Reflections ~ Biopsy Results: Gratitude Journal #9

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This past week has been very emotional! I spent most of it waiting for my biopsy results. I was in good shape for the most part, until Wednesday came. I felt anxiety creeping in as I began to think about how these results were going to change my life. I waited for the Nurse Practitioner to call me with the results and the morning whirled by and my anxiety began rising. The office’s lunch period quickly came and went and I decided to call if I hadn’t heard from her by 2:00pm.

Finally, the call I’d waited for six days finally came. I was so nervous as I answered the telephone. My stomach was in knots as I thought about the possibilities that were before me. Benign or Cancerous? Radiation or Chemo and a Full Hysterectomy, or just a Full Hysterectomy. I gasped for air as she began explaining the results of my biopsy. She stated that what looked like fibroid tissue was in fact endometrial tissue growing deep with in the uterine wall. The baffling thing is there was no blood source attached to the growth, but the great thing about the mass was it was COMPLETELY BENIGN!

BENIGN. Yes, it was benign! I was transferred to the scheduler to get my Hysterectomy date, and we confirmed May 10th. I will stay over at the hospital for one night and then I will be released to go home and all of this ordeal will be OVER!!!!

I spent Wednesday night celebrating my results! I called friends, sent text messages and took pictures to remember this moment. I needed to remember THIS moment! I needed to remember how I was feeling at the moment I heard that the mass within me was benign. I will always remember this moment and I am so grateful that I have had a wonderful medical team that always listens to me and advocates for my best health.

I am so grateful for my family and friends for their support. I am especially grateful that this entire process will soon be a part of my past.

I do not have uterine cancer — whew it feels great to be able to say that! But I have to acknowledge the thousands of women that are diagnosed with uterine cancer and cervical cancer because my heart pours out to you. The mental anguish that one suffers through the discovery process is unbelievable. My prayers are with you and your families!

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Gratitude Journal #8 ~ What Lies Ahead of Me

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I am grateful for the week behind me and the week ahead of me.

Last week was a busy, busy week! I had many appointments, not just medical appointments, too many in fact. I went to the my Gynocologist, my surgeon, and to get my labs done. I lost 3 pounds since my unsuccessful biopsy on last week (March 7, 2012) and I am scheduled for my Hysteroscopy on March 22, 2012. I met with my bible study group for encouragement and I found myself feeling a little self-centered and pitiful, my anxiety was rising but they pepped me right on up and reminded me that I have so many other things to focus on and my goal should be to help others even during this time! So with last week’s appointments behind me I am starting this week with with a renew focus on being positive while providing a bit of cancer education.

So this week I am booked solid with yet more pre-op appointments. Today was blood work, tomorrow will be my primary care physician and then a pregnancy test in order to get signed off for surgery on Thursday. After that I will have approximately one week of waiting to find out if I have uterine cancer. It still seems surreal, but I am grateful that I am insured. I am grateful for the outpouring of love from my friends. I am grateful that GOD strengthens me daily to complete the tasks at hand. I am grateful that these cells have been detected early and I am so grateful that I know how to fight for my life!

I am grateful that I am in the hands of good doctors, I am loved, and I will get through this challenge just as I have done with all the other challenges in my life. I will be stronger, wiser and I will survive!

Reflections ~ Waiting to Find Out If I Have Uterine Cancer

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Today is March 7th and my long-awaited biopsy date is here. I am sitting in the hallway of the Medical Building. I am patiently impatiently waiting to get this show on the road.

Yesterday my doctor’s office called me at 6:30am to see if I could have my biopsy done, but I had no one to drive me back from the appointment so I declined and stayed with my original appointment. So here I am today, sitting, calmly waiting, anticipating the results of this biopsy that hasn’t even been taken yet.

My husband’s full with nervous energy. He is carrying so much weight on his shoulders. He is the sole bread-winner of our family at this time, the guy who tries not to wear his emotions on his sleeves. He has failed today. His focus is non-existent as he tries to mask his fears. His energy is bound up tight and ready to explode. I don’t need or want to be nervous now. I have been really good at keeping my anxiety at bay through this process and I’d like to keep it that way.

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My oldest son came and stay and visit with me and we talked about how excited he is to start at his new college in the Fall. We got his tax paperwork together and he left for his appointment to get his taxes done.

I went by my youngest daughter’s school to pick up her report card. She is doing well in her classes, in fact she made the honor roll with a 3.33 GPA. We have managed to keep her and her other brother unaware of this current health scare, but today she really wanted leave school with us. She begged to come with me to the doctor ~ in her little mind she knows something is not right. I decided not to burden her with extra stress unless the results come back positive. She and her brother will be allowed to enjoy their childhood as much as they can for as long as they can and if this result is negative then the less they know about the process the better.

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It’s 3:29pm now and I am waiting in the office now. All checked in and ready to rock and roll! The ladies in waiting are gone from the couches and they smiled politely as they lovingly pat their bellies after their OB/GYN check ups. But I sit here reflecting on the many times that I was excited to walk into this office, yet today I sit here dreading the music, the magazines and the cheerful staff. The pregnant bellies remind me of happier times, times before my body revolted against me.

