Saturday, September 20, 2014

Almost Surgery Time

It's been just over six weeks now since that dreaded phone call from Dr. Ruta telling me that my Pap smear was abnormal.  Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago.  Other times it feels like it happened yesterday.  I've been caught in this strange waiting period.  It's been a busy time with work and the boys' football games.  When Ike is throwing the football, Josh is catching the football, or I am discussing an "eye" diagnosis with a patient, I can totally forget my health.  But then out of the blue I will suddenly stop and remember I have cancer.  And I don't really look like a cancer patient I guess.  I suppose that means I have been feeling pretty good.  Well most of the time I can say that is true.  After all, I have been living life as normal and for that I am thankful.  But some days I am so physically tired and other days I am just mentally tired.  And mostly I am just ready to get going with the next step.  

This past Monday I saw Dr. Larson.  He was very happy to see that I healed up nicely from my biopsies.  Then Dr. Larson, Mike, and I sat and discussed my surgery.  It will take place this upcoming Thursday(September 25th) as planned.  I won't know the time until the day before, but Dr. Larson thinks it will be in the morning.  The surgery will take approximately four hours.  We are planning on a three night hospital stay.  As he told me before, along with the usual hysterectomy he will also take pelvic ligaments and lymph nodes to be tested in pathology.  We also discussed whether or not to take my ovaries.  I had some concerns about keeping them as my dear aunt Muriel died of ovarian cancer. And let's be honest, if my cervix tried to kill me why should I trust my ovaries not to do the same??  Dr. Larson did tell me, however, that there have been studies done that show women who have their ovaries removed prior to menopause are at a higher risk for stroke and heart disease.  I did not know that!  So, it sounds like the best course right now is to keep them and hope they behave!  He did tell me though that he will actually be relocating them to a new area -- under my ribcage.  He explained that on the chance that I would need pelvic radiation now or in the future, tucking my ovaries under my ribs will keep them out of harm's way.  And then he told me that I am also going to be getting a bonus appendectomy.  The right ovary's new home would be very close to the appendix.  If I were to ever end up in the ER with pain in that area the docs would not know if it was coming from my ovary or my appendix.  So goodbye appendix!  Good thing I have so many spare parts I don't need!  Kidney, appendix, uterus -- who needs them anyway??  My friend Jolene did tell me that I may need them to add extra stuffing though to fill in the empty spaces!  Yesterday I saw Dr. Ruta for my pre-op physical and I am good to go.  So here goes nothing...

I have to say one more thing about my diagnosis and it is going to sound weird to some of you.  Many people equate cancer with chemotherapy and hair loss.  Because I have the possibility that surgery will take care of my cancer, I have been sort of feeling like I don't really have "real" cancer.  Not that I am in denial or anything, but just that I don't feel like a typical cancer patient.  So the other day I had a patient in to see me who had colon cancer a few years ago.  She just had to have surgery and that was all.  I was telling her my feelings and she said, "Exactly!  It's like you aren't in the club!!"  And she was right!  That was the perfect explanation.  Now I am not saying that it is a club I want to be in, and I am not trying to say that anyone has treated me differently because I might have an "easier" cancer than a lot of people do. And I'm not looking for any sort of sympathy.  It's just a feeling I have and I thought I would share it.  Maybe some of you can relate?

And let me just say that people are awesome.  The messages, cards, texts, phone calls, hugs, flowers, well-wishes, and most importantly -- PRAYERS -- are overwhelming to me.  It is so humbling when you find out how many people care.  I have often gone to a funeral and wondered if the person who died knew when they were alive how many people truly cared about them.  Well, I am one of the lucky ones who sure does know it!  

Just two days ago my friend Jill was waiting on results from her own medical tests.  She messaged me Thursday afternoon and wrote the devastating words, "I have cancer Jill".  She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and will see a surgeon soon.  It breaks my heart to see more people going through this.  But as I told her -- "Look out cancer.  Jills rock!!"  And together we both plan to prove that!!

See you on the other side of surgery!  

No comments:

Post a Comment