Thursday, March 22, 2007 in all about me, cervical cancer

Andrea goes to the hospital, part three

My more astute readers have started to realize that somewhere the storyline dropped off and I never got back to it. Some of you are attentive enough to see that I skipped over part 2 and went to part 3. That’s okay, it all happened out of order for me too.

Last time.
When I woke up, I cracked some jokes, was tormented by the recovery room nurses having chinese food for lunch, and was amazed my throat didn’t hurt. I got to my room and cracked more jokes. I had to explain why there was a Barbie sticker on my chart. (because I asked for one) I’m pretty certain even in her drugged state I drove my roomate nuts, because every time someone mentioned computers I told them how many sites I had. The last time, she snorted from her side of the curtain. I cracked more jokes, was declared more competent that the nursing consultants on staff, got little sleep, cracked some more one-liners in the wee hours, talked to my doctor at 7am, and as soon as I could, got up, got dressed, called Ron and woke him up so I could go the heck home.

And there I waited for recovery and my six week check-up.

Unbeknownst to me, my doctor got my lab results back, knew what he had to do, and called another doctor for a second opinion. This doctor was a busy man in another city, so I got a call out of the blue from his receptionist. When an oncologist calls and they want to see you the next day, it’s a pretty scary call to get.

Ron came home that night.

I can’t say we didn’t have any idea why they were calling. I’d already done enough reading up on the subject, surfing medical websites for a large portion of my day. The only thing I needed to know was how bad and if I had any options.

The next morning we all piled in the car and headed off to Moncton to the Oncology center. I must say, it is a very nice place. the waiting room was awesome, with couches, games, puzzles and even balls of yarn. Free coffee too. I was whisked away quickly though, at the top of the doctors list. I know people complain about wait times and such, but being at the top of the doctor’s list isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Eventually, Ron and I talked to a very nice articulate doctor. He even drew a diagram. (I offered, but he said he’d do it.) He said I had two choices, and two not very good ones either.

– they can do a bigger, trickier, messier and uglier cone biopsy, removing substantially more of my cervix, leaving a huge gaping hole, then keep an eye on things, maybe some chemo & radiation, and probably eventually do a hysterectomy.

or

– just do a hysterectomy already, which will remove all the cancer cells completely.

In all my reading, even the most conservative of advice for hsyterectomies and avoiding them, they all said “but if it’s anything to do with cancer, have it done” So that’s what we’re doing. I get to keep my ovaries, though, unless he finds something wrong with Righty. That one is gives me pain and has/had a cyst, which he’s said was normal and would go away.

You know, my mom had a hysterectomy at 36, and I’ve always said I wanted to avoid that. The irony is the final surgery date is March 30th – less than a week before my 37th birthday. The female line of my family has kept a team of specialists fully employed over the years, what with all the problems they’ve had. I was the only one who’d escaped any issues this long.

I figure there’s two ways to handle life’s curveballs: you can curl up in a ball and cry all day about it, but you wind up with puffy eyes, a runny nose and a headache,. That’s not attractive and doesn’t help anyone. Or you can pull up your bootstraps, pick yourself up, put on your big girl panties and deal with it, laughing. Some days that’s all I’ve got left.

Besides, one of my awesome internet friends has already knitted me a replacement.

Comments

  1. Plus you have the entire blogging community to support you, entertain you, distract you, and listen to you.

    Thanks for letting us know what’s going on.

  2. I’m so proud of the way you’re handling things. I just hope your big girl panties are pretty and colourful and not the kind we all hide in the back of our panty drawer.

  3. I’m so glad someone has already knit you a uterus. I’m not sure I could manage that. (not the technical bit, but the getting around to it bit)

    I hope it all goes well. I keep telling people that waiting for medics is often a good sign but no one seems to believe it. I think the health care debate is so badly distorted by the desire for immortality and eternal youth, no one will.

    So, my thoughts are with you.Things could be worse.

