February 13, 2000 - More Worries
Happy Valentine's Day! You are my special valentines and I love all of you! It's been a good and bad week, so your prayers and notes have really been appreciated.
Tuesday I went to the surgeon's office to have the drains removed. Only one was ready to come out, had to keep the other until Friday. The drains are actually pretty neat things: imagine a miniature sprinkler hose with a length of regular hose connecting it to a plastic bulb. The sprinkler part is inside the body, the regular hose and bulb outside. The bulb has an opening so that it can be emptied. Once emptied, the bulb is squeezed tight and then re-stoppered. The vacuum in the bulb draws the excess fluid into the sprinkler hose part and then down the trail to the bulb. I had no idea how they worked - guess I'd never thought about it! Anyway, the surgeon said everything was looking good, the itchy tape came off (yea!) and I'd need to come back the end of the month for another checkup.
The bad news was that I got the reports from the pelvic ultrasound. The "lesions" they'd seen on the CT scan seemed to be cysts, but they weren't sure. One ovary was greatly enlarged by this "mass." Despite research on the net and talking to my doctor, I wasn't sure that this wasn't more cancer. I'd been told that many times breast cancer and ovarian cancer go hand in hand. Wow, what a downer. Recover great from breast surgery just to have to have a hysterectomy! At least that's what I was thinking. Spent Tuesday night and all of Wednesday and Wednesday night in a blue funk! Didn't even get dressed on Wednesday. I did, however, call the medical oncologist to see if they'd schedule the additional tests for Friday - which they did.
Thursday I was back to "normal" - knowing that you are out there praying and that the Lord is in control brought the peace and calm back. Friday was a long day. The first test was at 7:30 AM - more doctors hours! :-) I had an MRI of the pelvis. The MRI was fascinating, although I am a bit claustrophobic. I laid down on a narrow table, was covered with a blanket for warmth, given ear plugs for the noise and pushed into a narrow tube. The quick look I took showed me about 5-6 inches of space between my face and the tube - I kept my eyes shut most of the time!! One great thing was that at the point my face ended up once in the tube, was light - I didn't really feel closed in. Then the MRI started: Tap, tap, tap - like a drummer counting cadence on the rim of a snare drum. Then loud discordant sounds: sort of a dewhop, dewhop, dewhop coupled with a low pitched busy signal. This went on for what seemed like about 10 minutes. Slight pause, tap, tap, tap and different pitches of static like you get on a TV station after it goes off the air. I kept myself amused trying to imagine what tones would be next. Then I was wheeled out, given a dye injection, and wheeled back in for "three more sets!" Interesting process, the pix I saw after I was out looked "pretty." Should get the results early next week.
Then off to the hospital for a blood test - first time with the port-a-cath they put in my right upper chest area. What an easy way to draw blood - one little stick and it practically gushes into the tubes. No more hunting for the veins in my poor hand (the ones in my arm are buried so deep they can't find them). Then off to see the oncologist - he said his take on the ovarian stuff is that they are just cysts, so he's proceeding that way unless the MRI results indicate something else.
I start chemo the 28th. I'll have four sessions three weeks apart with the drugs Cytoxin and Adriamycin, then another four sessions three weeks apart with Taxol, followed by five years of taking Tamoxifen orally. My friends tell me my hair will go about two and a half weeks after the first session.
Then I went to accompany a friend through her mammogram - she'd gone for her annual physical and her doctor found a lump. Normally she's a very strong, brave woman, but this time she needed a pal. Since I'd just gone through it all, I volunteered to go with her. Great news! Hers was just a cyst, nothing to worry about! But it's SO IMPORTANT to get regular check ups!
Last night was the Valentine's Dinner Dance at our club. We went with my friend Kathy and her husband and had a blast! Did lots of dancing, good food, great conversation. No one could believe I'd had surgery not quite two weeks ago. Your prayers and encouragement have helped tremendously to bring me to this point. I count on continued prayers over the next five months as I go thorough chemo. I'll keep you updated on what's happening.
To you who are at the Western Workshop in Burbank - many hugs! I wish I were there with you! Many of you I'll see in Norfolk on the 25-27th. CLASS buddies, I'll see you at PTW and Reunion. PSA - I hope to be there in May or June. I wish I could see everyone one of you right now to give you a hug and to let you know how very special each one of you are to me - some of you I've not even met yet, but you're much loved, too.
Happy Valentine's Day - my special valentines!
Return to the top of this email.
Return to the previous email.
Go to the next email.
Go to the list of emails.