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Worried - more update

kmygil's picture
kmygil
Posts: 829
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi All,

Well, saw my new surgeon/onc yesterday, and he said that the cancer is low grade (YES!) and that he forsees no problem with the surgery. He is sending me to a vascular surgeon to put in a filter in the Vena Cava, because I am high risk for blood clots (I still have one from the last time). So I see this new doctor on Friday. They are going to try to coordinate it so that the filter is placed in the morning, and the hysterectomy is done later that day; only one trip to the hospital.

For some reason I have a lot of irrational fears about this surgery. I'm scared of stuff I'm not at high risk for, and not scared of stuff I should be. It's wierd. I have never feared surgery before. Oh well, I guess it's probably giving up control again that has me apprehensive. I should be used to it by now, since I really haven't been in control of much since the first diagnosis.

Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on and on. I will keep you posted. Thanks, too for all the good information and insights.

Kirsten

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Kirsten,

I've read your postings and your web page, and must say you seem pretty calm about another diagnosis of cancer. I know you'll do well with another surgery! If you're particularly anxious, ask your doctor or nurse for soemthing for anxiety before the surgery. I waited too long before asking the first time I had surgery, and was told it was too late, and that I should have asked sooner - who knew?

Sometimes I've made myself a wreck over the simplest things, like shots, so I know what you're dealing with now. I hope you're not afraid of the vena caval filter - I've had my "Greenfield" filter for five years, and it's not something that I think about much.

You said you had a blood clot before, and still have it - are you taking blood thinners now? Do you know what caused the clotting? I found out that blood clotting in the legs can be a symptom of lower body cancer, as I did.

Have you ever tried deep breathing for relaxation? I was very glad that I had taken a yoga class before my diagnosis, because I used the technique a lot during my treatments.

The best of luck to you - I know you'll do well!

kmygil's picture
kmygil
Posts: 829
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi GroundEffect,

Thank you for the encouragement and suggestions.

Like I said, I have no idea why I'm suddenly beset with all these irrational fears. I have had 9 surgeries in my life, and I never was afraid before. And it's not that I'm afraid of what will be found, I'm actually afraid of checking out on the OR table. I said it was irrational.

As far as the filter goes, doesn't it clog up like the drain in the bathtub and require maintenance? Did you get a blood clot and that's why it was put in? I'm not afraid of getting it put in, but I am afraid of it clogging up.

I got my blood clot as a result of chemo. For some odd reason, people are at higher risk of clots while undergoing chemo; no one seems to know why. I was on Coumadin for 6.5 months, and just came off of it due to excessive bleeding post-biopsy 2 weeks ago. My new surgeon says that he will use heparin and lovenox while I'm hospitalized.

You are right. I need to go ahead and ask for "Loopy" meds before surgery. In fact, I should ask for "Loopy" meds right now! :) I guess I do it wrong, but deep breathing has never helped me - it just makes me dizzy. What does help is visualization. I have a peaceful place I go to when I get stressed; it works! But I can't stay gone in my head all the time; they tend to frown on that at work :) Believe me, I am far from totally calm, but also far from freaking out.

I look forward to hearing from you again. Thanks for the good thoughts!

Kirsten

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Kirsten,

Chances are you got the blood clot because of your cancer, not the chemo. Blood clots can be a symptom of lower-body cancer; I had them months before I was diagnosed-that is one of the reasons my gynecologist came to do a biopsy while I was hosptitalized for a clot.

The filter should not get clogged up-your blood contains anticoagulants that should be able to keep it clear throughout your life. My oncologist said I shouldn't have to take blood thinners after the filter was inserted, but I did continue with lovenox (which is low molecular weight heparin) injections until I was done with my chemo. I switched to coumadin for a while, but stopped taking it after doing my own research about the filter. My chemo doctor, who is a hematologist, is of the opinion that a person should continue taking blood thinners for the rest of their life if they have a vena caval filter. Because I am resistant to coumadin, and don't like having blood drawn every two weeks, I did the research and stopped taking it voluntarily.

You can read some things about them at this address: http://www.venous-info.org/handbook/FAQs/hbk11q.html It's a Q&A page at the American Venous Forum.

I hope you're feeling better about all of this now. Believe me, the filter should not be a real concern for you right now!

tlva
Posts: 56
Joined: Nov 2005

Hi Kirsten,

I'm so glad that your grade is low...that is a factor in some circles for risk of recurrence or spread. Lower is better!

When is your surgery? Are you having an abdominal hysterectomy or the less invasive...can't remember the name...surgery where they use the robotic machine with the cameras? They got one at my hospital about a year after my surgery. The healing was tough, but manageable. Lots of lortabs!!

I was just happy after a few weeks that I could straighten up and not have my knuckles drag the floor anymore! And not having to clean house was a bonus. But I did have to pretend that I liked my husband's cooking! Ice cream is a gift from God!!!

Still in my prayers!
Tammy

kmygil's picture
kmygil
Posts: 829
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Tammy,

Thanks for the encouraging words. What was your cancer? What is your follow-up schedule and what does it consist of?

Yes the onc says it looks low grade; and the best news is that it is probably another primary cancer and not a metastasis from my colon cancer.

The surgery is scheduled for July 18. Unfortunately, they said the less invasive surgery (laproscopic?) is not an option. While they are in there they are going to have a look at my colon and everything else to see if there is anything obvious going on that shouldn't be. The really good news is that he has agreed to do an elliptical incision and get rid of the fat pad that I've had my whole life. He agrees that is would compromise healing if he did a traditional "bikini" cut. So I have something to look forward to once my knuckles stop dragging the ground. I'm not looking forward to another abdominal surgery in less than a year, but on the other hand, I need to count my blessings.

I have stocked up on books and movies for recuperation, and my husband's cooking is better than mine, anyway. I'm not the world's greatest housekeeper; I'm ok as long as the bathrooms and kitchen are clean. And you are right, ice cream IS a gift from God! So are pain meds:)

I am thankful for all the encouragement and hope I get from people like you. This website is a blessing.

Kirsten

wyndcloud's picture
wyndcloud
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi, you responded to my posting and I just saw yours. As for the worry regarding surgery THIS time, it is probably quite normal. You have had 8 and appear to be quite intelligent. Sometimes that intelligence "does us in". I have had 13 surgeries in my lifetime and it never gets better for me. I always worry and that is because we understand what we are having done. We may be positive about cancer but we are also "realists" who understands the risks of everything. Now, if we were gamblers and not realists... I'd say the odds are in your favor, wouldn't you? You go girl! And Xanax works wonders!
Carol

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