Thursday, January 08, 2009

My Medical News

In the life of any blogger, there comes a moment where you have to decide how much to share. Most days it's very easy to make that decision. Other times, it's a bit of a gray area. Today, I've struggled.

But, I thought about how you've been sharing my daily life here for almost five years. You've been with me through many ups and downs and so it would seem almost rude to not share the latest news in my world with you, even though it is not upbeat.

I apologize in advance, because this is medical stuff, but it is what I'm thinking about at the moment.

On Dec. 1 I experienced some serious pelvic pain. It happened once more very severely on my birthday, Dec. 23. Otherwise I've had some less severe pain over the last few weeks. Of course, I also had the stomach flu, so it was hard to always distinguish what was what.

My doctor scheduled me for a pelvic sonogram before Christmas but I had the stomach flu and rescheduled it. You have to drink 32 ounces of water and I didn't think I could keep it down.

I went for it on Monday. This morning my doctor's office called to tell me it showed a "suspicious mass" on my right ovary. So, today I went in for a CT scan, blood work, and a visit with my doctor.

This thing is about the size of a large grapefruit. It appears solid, so more of a mass than a cyst, although they don't know. They don't know if it's benign or cancerous, but my CA125 test - which is the closest thing to a screen for ovarian cancer we have - shows a level of 23, which is well within the normal range of 0-32. The CT shows no other masses in the region.

So, I have an appointment on Monday with a gynecological surgeon. I will have to have surgery to remove it - probably very soon. They will be able to do the pathology on it while I'm under, so oddly enough, other people will know if it's cancerous before I do. But, so it goes.

Greg was still in Joplin and when I called him this morning to tell him he just jumped in the car and headed back so he could be with me at my 4 p.m appointment. I was so thankful to have him there. I needed him to ask the right questions. I've never had any serious medical issues so this is a lot to digest. It was also a huge comfort to have him with me.

I'm a big believer in the idea of a "divine plan" and that what we're doing or experiencing at any given moment is what we're supposed to be doing or experiencing. This certainly isn't something I would have chosen for myself, but for whatever reason, it's where I find myself. So, I'm going to try to be thankful for this experience and what it has to teach me.

I am incredibly thankful for my doctor and his nurse who are very kind and caring people. They spent an hour and a half with me this afternoon, answering questions and making appointments. And, thank heavens, he did the CA125 test so I had that information. I do find that comforting.

I'm certainly teary and upset at times, but overall I'm okay. I have no choice but to move through this. I hate the idea of having surgery. I hate the idea of what it's going to cost. I hate the idea of being down for some time. But, I don't really have another choice at this point. It's too large to ignore or keep watching to see what happens. And I can't go through every day wondering if I'm going to be incapacitated by pain. So, I can only hope it's benign and surgery goes smoothly and recovery is quick.

I'm not making any plans until I see the surgeon on Monday. I'll know more then. In the meantime I'm going to figure out where I'll recuperate at home. I doubt I'm going to feel like climbing the stairs to bed. This is the time to regret getting rid of the sofa bed, I guess.

Barbara is coming over Saturday to help me take down the tree. I want to get all the Christmas stuff put away before I go in. Unfortunately, I can't lift much of anything. The last time I picked up something the least bit heavy - a suitcase - it started the pain. That's going to make it difficult to get things around the house done, but I'll just do the best I can do.  There are many work things I need to handle, too, of course. Fortunately, with technology these days I'll be able to work from home. 

Your good thoughts, healing energy, and prayers are much appreciated at this time.
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

We haven't met, yet, but I enjoy your blog. You are in my prayers. If there is anything I can do for you, please ask.
Bobby Rozzell

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about this Pasty, keep only positive thoughts in your mind, your readers I am sure, will all keep you in their thoughts.

Patsy Terrell said...

Bobby... Thanks so much for the prayers and offers of help. I'm very optimistic this is just a benign mass. I wish I didn't have to have surgery, but I can't be walking around with this thing in me, waiting to shift and cause me pain. So it's got to be evicted. And there's no reason to wait. I see the surgeon on Monday and I'll know more then. Thanks.

Patsy Terrell said...

Thanks so much. I love the idea that folks are gathered in spirit, thought and prayer. It's lovely.

Anonymous said...

Patsy, You will be in our thoughts and prayers

-Todd and Tara

Patsy Terrell said...

Thanks, Todd and Tara. I'm very optimistic. I hate to lose the time, the money, the yadda yadda yadda... but I don't have much choice so I'm going to make the best of it! :)

Anonymous said...

You? Money problems? C'mon! You work for a nonprofit!

Just sell all that Christmas nonsense you've accumulated and you will have enough to pay for the main surgery and to take out your tonsils, too.

Get well soon, kiddo.

Linda said...

I came across your blog through the Douglas and Main blog. I'm sure it was hard to write a post like this, but it opens up the door to many folks like me wishing you well and saying prayers for you.

Good luck!

Jane said...

I am keeping you in my thoughts and will follow you through this journey from up here in Canada.

Patsy Terrell said...

Thanks, Sigerson. I don't think my Christmas stuff is worth much to anyone but me, unfortunately. Happily, it's almost all packed away now.

Patsy Terrell said...

Linda J. - Thanks so much for the prayers and good thoughts. I love it that others are sharing my life through this blog and I just couldn't leave people out of this major event in my life. Greg will be updating my blog throughout surgery so people can follow along.

Patsy Terrell said...

Jane, Thanks for your good thoughts. I really appreciate it. You'll be able to get details on the blog. Greg will be updating it as the surgery goes.