My name was just called, so I am now in the outpatient medical suite. My blood pressure is 114/70 and I’ve lost 6 pounds since my doctor told me that she thought I might have uterine cancer on Valentine’s Day, believe me I didn’t see that coming! It must be stress weight loss because I have certainly been eating a little naughtier than usual.

The walls are thin here or either the ultrasound machine in the next room is against the wall. I can hear a baby’s heartbeat and I begin to calm down and then I remember I am over 40 and there will be no more babies for me! I have had my time and I have had my kids. It’s time for the next phase in my life. I hope that this phase will begin as a non-cancerous pre-menopausal phrase. Based on the results of this biopsy, I will either have a full hysterectomy if these cells are cancerous or I will have a partial hysterectomy if these cells are not cancerous. Either way, I am entering the post child-bearing phase of my life and I have to be okay with that.

My doctor greets me and goes over my 3D ultrasound results from the hospital, which identifies a large area of abnormal cells in the uterine wall. She goes and tell me that since I have had an ablation previously scar tissue may prohibit her from getting a clear biopsy today and if that is the case I would need to reschedule and be checked into the hospital for a Hysteroscopy.

“WTF,” I think to myself.

So I sit on the table and get two shots in my cervix and a rod to dilate my cervix.  She adjusts the rod which is supposed to help my cervix dilate and no luck.  She gently (gently according to her my cervix begs to differ) readjusts the rod and again no luck.  She smiles at me after this 10 minute adventure and pats my leg and she tells me that I will have to go to the hospital to have the Diagnostic Hysteroscopy to be done and I will be put under general anesthesia.

FML!

Her assistant comes in to re-check my blood pressure while I lay half-naked on the table with tears flowing uncontrollably now as I ponder yet more waiting to determine if the beast known as cancer is back. My blood pressure is 124/76. I am fine to get dressed and go home. I’m sent home with Motrin for cramping and pain.

My doctor says I will be contacted within the week to schedule my appointment for my outpatient Diagnostic Hysteroscopy.  I leave the Medical Building in complete frustration and I begin to laugh through my tears as I think about all of the things that are at my fingertips.

I reflect on how we live in an instant society. We make choices on a daily basis so that we do not have to wait to satisfy our desire for information. Patience has truly been lost within me and waiting is unbearable. In an instant I can have the latest music, breaking news, iBooks, the internet.  I can have it all after a few quick key stokes on my computer or iPhone but yet I have to fucking wait for 2-3 more weeks to find out what the hell is wrong with me!  Yet for me, at least for the next few weeks the waiting continues.

FUCK CANCER!

Post Script: I know that some people will view this post as too much information, but I am writing these posts to encourage others to make sure that they stay on top of their health and hopefully this will help inform others about this type of cancer. As a breast cancer survivor, I am at risk to other types of cancer. Seven years ago I had a uterine ablation done to treat fibroids, so effectively I have no uterine wall for abnormal cells to adhere to, but I currently have a mass of abnormal cells in my uterus ~ go figure huh? I think this post script brings you up to date if you wish to follow along with my story.


Just Being Me — A Mother’s Response to Bullying

This summer has been difficult. There I said it! It has been challenging in ways that I have never experienced and that truly says a lot if you have read anything about me. It started at my son’s fifth grade graduation luncheon when the girl that teased him mercilessly because he had ADHD and Dyslexia for four years walked into our private luncheon to say goodbye and give him some candy after being told that she was not welcome to do so.

Much to my chagrin, this mean-spirited girl walked into our banquet room and I completely lost it! As a teacher, I have never allowed myself to become that angry at a child but: after four years of explaining that my son learns differently, staying up late nights with him to complete his homework only to receive it back with her rude scribblings on it, coaxing him to go back to school and to continue to try his best, lifting his spirits when his spirit was broken and he felt like giving up on everything and remembering the alienation from his classmates that she had caused with her brutal teasing — I LOST IT! I became completely undone. I was filled with so much anger it scared me. If I didn’t have the help of my two “girls” I don’t know what I would have done. My son’s response was much more gracious, he accepted her candy, retrieved it after I threw it across the room, waited for her to leave and then tossed it in the garbage.

I could not process my emotions. I was flooded and bitter over the miserable experiences she had created for our family. I’m not good at asking for help. I never have been. It’s hard to for me to accept my weak moments. I know that it is okay to have them and they rarely get this out of control. I know it’s okay to ask for help, but it’s just something that I am going to have to learn to do because I don’t do it well.

I had intended for this post to be a little bit different and I’ve struggled writing it for the past two days. I’m being completely honest and putting four years of pain and struggles out there for the public to see. I am the parent of a child with learning differences, I accept that! This is not the last time that he and I will face adversity together. This is not the last time that this will affect our family. But I am acknowledging the pain that I felt for my son, my heart, and my little angel because he is just like everyone else — he just learns differently! He is sweet, kind, empathetic, helpful, a great storyteller and struggling with who he is because of the challenges of his learning differences.

As for me, I am not proud of what happened. It is what it is. I am what and who I am. I feel what I feel. I am working hard to gain control over my actions when my child is attacked. All of that is okay as well! I’m learning to ask for help, I am learning that it is okay to have someone support me and that just has to be enough.