Well, it has been awhile since I posted anything on this blog. February 5, 2017 to be exact. So let me fill you in.
On February 3rd, I went to my general practitioner doctor to see if I had a urinary tract infection (UTI). I didn't have the normal symptoms as I have had before, but something just didn't feel right when I went to the restroom.
She did a urine test and determined I did not have a UTI. She ordered up an ultrasound to see if my uterus was dropping due to age. I had to wait until February 9th for that. The technician said the doctor would have the digital pictures that evening, but may be a few days for the radiologist report. Well it was not even 3 hours later that the doctor called, she was referring me to a gynecologist as I had a cyst on my right ovary with a solid mass. It was not just a cyst, it measured about 17.6 x 12.8 x12.1 centimeters or 6.9 x 5.0 x 4.8 inches. The solid mass was what she was most concerned about and the cyst needed to be removed.
So I had to wait another week before I could see the gynecologist. When we got there she informed us that she could not do the surgery due to the radiologist report. The cyst/mass had the consistency of ovarian cancer, so she referred me to a gynecologist/oncologist surgeon. She made an appointment for us, for a week later. My husband was quite upset and said why were we even referred to her if she could not do the surgery. She explained she did not have the protocol for removing cancer, we needed an oncologist and she would call her and explain the situation.
My gynecologist/oncologist/surgeon called later that day and changed the appointment for the following morning. She said she liked to get her ovarian patients in right away. So far we were impressed with her.
She sent me for more blood work, EKG, a CT scan and a colonoscopy. I was due for a colonoscopy, had one scheduled then cancelled due to this new issue. I was sorely disappointed that I would have to have it anyway. She wanted to make sure that this was not coming from the colon, as the surgery would require a colon surgeon also. Prayers answered, I was clear on the colonoscopy. The CT scan gave her a better look at my other organs, to make sure nothing had masticised to them from the ovary. Again, prayers answered, she did not see anything on the liver, spleen, outside of the colon. So she finally scheduled up the surgery. At our second meeting she discovered I had a heart murmur so she sent me to get an ultrasound on my heart. It came back okay, a little thickening on some area, mostly due to age, but I would be good for surgery.
So on March 16th, I had my surgery. She told us ahead of time if there was no cancer the surgery would only be 1-2 hours for a hysterectomy. If the pathologist found cancer, surgery could take 4-6 hours. When I was coming out of anesthesia in the recovery room, the first thing I asked was how long I had been in surgery. The nurse said 5 hours. Not good.
Along with the hysterectomy, she removed anything that is associated with ovarian cancer, the omentum, lymph nodes and appendix. Well, I never have to worry about my appendix rupturing again. The omentum is a sheet of fatty tissue that moves around your abdomen when there is an infection, as she explained it, if my appendix did rupture then the omentum would move over to it to help protect the other organs. Which after the pathology report, the only cancer was contained to the right ovary in the cyst. The uterus, left ovary, fallopian tubes, cervix, omentum, lymph nodes and appendix were all cancer free.
I was diagnosed with Stage 1C Grade 2 Ovarian Cancer. My surgeon would have rated it Stage 1B, but the cyst/mass was stuck to my pelvic area and she could not remove it safely until she drained it. She did a controlled drain, making sure nothing spilled onto other parts/organs. Because the pathologist saw the hole, he rated it Stage 1C. I'm not clear on the Grade 2 part, other than there are 3 grades. Grade 1 is low grade and almost never has to go through chemo treatment, Grade 3 is high grade and always go through chemo. Because I was Grade 2, she explained that they lump it in with Grade 3 for precautionary measures. Now, if I was rated Stage 1B Grade 2, there was a chance I could not have to go through chemo treatments, she would have had a serious conversation with me on that. Since I was diagnosed with Stage 1C Grade 2, then chemo it is, which has been noted as curable - because it was caught in the early stage.
Needless to say I am still a little sore after 6 weeks after the surgery, but feeling better all the time. I did have a few ups and downs after leaving the hospital. I felt great on Thursday, walked a mile with my husband and our two dogs. Friday I started going down hill and ended up in the ER on Saturday because I couldn't keep anything down, including the pain medicine, which pretty much stopped that weekend. After a CT scan, my surgeon notice I had a lot of fluid in my abdominal cavity, so she ordered up a parenthesis or drain of fluid. I was so glad she was on call that weekend, the physician's assistant came in and said they would probably have to reopen me because something was probably nicked during surgery. My surgeon said if that had happened, she would not even be able to touch my abdomen, I would have been in extreme pain. So I had the parenthesis, 4.5 litres or 1.2 gallons of fluid was drained. If that was not bad enough, the following weekend I had really bad pain around my rib cage, I could hardly breath and move. Saturday repeat performance to the ER. Another CT scan. The doctor in the ER decided to put me in overnight, thinking I might have a blood clot. Finally in a room, and they came and got me for another CT scan. Two on this trip, then they put me in the cardiac wing. My doctor came in the next day, informed me no blood clots, more prayers answered, and that she would schedule me for another parenthesis. Most of my issue was just muscle related and she prescribed muscle relaxers. The next parenthesis they drained 3.2 liters or 3.4 quarts. Not more parenthesis would be needed.
I had my first chemo treatment yesterday which was not as bad as I thought it would be, however it is what is going to happen in the next week or so that has me worried. We have been praying continuously that God and Jesus wrap their loving healing arms around us in this trial we are going through. We have several friends and families who have put us on their prayer lists at church, and I must say all our prayers have been answered, some before we knew to ask them. We ask for continued prayers as I go through this next step in curing my cancer.
Thank you everyone for reading my blog. Depending how I'm feeling in the next few weeks, I will try to post more on the Row By Row 2015 quilts I made my daughters for Christmas, and I have a few other quilts and projects as well to post.
Thank you, Ann