Way back in January of this year I was planning a post with pictures of the humming birds that visit the feeder on my patio. Well, you know what they say about making plans….life happens while you are making other plans.
On January 30 I was hospitalized with a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that encompassed nearly my entire left leg. I spent two nights in Intensive Care at the hospital closest to my home. I had none of the usual symptoms….except a history of endometrial carcinoma. Yes, that is cancer. I had a hysterectomy for that in 2009 and all of my check ups have been clear. Just to be sure the hospital doctor referred me to an oncologist. I figured it was just routine and he would confirm that I remained cancer free.
I had my consultation with him on February 23. It was that far out because I was still having trouble walking due to the DVT (and still am although it is better). He took some blood tests and the next morning at 9 am my phone rang. It was Dr. X (his name really does begin with X) with the results of one of the tests. It is a test that could indicate cancer somewhere in the body. My result was highly elevated. He ordered a Pet Scan for the following week.
I got a call the next day to come in for the results of the scan. My friend C. came and went with me as an extra pair of ears. The doctor showed me the scan on the computer and there indeed were three lymph nodes and what looked like a possible mass in my left pelvic area. We set up a routine to switch me off the Xeralto blood thinner that I was on to another one that would allow me to have a biopsy and port placement. I went to the Cancer Center daily for seven days to have injections because I’m a wuss and can’t give myself shots. The people who work there are so wonderfully loving and kind. I guess if you aren’t you don’t last long in that job.
I had my biopsy on March 10 and they placed a port in my upper right chest that would allow for administration of medication (read chemo), draw blood and insert IV’s without tearing up my veins and bruising me they way they had in the hospital. On Tuesday….was it really only this week?…I got the results that indeed my endometrial cancer had returned. I was referred to Dr. D who is a renowned gynecological cancer surgeon here in the Pacific Northwest.
Today I had my appointment with Dr. D. He was able to get my old records from 2009 and I brought a disc with my scan. After reviewing the information and examining me I am happy to say that he doesn’t feel surgery is needed but that we can treat this and knock it back into remission.
It will not be easy. I am looking at five to six months of chemo therapy and radiation therapy. I am going to be pretty sick for a while and yes, I will lose my hair. I’m already consulting with my stylist to have a little ceremony when I ask her to shave my head. And as serendipity would have it…I got a wig catalog in the mail this week. Yes, (you know who you are) just like your mom….a little God Wink…there have been others too….like the picture of Venice on the wall of the room where I went daily for my injections. The wig featured on the cover was really cute and very close to the way I currently wear my hair. And the name of the color was perfect. Brazen Auburn. Brazen…that is what I plan to be. I will kick cancer’s butt. I did it before and I can do it again.
Another God Wink…this flower was yellow last year.
Dr. D is going to review everything with their tumor board and if they can get that done this coming week then I can start chemo the week after. Once a week, three weeks apart for probably six treatments. Then five weeks of radiation five days a week. Yes, just about six months.
And since one of the things that I thought about in that emergency room before they admitted me….after making sure that Diavolo would be taken care of while I was in the hospital and my car would get moved from the mall where it had been left was my beloved Venezia. And I decided then and there that I wasn’t waiting to get the bills paid and I could apply for a visa and buy a one way ticket. I was going; and the sooner the better. So I have talked to the doctors and they see no reason I should not be well enough this time next year. March 2017…yes, for the entire month. A wonderful way to celebrate spring, the Baha’i New Year (March 20) and my rebirth and return to health. So among other things to help take my mind off the next few months I’m planning the trip. And I’m already planning to meet up with some of you there.
Most of you who read my blog know that I have a very positive outlook and a somewhat wicked sense of humor. That will continue. I don’t want this blog to turn into a downer although I may moan occasionally. It’s my right. I am in pain although not all of the time. Most of it is my left leg and related to the DVT which Dr. X says was so large it will probably take six months for the body to dissolve it. The medication only keeps new clots from forming it doesn’t take care of the one already there. I do have a good wallow once in a while and as I told a friend…they usually involve chocolate or ice cream and sometimes both. I am surrounded by a wonderful group of loving and caring friends and I have an excellent medical team that I trust. As we say in Italian: Vincerò!
It means “I will win”.
Stay tuned as I recount my life turned upside down and we travel together to the other side and back to Venezia.