The working part of Vegas went really well last week. My energy was back and I was in a great mood - work was definitely taking my mind off things and the motivation and inspiration of the event was lifting me up. Then on Tuesday evening as I was getting ready for dinner, I started spotting.
My doctor had told me that a little spotting was normal, but if there was bright red blood, give her a call, so I did. She told me to go to the emergency room just to have them check things out. She said that the bleeding was most likely because a small piece of the scab that was protecting my cervix from last week's procedure had sloughed off...it wasn't serious and the doctor would most likely put some medicine on the site that would stop the bleeding. So off to the ER I went.
After doing a pelvic exam, the ER doctor said that the bleeding was a breakthrough period and discharged me. As I was walking out of the hospital, I could feel that something wasn't right...so I went to the bathroom to find a significant amount of blood. It most definitely was not a period. I went back to triage and told them that they had to re-admit me and that I needed to have a GYN examine me. They were reluctant...but after some pursuading (screaming) from my oncologist here in Dallas, the nurse put me back on the 4 hour ER waiting room list. The bleeding continued for the next four hours and after another exam by the ER doctor...and a third exam by the GYN who was on call, they discharged me again saying that it "was just a period." I've never been so frustrated in all of my life.
Seriously, it felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. I couldn't believe the way that the doctors and nurses at this hospital were treating me...and even more absurd was that they really believed that the amount of blood I was losing was a period. I've never in my life bled like that...even after giving birth to Reagan, I didn't bleed like that.
My oncologist here in Dallas was amazing. She stayed on the phone with me literally all night long. She was also just as frustrated and knew that I needed additional treatment before getting on a plane back to Dallas the next day. She finally tracked down a doctor friend of hers in Vegas who is in the same field of medicine and was able to convince her to see me right away - by this time it was 7:00 Wednesday morning. I made it to the other hospital where she was at quickly. I was so scared. I could tell that I had lost a significant amount of blood and I barely had any energy. I was dizzy and felt like I could pass out at any minute. When I walked through the doors of the hospital to meet with the doctor, she asked if I was still having much bleeding. I simply looked down and moved my legs apart a little bit...blood was streaming out of me and puddling on the floor. She immediately took me to the operating room. She put me under and cauterized the surgical site to stop the bleeding. It most definitely was not a period. We're not exactly sure how it happened...but we're pretty certain that the ER doctor irritated things by removing the entire scab that had been on my cervix, causing my cervix to actively bleed for more than 8 hours.
So, there you have it. My living nightmare. It just goes to show that there are good doctors and there are bad doctors. You have to go with your gut. You know your body better than anyone else. If you don't like the answers the doctors give you, speak up! I'm so thankful that I did. I could be in much worse shape than I am. My blood levels are still pretty low...even a week later. My energy is super low. I get headaches and dizzy when I stand up. I'm tired. I'm pissed at those doctors at the first hospital and can still get myself worked up to the point that I'm shaking when I talk about it...or write about it - like now. Onward and upward though...no time to dwell on the negative stuff...
My oncologist got the pathology back from the May 1st cone procedure and it looks as though my cancer is staged at 1B1. She wants to review my case with the tumor board at UT Southwestern as it is a rare case and the information learned through the pathology suggests that it is borderline 1A2 and 1B1...which ultimately determines the next steps in the treatment of this disease in my body. A hysterectomy is most definitely a possibility, especially if the 1B1 stage is confirmed. Our appointment to talk about all of that is set for May 28th.
I can't say it enough - I appreciate everyone's prayers. This is such an incredible journey already...its just barely been a month since I was officially diagnosed. I'm in good spirits for the most part but I have my days too...like today. I found myself reading the www.cancer.gov website today and the treatments for 1B1 cervical cancer...and I didn't like what I read. Though the word "cancer" sucks, I've become somewhat used to it now. The words "chemotherapy" and "radiation" don't sit well...my doctor hasn't mentioned them...but the website does...praying that neither are necessary. I don't want to be sick. I don't want to be tired. So prayers please - prayers that I won't have to go down that road and that my body will be cured with surgery.
Here is a video that Judy (she keeps Reagan for us when we're working) sent me while I was in the hospital in Vegas.