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Monday, February 10, 2014

Appointment with Oncologist and Counting Down the Days

I had my appointment with my oncologist today.  It was pretty much what I thought.

  1. The cysts (there are more than one, on each ovary) are likely benign (greater than 90% chance).
  2. Because I am postmenopausal and have not had a cycle for a couple of years, they are not going to go away.
  3. He cannot say that they are not cancerous and the only way to know for sure is to remove them.
  4. Ultimately, they need to be removed.
  5. The big question is when -- now, wait until the Summer, wait a year?
I asked him, if I have them removed, can I have the surgery a short time after the back surgery, so I can have the same recovery time for both.  He said as long as my back surgeon didn't have a problem with it, he did not (and neither did my primary care doctor).  I have posed that question to my back surgeon and am waiting to hear back.

The surgery is laparoscopic and is done as a day surgery (provided nothing unexpected is found when they get in there).  They would remove both ovaries, since I am past child-bearing age.  I would go home the same day and it is a fairly short recovery time (more about that in a minute).

My thinking on it is:

  1. Since I am meeting my deductible this year with the back surgery, I definitely want to have it done this year.
  2. I would prefer to use the time I am recovering from the back surgery to do this and recover at the same time.  I would like to use any new vacation I get later in the year for an actual vacation!
  3. If there is any chance that the cysts are malignant, I want them out of me.  The sooner the better.
So, I will have the surgery possibly a week after back surgery, if my back surgeon doesn't have a problem with it.  One of my bosses thought this was more important than the back surgery and I should put that off.  I disagree.  If for no other reason, I cannot even lay on my back right now without setting off bad sciatic pain (and I cannot sleep for any length of time on either side).  After having the cysts removed, I would have to sleep on my back.  Possibly I could still sleep in the chaise, but it is creating its own problems (which are getting worse).   It is very important for me to get back to functioning.

One other thing I have to decide.  We discussed HRT, which I would definitely need after having my ovaries removed.  If just the ovaries are removed, I would have a combination of estrogen and progesterone.  This slightly increases my chances of getting breast cancer.  If I go ahead and have a full hysterectomy (still laparoscopic), I would only take estrogen.  Taking just estrogen would actually reduce my chances of getting breast cancer.  I am not terribly worried about breast cancer -- I don't know anyone in my family that has had it and the fact that I have had a breast reduction reduces my chances of getting breast cancer.  There is another reason why having everything removed is more appealing, but I will spare any male readers the TMI.  People I have talked to who have experiences on both sides say they would have everything removed.  So I am leaning in that direction.  I don't need any of it and it would save me some unpleasantness and decrease my chances for any other problems.  If I decide to do that, I would spend another day in the hospital.  The recovery would be about the same, I think, as long as everything is done laparoscopically.

I got up this morning and, with the pain I am dealing with, if I didn't know relief was coming on Friday, I would have had a hard time coping with going to work and getting through my day.  I am hurting more on my upper half and my lower half feels just as bad as it has been.  I am counting down the days.  Even staying at home off my feet is difficult because the shoulder and arm pain is increasing.  I don't pretend to know how it feels to have a stroke, but today I felt a little like I could relate.  My left arm hurts so bad I just want to hold it close to my body and not reach for anything or lift my arm up.  The lower body is getting to be such a pain to move that I feel crippled, almost.  I can move, but it is tough and it hurts.  So, no, I am not paralyzed, but I am shuffling along and holding my left arm close to my body and moving it as little as possible, at times, so I look kind of like I've had a stroke.  (Thank God I have not.)  I'm just one ball of pain.

Sorry for all the complaining.  I'm so ready to move past this.

I didn't do great on my eating today, but not too much volume-wise.  Still trying to pull it together.

1 comment:

  1. That's so much to deal with all at once! I do hope you're able to get it all arranged in the way that will get you back on the healthy track as soon (and as safely) as possible!


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