Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Diagnosis (Dum dum dum DUM)

So on December 2nd Scott and I showed up at the doctor's office downtown for removal of my staples, a pretty standard procedure that was timed perfectly, since they were starting to itch. I had an appointment with Dr. Hull, one of the other surgeons on the team, and was surprised to see Dr. O there when I arrived. Of course with my being clueless it didn't set off any alarms, she said she had a bit of time and had popped over from the hospital to see me. Dr. Hull joined us and the two of them and a nurse proceeded to remove the staples, effectively ending my reign as Franken-tummy. Once the staples were out they broke the news. While the fibroid was not cancerous they had finished the lab work on the rest of the tissue and found that I had a very rare cancer of the uterus which was most likely the cause of much of the necrotic tissue and even the production of prolactin.

It's called ENDOMETRIAL STROMAL CELL SARCOMA and due to its rarity was causing quite a stir around MCV, one of the best teaching hospitals around (fortunately for me). I was told that they had a cross-functional team working on it for me and that I was the topic of their Wednesday conference (later I learned this is called Tumor Board by the docs). They also said they would be writing a paper, especially as relates to the prolactin generation by the tumor due to its rarity. While I realize this puts lots of attention and good care on me, I have to say there are other ways I would prefer to garner attention and minor "fame".

As you can imagine this took a few minutes to sink in. Scott and I had anticipated dropping by for a quick staple removal then maybe some lunch. The next thing you know I'm crying like a baby and getting hugs from the doctors (great to have an all-woman team, seriously). They wrote down the name of the cancer and we discussed options, both in MCV's system and outside. Scott and I decided that I would see one of the Gynecological Oncologists (say that three times fast) at MCV to keep things rolling, especially in light of the multi-functional team and huge group of oncologists, hematologists and OB/GYNs on staff. That's alot of good heads to have together and keep in mind part of this thing is still inside me since they had to get out of surgery and leave some behind. I feel like I'm part zombie, with dead flesh inside (ick!). Of course my mind went toward alternative medicine as well, but in the case of cancer I really want a Terminator approach. I am of course considering complementary medicine now (more on that later) but kill what's in me now, damn it! I got an appointment for the next week with the oncologist, where more good news followed...

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