Friday, October 30, 2009

I went to Harvard, but don't know if I passed or failed!

So, I am back on the roller-coaster...almost like a Halloween joke. Is this a trick or a treat? So I got the good news following surgery that everything was benign. What they don't really stress is that your not fine until the Pathologist speaks. Well, right now mine is speaking in a foreign language.

I have been asking about my pathology since the Monday after my surgery, and kept getting vague answers from the oncologists office. First they told me that since he was on vacation, they couldn't give me any information until he reviewed it. Then they told me it wasn't "checked out" yet. So how long do these samples keep anyway?

Yesterday I had my two week post op check up with the regular gyn/surgeon...and his first comment walking into the room was that he couldn't get a hold of the pathology either!!! What the F? So I stressed my frustration and insisted that he call again to see what he could find out. Well he ended up speaking straight to the pathologist, and came in to tell me that my biopsy's had been sent to another pathologist at Harvard. Seems I am special. So gyn/surgeon got me an appointment with Dr. Oncologist for this morning.

What a futile appointment that turned in to. Evidently my "case" gets more complex as things go on. My ovaries (the main reason I went to the doctor to begin with) were fine, as were my fallopian tubes and uterus seems to have taken center stage now. Evidently, I had a very small area on the wall of my uterus with some suspicious looking cells. And the pathologist here did not feel completely confident that he could deem them benign or malignant so he sent them to another pathologist to give his opinion. I googled the second pathologist at Harvard and he is a pretty big deal, so I guess I should feel that at least I am in the greatest of care. Unfortunately, I am also feeling like my life as I know it is now in this one man's decision. He will determine if I have uterine cancer. And what does that mean exactly??? I have not one clue. My uterus is gone, so am I safe? My oncologist today would not comment on anything, I felt like I was talking to a politician. He would not name the cells, or say one thing basically until he has the final pathology report in his hands to read. So again, I get to have a waiting game to find out my near future.

Yesterday I was so happy, I was feeling good, considering it is just two weeks post surgery, the gyn/surgeon approved me to go back to work for four hours per day starting next Monday. I guess I was just kind of oblivious to the other stuff he told me...then my good friend Connie, a OB/Gyn Nurse Practitioner, brought me back to reality. It's all about the pathology....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Post Op

Home, sweet, home...I am finally home. It feels good to be home, but I haven't a clue what to do.

Surgery went very well, except for the part where I was supposed to be operated on at 1:00, which turned into 2:30, which ended up being 4:30. The waiting was worse than anything, once under, things went very they tell me. Thankfully, I remember nothing! NO CANCER!!! Which I knew ahead of time in my gut, so...I told you so!!! Had to get that in there!

I have yet to speak to Dr. Puls directly, just his partners and residents, which kinda annoys me, but I guess that is part of modern medicine today. They are now referring to my cyst as a tumor, benign tumor, and after removing all of my female parts, decided my appendix wasn't looking to great so took it out as well. So I have a lovely little scar (about 4 1/2 inches) and a huge pouch above it. Hopefully the pouch will calm down soon, as it is not very attractive, but they keep telling me that when those big man hands get inside and start moving all of your parts around, things get jumbled up for a while.

The day after surgery was great, I guess I was still under the influence of the anesthetic, so was feeling high on life, no pain, etc. Day two was a crasher...not so much on pain, just sore and bored.

I want to say so much more, but just lost my energy, so will continue on in another post...hopefully later today.

Thank you all for your support and well wishes during this process.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Just call me zipper girl

Well, I met the oncologist/surgeon yesterday and liked him. I was warned that surgeon's don't have the best bedside manner, but he was very personable. The worst part of the meeting was that I found out that I cannot have the laprascopic (sp) surgery. So I naturally freaked. I do not want to be stuck at home for four to six weeks. I will absolutely go stir crazy. And I am not looking forward to the incision pain, or the lovely scar either. Unfortunately my body has a tendency toward keloid scars...for those of you that are unfamiliar with that, it means your scar looks more like a fat fussy caterpillar. So I will now have a caterpillar running from my navel to my v-jay-jay. I still do not think and will not allow myself to think that I have cancer. Dr. Puls obviously did not say one way or the other, only said that I am not showing the typical signs of his other patients with ovarian cancer (score one point in my favor). But he did comment that the fact that my CA-125 was 167 that he feels something is causing it. He is cutting me open in order to be able to biopsy lymph nodes, tummy tissue, check around my intestines etc for signs of other things that my be causing my raised levels, if my ovaries biopsy's come back benign.