  4. You’ve got one to many “http” in the link for the knitting pattern.

  5. Glad to see you’re keeping your sense of humor! You either laugh or cry, right?

  6. I missed the knitted uterus the first time around. Gee, you can get all kinds of knitted female body parts, huh?

  7. You have cooler friends that me. Nobody knitted me a new set of bone marrow! Seriously though, my experience is of the standard chemo/rad type and not much surgery – will you be needing to do that as a preventative?

  8. Good luck with your surgery, you’ll be in my thoughts.

  9. What they all said, but from me. Also, make sure your hospital room provides wifi so you can keep up with us and us with you during recovery. I want to hear how you make the nurses laugh!

  10. wifi? I think this definitely calls for a podcast! :D We could witness the launch of Andrea’s new stand-up career.

    Thinking of you and your family, Andrea. Hang in there.

  11. Thanks all – the support from all my friends (both online and off) has been almost overwhelming.

    My big girl panties are indeed fancy. The back-of-the-drawer ones will be thrown out this week. The messed up link is fixed, my new knitted uterus is in the mail on its way to me, no chemo needed as it is contained and not growing, and my sense of humour is still sharp and pointy.

    And if you all keep talking like that, I’ll start thinking of video casts from Recovery. :D

    (note to self: pack nice Winne the Pooh jammies and get hair done.)

  12. Oh, Andrea… I’m sending you {{{hugs}}}. Since I just went through this myself, I’ll give you the good news.. It wasn’t as hard on me, physically, as I expected. I was pretty drugged up the first week, so I can’t tell you too many particulars. But since Ron and the kids are so supportive, I know it will all work out for you. Please email me if you need to know anything that I may be able to answer. One little tidbit, you may need to have some Colace on hand for when you come home. Nobody told me that. This website was also helpful: http://www.hystersisters.com/
    Good luck! My thoughts and prayers will be with you!
    ~Robin

  13. Sorry to hear about your cancer, Andrea. The hystersisters website is a good place for support. I still get anniversary cards from them. Strange. My biggest comfort afterwards was my recliner chair and recliner couch…oh and the vicadin :) I lived there for a week (in the recliners, not on the vicadin). Glad to hear no chemo or anything…that’s great news. I’ll be praying for you.

  14. You know you’re in my thoughts and prayers friend. You’ve been on my mind a lot lately. Because of this but also… because we are doing some house hunting now too!!!

  15. you’re one of the strongest people I know. I’m so sorry you’re going through this, and I wish I could do more than let you know I’m thinking of you.

  16. Good luck! You’ll be in my thoughts.

  17. Only just catching up – don’t really know what to say as everyone has already said it. Be thinking of you though.

  18. I’m terrible at knowing what to say about stuff like this but just know that Sage and I are thinking of you and sending lots of hugs and positive thoughts your way.

  19. Andrea — huge {{{{{HUGS}}}} to you. I’ll be sending healing energies your way.

  20. Oh Andrea,
    You sound so strong. I’ll be praying for you tonight and tomorrow, and for your family as well. And as good as you look in those big-girl panties ;), this still must be pretty scary. I hope that your recovery is swift and and your healing complete. May the Lord give you peace and assurance of His presence as you go through this, and His wisdom and guidance to the surgeon’s hands, as well as to you as you recover.
    Blessings and a BIG HUG!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] If I were cancer I would so not mess with Andrea, because she is totally going to kick its ass. [...]

  2. [...] Just a heads-up; sign ups will continue to be closed until we get everything fixed and moved off to a new server. I can’t apologize enough for how long this is taking. Ron has a few details here. You can also read my blog for more details about the personal reasons why the delay. I have surgery coming up on March 30th, and in the next week will be seeing how far I can get before then. [...]

  3. [...] Someone Special Jump to Comments If you think of it, please say a prayer for my aunt (one of the bestest in the whole world if youask me!). Tomorrow is a pretty intense day for her. Thinking of you, Andrea! [...]

  4. [...] to do this, even familes with a decent income, is to me ridiculous and offensive. I’ve been diagnosed, treated and cured from stage 0 cervical cancer – involving about a dozen doctor visits, two [...]