Two weeks down and another step closer to being cancer free! Wahoo!
We met with the first oncologist last week and he told us that he thinks we've caught the cancer early - praise The Lord! He said that the cells around my cervix look healthy and he is hopeful that he can get all of the cancer with a minimally invasive procedure called a cold knife cone. Once he does that procedure, he will know for sure if the cancer has spread into my uterus - if it has, then I will have to have a hysterectomy. Fingers crossed that isn't the case. We have an appointment with a second oncologist tomorrow to hear her thoughts and opinions on what the best course is to take.
My birthday was last Thursday. Cheers to being 32! It started out kind of yucky as I had to have a PET scan that morning. I had no idea what it was but figured I'd just roll into the hospital, drink some stuff, wait an hour or so and then they would roll me through a machine and I'd be on my way. Not the case. Turned out that I had to get a blood pregnancy test, IV and sit completely still for two hours. I hate giving blood and despise the whole process of getting an IV. I passed out every time I had to give blood when I was pregnant and now, when I have to do it, I have to lay down during the process because passing out is pretty much inevitable. The nurse tried to get "the line started" at first from that spot where my arm bends (what is that called anyway???). She missed the vein and then had to tell me all about it - which is definitely the best way to make me nauseous. Then, she moved on to my hand and had to tell me how my veins were "rolly polly." Pass. Out. Ugh...just writing about it make my stomach weak again. She finally gave up and sent in another nurse to try. Thankfully he was able to get the IV in on the first try. I thought I was good to go, only to find out that they had to take blood for the pregnancy test - they had to ensure that I wasn't preggers prior to injecting me with whatever radioactive potion they use. So, another nurse and more needles later, the pregnancy test came back negative and I was on my way to starting the two hour process of the PET scan. I had to sit completely still while the juice of the IV ran through my veins. I couldn't play with my phone or even listen to music. There wasn't a TV in the room or anything to look at other than the grey cinder block walls. So I just sat there...still...for an hour. Then, they moved me into the scan room where they rolled me through the machine for an hour. Again, I had to lay there and not move a muscle while they did the scan. It was nerve racking as I feared that if I even twitched, I would screw something up and have to start all over again. Thankfully, I didn't and was able to get out of there and start my birthday. The day only got better from there. How could it not? All of that yucky stuff didn't seem nearly as bad as I was sipping margaritas and feasting on guacamole and fajitas will my faves later that night.
The nurse called on Friday to let me know that the PET scan was good - my lymph nodes are clear of the cancer! Two fist pumps to Jesus! The cancer seems to be localized to my cervix..."and lower uterus." I don't like that last part, but the nurse assured me that doesn't necessarily mean that the cancer is actually in my uterus. She said that the cervix and uterus are "zoned together" when they read the report. I'll be sure to question that when we meet with the other oncologist tomorrow...
I was pretty emotional Friday after the call from the nurse. I was secretly hoping that she was going to tell me that there was some big mistake and the PET scan didn't show any cancer anywhere. I guess that was the denial stage of this whole ordeal. Oh well...I did my crying and have moved on. I have cancer and the only way to get rid of it is to deal with it. So I am. If we decide to go with the doctor we talked to last week, the cold knife cone surgery will be next Wednesday. I'm thrilled that they are on top of everything and working me in quickly...and nervous at the same time at the sense of urgency they have.
And my lesson to share with you today friends, is one that was shared with me this last week from my high school English teach who beat prostate cancer a couple of years ago. After sharing my diagnosis with him last week, he sent me an email back with the subject "Still Lucky." He said that when he was diagnosed with his cancer, he sent an email out to his friends and family to let them know and the title of the email was "Lucky." I'm lucky for the same reasons that he was – and is. I have a loving and supportive network of friends and family. I have good health care facilities in Texas, and I also have health insurance. There are so many people who don’t have what I have. There are so many people who have much worse cancers than I have - more aggressive and advanced ones. I am going to live - there are many people who can't say the same. I'm lucky!
I'm also lucky for all of your prayers - I appreciate each and every one of them - keep them coming! XOXOXO