Sep 13, 2013 - 4:58 pm
On August 1st, I was diagnosed with endometrial adenocarcenoma stage 1. This came as quite a shock to me. For as long as I can remember my periods only occured about once or twice a year. About two and a half years ago, I started getting them on a monthly basis and thought my body was finally getting itself right. About six months later, it changed again and I started having periods about every three weeks. Then it became every other week. In the last six months it hadn't stopped at all. So when I got insurance through the state of Michigan I talked to my PCP and he sent me to a gynocologist to get checked out. Originally the gyno suggested that I do a D&C and then get an endometrial ablation (a surgery to burn the lining of the uterus) because after a transvaginal ultrasound it was discovered that the lining in my uterus was 39mm thick (normal is about 8mm).
I have always wanted kids - it has been my dearest wish. The gyno explained that if I did the ablation I would also need a tubal ligation because pregnancy after the ablation would be life threatening. For about a month I went back and forth about whether I wanted to do this because of my not having had kids yet and still having the desire to do so. Finally I made an appointment with the gyno again and said I would do the D&C but that I didn't want the ablation to be done. He said that because I wasn't doing the ablation he wanted to do a hysteroscopy on me to see what caused the lining to build up the way it did. So the procedure was scheduled. I went in for the hysteroscopy and D&C on July 28th. While I was still out the doctor told my mother he found suspicious cells that he thought were cancerous. He told me in the recovery room that they had done a biopsy and that there were some "strange cells." I didn't immediately jump to cancer though in my mind because before the procedure he had said that was a unlikely thing considering I am only 36.
On August 1, I went to the gyno for follow up and he walks in the room asking how I felt and how bad the bleeding was. Then he pulls out a piece of paper and without looking at me says, "Well you have cancer." Then there was a knock at the door (one of his nurses) and he leaves the room for a minute without saying anything else to me. I looked at my mom and was like "Well I wasn't expecting THAT!" He came back in and read the pathology report (which I didn't understand because of all the big words). He said he had an appt for me at Karmanos Institute the following week and said Good luck. Oh and that "If you had to get cancer - this was the one to get"
I went to Karmanos and was told I need a complete hysterectomy and bilateral oopherectomy and possible lymphectomy. They don't know if I will need chemo and/or radiation yet - not until after surgery will they make that decision apparently. With the type of insurance I have it only covers outpatient surgery so I had to apply for Medicaid to try to get the surgery covered. I have since learned that because I may only need surgery that I might not qualify for Medicaid. So I am having to also apply for them to do the surgery on a charity basis.
I go in on Monday to get Xrays and a CT scan to see if the cancer has spread anywhere else which scares the hell out of me.
In addition to the cancer, I am diagnosed with bipolar 2. That means I have severe depression more so than mania. Since this happened, I feel numb. I don't feel depressed. I don't feel any of the usual stuff I feel. Instead, I am too busy trying to get the funding for my surgery and trying to hold my mom together - who has taken this especially hard because she lost her sister in January 2012 (blood cancer). her dad in January 2013(strokes) and her step mom in June 2013 (lung cancer). I feel like I can't fall apart because if I do it will make it harder on her... so I push my feelings down and push through.
I do feel a little angry about this though. I HAVE CANCER. If anyone has a right to fall apart it should be ME. Instead I am being the strong one. I am the one that has had to fight for my sanity. I am the one that has to fight for the ability to get life saving surgery. I am the one that has to go through surgery and possibly chemo/radiation. I know my mom loves me. I know she is scared for me. I just wish I could be honest about what is going on inside my head instead of focusing on her. Hell - my extended family calls her to find out how SHE is doing more than they call to ask how I am doing.
I have so many questions about the surgery and the after effects of it. Yet, I don't know who to ask about it. For example, I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome. One of the symptoms of that or complications of that is that I developed insulin resistent diabetes. After the surgery I won't have ovaries anymore - so does that mean that I won't have PCOS anymore? Does that mean that my insulin resistence might go away? Who do I ask? The gyno or the endocrinologist? I just don't know. I feel so lost and so alone right now.