A Set Back…and a New Beginning
2015 hasn’t been as kind as I had hoped.
If you’ve been following along you’ll remember after my mom passed away, I was suffering from severe back pain. As part of my investigation into what was causing the pain, a “nagging” thought kept occurring to me. I should go back to my gynecologist and have my fibroid checked out.
Back in 2009 I was diagnosed with a uterine fibroid about the size of a small orange. We named it Orange and have joked about it over the years…particularly during “that time of the month”. Wow…the Orange is really angry this week! You get the idea.
Anyway….we’ve kept tabs on it through the years with no changes. However, after mom’s passing, and the severe back pain it was time to listen to that “nagging” voice. Off the my gyno for an updated pelvic sonogram. Results? The Orange now had two friends. A fibroid about the size of a kiwi, and one about the size of a tangelo.
That’s right…I had a fruit basket living in and on my uterus.
My doctor said it was time for the hysterectomy. We had been putting it off since nothing was causing me problems, but with the back pain and the new friends it was time. My doc wanted to schedule this in June; but the stipulation was I wouldn’t be able to swim for 6 to 8 weeks…in June…in Texas…uh no.
So I told her I had some business trips occurring at the beginning of September and we would schedule for after that. Like clockwork her folks called and we scheduled the surgery for October 1st. This wasn’t going to be robotic because of the size of the fibroids. This was going to have to be done the old fashioned way so I would be in the hospital for a few days.
The surgery went well. They removed my uterus and cervix. We left my ovaries in hopes of “easing” me into menopause.
11 days later everything changed. I went for my post opt checkup. The pathology report detected a cervical cancer. Further tests of the tissue was needed to confirm the diagnosis; and we wouldn’t have those results for another week or more.
The results were confirmed. Cervical cancer. My doctor urged me to see a gynecological oncologist she recommended and thought I would like. Another doctor appointment…another two weeks of waiting.
On the day we met with the oncologist I knew something was up when he walked in with a text book tucked under his arm and pages flag with sticky notes. Seems that the “type” of cervical cancer I was diagnosed with only occurs in 1% of those diagnosed with cervical cancer. His recommendation was not to even do any tests but to go straight back to surgery and take everything else out. That meant overaries, lymph nodes, tissue; what’s called a radical hysterectomy. This would do two things…determine if the cancer escaped or moved, and if it did, we’d know exact locations to target radiation.
I’m happy to report we did the surgery and everything came back clean. There is no cancer left and the surgery we did on Oct. 1st did it’s job. We found the cancer in it’s earliest stages…which is not typical. This cancer is so undetectable that by the time it’s found, it’s typically already Stage 3 or 4. Mine was at the upper end of Stage 1.
So…all this to say that I haven’t been on the trail…for too damn long. I’m ready to strap the pack on and pick up where I left off.
My promise to you is to start writing again so you too can follow the journey. Hopefully by telling my story it’ll give hope to others who are struggling to “start” or feel like they can’t.
You always can…all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.
Right now, my biggest walk is maybe 1/2 a mile at this point. That’s around the block; and that’s okay…I know I’ll get there with each passing day.
My hope is for a easier, gentler 2016. I’ve learned a lot of lessons this past year. Namely I can face it all and keep my sense of humor about me. That, and I have a ton of people who love me and are with me.
So…here’s to 2016. Let’s get this party started!