"ok ... Deeeeeeep breath ... breathe in ... breathe out ...
Saw Dr. Tris today ... tests are back from the DNC and the cervical biopsy ...
results? Not what we had hoped for ... sigh.
Uterine cancer. Breathe Margaret ... never in a lifetime do you expect to say the big "C" word in regards to yourself ...
Believing there is a God, and knowing I am not Him.
Dr. Tris and his nurse Linda are working to get me to an oncologist. She said she will be working on that tomorrow and Monday, and will call me.
Definite hysterectomy as soon as possible!
Preliminary pathology report - no cancer in the cervix, cancer is in the lining of the uterus, with no invasion apparent, no metastic cancer apparent.
According to this prelim path report the stage will be a "1". Highly unusual for uterine cancer."
What were the results of all the tests in the next 2 months? Definite uterine cancer. No question or option but to have a hysterectomy.
I was admitted as a patient to MD Anderson hospital in Houston TX.
September 28, 2012 - the date set as my cancer surgery.
What should have been a simple 2-3 hour surgery turned into 8 hours on the table. I bled out, having to receive a total of 7 units of blood (after having received 6 in order to have the surgery). My bladder was completely removed and then placed again. A 2 foot section of my colon was removed because it was "suspicious". Lymph nodes were taken out. And a radical hysterectomy was performed.
I remained in the hospital for several days, and when I was discharged I was given strict instructions that because of the several hundred stitches inside, I was not to lift anything heavier than a fork for 18 weeks.
At the 6 week check-up, I was given the pathology report. My oncologist, Dr. Frumovitz, explained it all in down to earth terms. I was a miracle. A walking, talking, breathing miracle.
- Had Rick's nephrologist not taken the time to examine me, not cared enough to order blood work - I would have lived perhaps another 10 days. I was losing blood so fast that my body could not keep up with the production needed.
- Had Dr. Tris not cared enough to examine me and give me blood, as well as doing the D & C, without regard to whether I could pay him or not, I would have died.
- Had MD Anderson not cut thru a lot of red tape on the advice and counsel of these 2 doctors and taken me as their patient, I would not be here today writing these words.
- There are 2 types of uterine cancer. The first is slow growing, non-aggressive. It can live in the lining only for up to 2 years, and sometimes longer. The second is aggressive and very "angry". It takes less than 6 months from beginning to a violent end.
- My cancer was the 2nd.
- Dr. Frumovitz said that 99% of women who have this 2nd type of uterine cancer do not make it to his office until it is at a Stage 3 or 4. Because 99% of the time, there are no symptoms until it is too late to do anything but try and give pain relief until the end.
- My cancer was Stage 1. Very rare to have been caught. And even more rare since it was caught by Rick's kidney specialist.
- My prognosis was given. 95% cure rate. Only a 5% chance that it would come back. And if it has not come back within 3 years, it would not. Next month will be 5 years.
- And because it was caught at such an early Stage, there would be no chemo, no radiation. Only a very close monitoring by x-rays and tests for the first 3 years.
What a 5 years it has been. Ups and downs. Joys and sorrows. Rejoicing with celebration and barely breathing with guilt.
The questions that haunt me now - -
Why did I survive when so many do not?
I have friends who are dear to my heart that have lost husbands and wives, the love of their lives, their breath and hope and joy, to Cancer.
How can I truly rejoice when they are in the nightmare of learning to live this life without their heart?
Why did I survive when Rick did not? Even tho he did not die from cancer. He still died.
How can I celebrate my life when (1) he cannot & (2) I am one of the ones who have lost the love of my life, my breath and hope and joy.
I struggle with guilt and shame - that I have survived the Cancer Monster. There is a sense within my heart that I need to apologize to those who have lost their life and love to this Monster.
Of course, no apologies will ever make this life right and fair.
So, I press on. And I breathe.