My rare granular cell cancer treatment: Why I chose MD Anderson

In May 2017, I was getting ready for the release of my first book, preparing to move into a new house, and looking forward to a 10-day road trip and a celebration of my mother’s 90th birthday at summer’s end. Instead, a tiny growth behind my ear derailed all my plans and took me to Houston, where I spent the summer undergoing surgery and proton therapy at MD Anderson for an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. My granular cell cancer diagnosis I’d noticed the bump behind my left ear a few months earlier. It didn’t hurt or itch. And it didn’t bleed. It was in the crevice where the ear meets the skull. Unsure if it was cartilage growth, I reached out to my internist. She thought it might be a sebaceous cyst. I could leave it or have it removed, she said. I chose to have it removed. But I was shocked when the lab report came back indicating I had a rare granular cell cancer. Learning the full extent of my cancer I could find very little online about granular cell cancer, and I’ve since learned that it’s so rare only a handful of case studies have been published on it. I consulted a local oncologist, who ordered a full-body PET scan to determine if the cancer had metastasized from elsewhere in my body. Waiting for those results was perhaps the scariest part of my entire cancer experience. Thankfully, they pointed only to that one area behind my ear. Why I went to MD Anderson Due to the rarity of my cancer, I chose to leave Indiana...