earth are we going to get a test from the infectious lab at the Pentagon. No problem, Ryan was a former cadet, he had all sorts of connections. I shoulda' known.

It took awhile for us to get the test and I was hoping and praying that would be it.  Everything was looking like it could be, the travel, the bumps everything.  The test arrived, I even had to get a special blood draw for it, good, that wasn't it.  Aaaaarrrrgggg, this was getting really frustrating.

We had gone through every infectious disease known and not one gave us any glimmer of hope at all.  The doctors were pushing me to take chemo, I was refusing on the hope I didn't have cancer.  We were running out of options and Ryan was thinking that even though he wouldn't call it Lymphoma, that might be what it was.  But there was no sign of it besides the tumors, nothing in the blood or bones, so what could it be.

I was at Ryan's office using his door frame as a scratching pad, kind of like a bear would use a tree when he looked up and asked, "What are you doing?"

I looked at him, kind of like, duh scratching my back.

Then he said, "Does your tumor itch?"

I said, "Like you wouldn't believe. At times I wish I could carry a tree with me to scratch my back on."  When you see the light bulb over someone's head, it really is like in cartoons.

Up Next "Light Up Like A Christmas Tree" Part 19