Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Okay...here's the "skinny" as I know it

An old friend pointed out to me that I haven't been too clear in this blog about what physically is going on with me (the graphic accounts of my toilet habits notwithstanding)...she asked questions that I realize I have brushed on, but haven't spelled out.

They operated on me and removed my right ovary, which had a four centimeter growth on it that came back positive...it is ovarian cancer. They also repaired my hernia, for which I am very grateful...and they had to peel my uterus off a section of my bowel..to which it was stuck. They opted to leave my uterus and my left ovary because they didn't look bad and because they didn't want to prolong my time under anaesthesia. They had to hack through a bit of scar tissue (from my previous gastric by-pass) and that slowed them down.

They also removed as much of my omentum (the lining of your abdomen) as they could as it was dotted with spots of cancer. Apparently there are still a whole bunch of spots of cancer, dotted all over different organs/bowels, etc. and that is what they plan to get rid of through the chemo treatments.

When I refer to "the tumor" still producing fluid in my abdomen, it's not a single tumor...it's a network of them apparently.

So...they will send me for chemo...eight rounds of it...one round every three weeks, each round will last eight hours.

I still have to make the decision as to whether or not I get into the trial of the new treatment...or stick to the existing protocal of two drugs. Even if I get accepted in the trial, I may not get the third medication...I could end up in the group of people in the study who don't get the drug. It's all kind of confusing and I almost wish they hadn't even brought it up to us! Sandy and I are going to sit down and do a list of the Pros and Cons to both sides and see what we come up with.

A big factor to vote NO on getting into the trial is the fact that I would not have the option of having further surgery if I go that route. Dr. Lachance said that what he could do is check my cancer level (CA125 test) is after a few rounds of chemo. If it is coming down, they cuold operate again, removing the other ovary and uterus and also cleaning up what they could of the little tumors sprinkled around inside. I like having that option, even though I don't look forward to another stay in the hospital and another big surgery.

Oh...and on a different note. We got a notice yesterday from the state that we have to get married! Sandy and I registered as "Domestic Partners" years ago...in that way Sandy was eligible to have my insurance coverage and be able to get my pension should I die. That was a big relief to us...knowing that she would be taken care of with my retirement money.

Now, with the new marriage law in the state, we have one year to marry...because after that the domestic partnership benefits will end!

Can you imagine that? First we can't marry, now we better hurry up and get married!

Sandy was trying to avoid another ceremony...we've had two "non legal" ceremonies in Washington DC at different marches held in the 80's and last Columbus Day we had a very private civil union ceremony, done by our old neighbor Brige, who is a Justice of the Peace. We had hoped that would be the end of it. But no...now we HAVE TO GET MARRIED!

Sandy has already found a woman locally who advertises that she does civil unions...so I guess when I'm feeling better, we'll go see her and get the job done. I'm not planning on dying...but it will give me peace of mind should, God forbid, I get hit by an 18 wheeler as I drive to work!

So, I said I wouldn't post again...and look at me...here I am, back again!

Oh, and I figured out the reason for the yucky feeling is more associated with pain and the fact I'm trying to get off the dilaudid that they gave me. I'm trying to switch to tylenol...and it's taking a little bit to work through the pain. It hits me and makes my system crunch down....makes me doze and feel yucky. So I will work on staying on top of it...it is diminishing daily so I should be able to do this with the least amount of muss and fuss.

I hope that I have explained things so people can understand what's going on...sorry I hadn't spelled it out before. I wrote a lot while I was in the hospital and I was kind of confused at the time.


Nighty night!

2 comments:

Marieps said...

Well Jeez Louise-hallelujah! Thank that "old friend" for me because they said what everyone else has been thinking. I wasn't sure if you were keeping stuff from us or you just didn't know. So now we ALL know!

periwinkle said...

Thanks, Annie -- this was a great summary of all that is going on -- I was trying to piece it together from your other notes. It's great that you have one location to put all the info here on blogger; it must feel like you have to tell your life story over and over again to explain what is going on. Lots of hugs to you -- I'm thankful that thinks are moving in a positive direction -- and I'm keeping the positive thoughts coming your way!