So I am just ready to get it over with. I have tons of work to do prior to d-day (which is Wednesday the 14th at 1:00). I called Merry Maids yesterday to come and clean my house this Tuesday so that is one less thing I have to think about. I am going to have to come up with a solution for Maggie, my beagle puppy, she loves jumping on the bed and on my stomach and crawling all over me...and that will not work next week at all. Any ideas? The longer I stay away from her, the worse she will be. If I am around a lot, I think she will be calmer.

I am also thinking of getting my hair chopped off. It is shoulder length and requires some work to dry, style, etc. If it drys wet it looks like I put my finger in an electrical socket. I am just thinking that going short, I can towel dry and gel it. But the thought of growing it back out is not a happy takes forever and is not too pretty in the process. It isn't really long enough right now to just pull it back into a pony tail.

Keep those happy, sunny, thoughts coming my way! Thanks for all of your support.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2:48 A.M.

My sleep demons have returned...after two great nights of sleeping almost the entire night, I am again awake and exhausted. My mind is churning with a million things. I feel ill just thinking about everything. I hate that I am letting my mind overtake my body with vile. I feel angry.

I got the call my gyn office today that the oncologist does want to see me, possibly do another ultra sound. Then he is going to decide if he should be doing the surgery or if the gyn/surgeon will. My appointment is Friday at 8:00 and it can't come soon enough. I just want this over and done with, no cancer, back to life as I knew it fourteen days ago.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"The Lost Symbol"

If you are planning on reading Dan Brown's new novel "The Lost Symbol", then you might not want to read this blog...

I love how he intertwines fact with fiction so well that you find yourself researching which is which. The book seems to touch upon what I am going through in my life right now, in regards to tackling mind over matter. One of the characters is researching Noetic science wherein she is trying to prove the power that the mind has to heal, make things happen, etc.

My mantra these days is "I do not have cancer". I believe that positive thinking will provide positive results. For many years I just allowed negative beings to influence my life, bringing me down with them. But I made a conscience decision to change the type of people that I kept company with. I now try to align myself with as many positive thinking, acting, expressive people as possible. Yes we all have bad days now and then, life happens, but it is how you react to those types of days that says something about you. I cannot and will not allow this one blow to my daily life bring me to my knees. The facts are the doctors are basing my surgery on one test (CA-125) and one little cyst that looks funky. The CA-125 has a reputation as not being very accurate to predict someone has cancer, but it is used more as a guage after diagnosis. Those patients already diagnosed can see that test number reduce with positive therapy.

Another aspect of the book is about the Freemason's. The story claims that the Masons believed that all religious text really are trying to tell man that they have to open their minds up to enlightenment and not necessarily worship of a GOD. The book of revelations is not about the end, but about the "reveal" of knowledge to man. This part of the book really caught my attention as to the amount of science in the Bible....again, the author makes me want to find out what is real and what is fiction....but he weaves such a believable tale. I enjoy learning and especially love a book that leaves me wanting more information.

So tonight I will think about my mantra before I go to sleep so that I keep it in my head all night long and wake up alive and "well" in the moring....

Good night and sleep well....

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Foggy Morning

Last night was the first in many days that I slept through the night...thanks to tylenol PM. I awoke feeling refreshed, but then the fog of all that has been happening desended on my brain again. It is like an instant paralysis. I have so much I want to get done, dumb stuff really, like cleaning the house, getting the yard mowed and weedwacked, bathing the dogs. ."Stuff" I have been struggling to get done even before I found out I was going to have surgery. But there is always that feeling if I can get my daily life in order then everything will be okay.

