New and feeling overwhelmed!
My name is Bev. I am 50, being born at the tail-end of 1960... I am definately nerdy. So if you can't get past that, please don't go on reading any further!
I had my "screening colonoscopy" (you know the one you're supposed to get passing the big 5-oh) the day that poor Japan suffered the worst disaster! Friday 3-11-11. Maybe that should have clued me in!
Anyways, I can say my world quaked as well. I had 3 or 4 (?) polyps removed but the biggest one 15mm (about 1.5cm) was trouble. I won't bore you all with the details. Anyhow the little devils were just benign, but the larger one...well you must by now have figured out the reason why I am here?
So that was last Friday. Next Monday (21st March) I will be having my CTA and other blood work (liver function, etc.) and a CT (oooh that will be new for me) and talk to the surgeon. I am also scheduled for an endorectosonogram for the following day. Sounds like a fun way to start the week?!!
So that is where I am right now. I don't know the "stage", so have no idea beyond what happens on Monday and Tuesday.
I chose OtherShoeFell because I feel that the shoe has dropped. I have been waiting for some time now. I don't know what I am feeling (other than scared because I hate needles - more on that later) exactly at this point.
So why do I feel like the other shoe has fallen? Because I have had too many close calls, and feel that this is THE ONE.
Presented for your reading pleasure is the following missive of my ?? surviorship?? I don't know if I am even able to call myself that.
My most recent "close-call" (4) is the biopsy on my right boob. Am I supposed to say that? Is breast more preferable? I don't want to offend. False alarm - just my wonderful genetically predisposition to cystic boobs. I thought breastfeeding was supposed to help with that stuff? This was in the fall right around my Birthday. Yea!
Close call 3: A small horizontal scar on my back is the result of the removal of a basal cell carcinoma. It was not a hospital procedure and no further stuff was done. I have been going for annual derm visits since, but nothing more has appeared (to my knowledge).
Close call 2: I have a larger and longer scar that runs from my hairline down between my shoulderblades. I had a tumor removed from my spinal cord - called an ependymoma - from C2-T4 (those are the vertebrae that were split open to get to the tumor).
That was in 1996 - the previous Pope Paul had his appendix out on the same day of my surgery. I guess that was a good omen. I had a baby girl who was still nursing at the time and she is now going to turn 16 in September.
I feel lucky to have had those 15 years with her, as I am now not sure how many more to expect. Ependymomas are "rare" in adults and usually brain not spinal, so yeah, that was weird. I am scheduled for my annual routine MRI follow-up for that on March 30th. Much of the whole scene is hazy in my brain, but my husband told me about 3 years ago that they had wanted to radiate me but I refused, so basically the tumor was just "removed". No chemo. Close call, really close call. What is so ironic is that at the time I was working in a neuro-oncology research laboratory and I was "intimate" with knowledge about brain tumors. They couldn't tell me until after the surgery and resulting pathology findings that it was an ependymoma, because you can't biopsy the spinal cord - yeah, it's kinda protected by those vertebrae! LOL!
Close call 1: Before my daughter was born, I had fun with a hyatiform mole (isn't that a funny name? And please note, I may have spelled hyatiform wrong?) which is basically a false pregnancy, where the placenta is there and grows like crazy and is generally thought of as a "precancerous" condition. My blood hCG hormone (pregnancy hormone) was drawn weekly following a D&C. The D&C procedure was to remove all the crazy growing placental tissues. The hCG level in women who aren't preggo is normally very low, but in molar pregnancy the hormone is used to track recurrance, so I do understand how the CTA counts will work when they get there. I know how obsessed I was with my hCG counts because they kept bouncing up and down and up and down and it was a sea-saw! It got to the point where the oncological gynecologist had ordered my chest x-ray and blood work to administer methotrexate, but by sheer luck the blood hCG had fallen to "normal" range at that point. We retested thinking that the lab had mixed up the blood work - yeah, it was that strange! Well, I did luck out and after a full year of monthly hCG "normal" tests, I was given the go-ahead to try another pregancy.
About my whimpiness:
I appear to have a very strong "vagal" (related to the vagus nerve, I believe) response and generally faint when I see my own blood. Luckliy for me in the 1996 surgery, I couldn't see my back so I wasn't too grossed out. My tiny boob biopsy nearly made me faint when I had to take off the bandage for a shower. I am very whimpy. I gave birth to two kids without an epidural because I was afraid of the needle. I decined the IV for the second child because just looking at the IV going into my arm set me off. After the sigmoidscopy or colonoscopy or "whatever in my butt-scopy" my BP dropped and I got nauseaus and shook like a leaf. I handle my "butterfly" IVs for the yearly MRIs just fine (I make the techs cover it with gauge and stuff so I don't see it) so that is how I cope. Maybe I can just pass out and let them "have at me" - they can wake me up when it's all done - or not!
Is this the end of trying to eat right and be healthy for most of my life? Darn! I don't smoke, drink occaisonally and I have been married to the same man for more than half my life. What did I do wrong?
I hope to be able to see my kids' graduation day in June 2013. That's a couple years away, so I don't know what my chances are. Our oldest will be graduating from college and the youngest high school. Right now they're both in their sophomore year. I don't have little ones any longer, and I used up my prayers to stay with the youngest for these past 15 years (Oct 8, 1996), so I can't ask for more time. How do I gracefully say goodbye and ease my loved ones pain?
I got the news on Tuesday, and haven't yet told my husband "the news". I haven't told anyone. I don't know how to. I have been writing and writing and writing...
- All Discussion Boards
- 6 CSN Information
- 6 Welcome to CSN
- 121.4K Cancer specific
- 2.8K Anal Cancer
- 442 Bladder Cancer
- 307 Bone Cancers
- 1.6K Brain Cancer
- 28.5K Breast Cancer
- 394 Childhood Cancers
- 27.9K Colorectal Cancer
- 4.6K Esophageal Cancer
- 1.1K Gynecological Cancers (other than ovarian and uterine)
- 12.9K Head and Neck Cancer
- 6.3K Kidney Cancer
- 669 Leukemia
- 788 Liver Cancer
- 4.1K Lung Cancer
- 5.1K Lymphoma (Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin)
- 234 Multiple Myeloma
- 7.1K Ovarian Cancer
- 55 Pancreatic Cancer
- 487 Peritoneal Cancer
- 5.3K Prostate Cancer
- 1.2K Rare and Other Cancers
- 533 Sarcoma
- 715 Skin Cancer
- 646 Stomach Cancer
- 190 Testicular Cancer
- 1.5K Thyroid Cancer
- 5.8K Uterine/Endometrial Cancer
- 6.3K Lifestyle Discussion Boards