Friday, June 1, 2007

Meeting the Oncologist

I went to my OB's office to get my staples out from the c-section a week after the incision was made. She referred me to who would be my gynecologic oncologist for an appointment the next week. Things were moving so fast!

Fifteen days from the date my daughter was born I met the oncologist who I'd soon have a close relationship with. I actually still had some butterfly tape over my incision that she took off for me. She did the exam and frequently expressed how sorry she was for me. I didn't understand what I was getting into. Everyone felt so bad for me and I was just rolling with the punches. She let me ask questions and gave me all the information she had about the disease.

She told me that the chance of survival from this disease would be greatly increased if I had a total hysterectomy. In the surgery business, this is called something like a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy, or a TAHBSO. That means the removal of my uterus, both fallopian tubes, both ovaries (I only had one left), and they would also take a lymph node or two from my pelvis and several other biopsies in my abdomen. They would also remove some fatty tissue on my bowels that cancer tends to gravitate toward. If there was visible cancer in my bowels, they would section it off and reattach it.

They gave me a "bowel prep kit" to drink the day before surgery and told me I couldn't have any solids for two days prior. I'm a vegetarian so I knew this part would be exceptionally hard, and it was. The surgery was set for April 9th, two weeks later. I wouldn't see my oncologist again until after surgery.

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