Surgery has been tentatively set for Wednesday, October 14th. I know nothing new from the Dr's perspective. The oncologist is out of town, so I do not know if he has agreed to be in the operating room during the surgery, and now I am questioning some things....

Such as:

1. "Dr. H", the surgeon, kept saying that unless they did the total hysti (I have no clue how to spell that word, how sad!) that he would not know if it was ovarian cancer or just endometrioses ("E") . Surely, they have other ways of detecting "E"? I am sure not all women end up with a hysti, in fact I know they don't because I have heard of women not being able to get pregnant due to "E" and having surgery to fix the issues that come out with ovaries, etc intact. So what makes my case any different...he should be able to tell if I have E or not before he ever picks up his scapel...

2. And I have never heard of having the oncologist in the operating room. My mom's lung cancer was inoperable, so she just went straight to Dr "O". So I need to find out so much more.

3. My regular gyn, Dr. Johnson, is out with her sick I am hoping I can at least talk with her on the phone to ask some of these questions. I have been seeing her for about five years now and feel very comfortable with her. And although Dr H was recommended by her and in the same practice, I know nothing about him. Such as how many cancer patients has he actually come across in his practice or has all of his surgery experience just been on routine ob/gyn cases; which may be why he wants the oncologist in the room.

It's Satuday morning which means I will not get any answers for three more days...doctors are out of town! I would like to leave town too!!!


P.S. I just wanted to say how amazing it is to have so many women out there supporting me during this ordeal. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your wonderful words of comfort and wisdom.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I believe....

I believe….

…That yesterday I received the reality check I have been trying to push myself into for this year. I told myself that turning fifty was “The start of the rest of my life” and that I needed to begin some transformations. I haven’t pursued those transformations the way I was envisioning them in my head; I am still way too involved in my family’s lives and not in living my own, etc. But having a doctor look you in the face and tell you that he needs to remove all of your female organs in order to rule out that you have ovarian cancer, kind a puts things back to the basics.

I believe…

…that I DO NOT have cancer. I know that may sound pretty outrageous to some, but I just feel it in my gut. I have followed my gut feelings most of my life and they have been pretty accurate, so I will continue to believe that until they can prove it to me otherwise. That day will come in two weeks or less and I will deal with it head on with my Dad’s “Boot Strap” attitude in full force.

I believe…
…there is a higher power out there. Do I believe in GOD? That I am not sure of, but looking out my windows at the gorgeous mountains and seeing all of the wondrous things in our world, something, someone had to create it. Religion is something I have struggled with all of my life…do we really have to pay to get in to Heaven (tithe). And one of my best friends is Jewish, should she be condemned to hell just because she doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ? I don’t think so. If there is a GOD, I believe he/she would love all of us equally, faults and all. I also believe that my friends and family that do believe with all their hearts in this one man should also do so without question or judgment. So I guess I am saying I believe in faith. I have faith that I will handle all that life hands me to the best of my ability.

First Blog

Yesterday was one of those surreal days that I think I just floated through. I had my little pity party and now I am over myself. Sleep has been eluding me for some time and after yesterday decided that I have my most lucid moments in those dark hours of the night. So today I am going to ask Teri, my friend and co-worker, how to start blogging. Not that I will have anything amazing or wondrous to say, but think it will help me to pursue some things that I have been putting off.

About me…

I am my mother’s daughter in that I start many projects and get bored or frustrated and just leave them set aside. That is an aspect of my life I want to change, I want to learn to pick just those things that really move or motivate me and just do them from start to finish. I take on too many things and set myself up for …so many things.

I am my father’s daughter in that I am not very forgiving at times, with myself or others. I make no excuses for this part of my personality; I think it has helped me survive for many years. Basically it is a “Boot Strap” mentality. I try to do my best and just expect others to do so too.

I am me. What is that? Definitely a work in progress, even at fifty years old, and I guess that part of this process of putting words down in cyberspace will express who I am. For today, I am a living, breathing woman just trying to make the best of the next fifty years.