Monday, September 04, 2006

Hospitals....getting used to the visits now.

Firstly I would like to say thank you to everyone who has visited my blog recently. Wow. I have new visitors...its lovely to meet you all.

Well here I am back from hospital. And guess what, I didnt have surgery. Not too much drama really but a very interesting turn of events when I mentioned the abdominal problems I have been having. Regular readers will remember around the middle of June when I said I had stomach cramp and bloating...I really thought it was due to the stress of finding out about cancer etc.

Went into the hospital on Wednesday, and the house surgeon came to visit me to see if I was in good health for surgery(LOL). Mentioned the bloating etc. She felt my minute xrays, ultrasounds and blood tests were being ordered. Well blow me I am not pregnant....I have a tumour on one of my ovarys. After a hysterectomy 6 years ago, both ovaries left...I think yippeee thats it for any surgery down there wrong can one be!

So the house surgeon & my surgeon and her registrar are all in 'we need to check everything mode' so breast surgery was put off, I had a CT scan...which showed bone lesions. So I had to have a bone scan (being injected with radioactive material is a real blast).

At this point I will explain all this. The ultrasound showed some solid bits on the tumour...which gave suspicions of cancer. What they had to determine was, had it spread from the breast, had the breast got it from the ovary, or was it another primary cancer (new). Xrays and blood tests from when I first had surgery (3 weeks ago) were all clear, so it showed any cancer in my body hadnt gone to the liver or lungs - the first places breast of ovarian cancer will go too (they are very similar in the way they act). So the CT scan would show if there was any general spreading, but this showed the lesions, so the next step, the bone scan would show if cancer had gone to the bones - that would be diastrous.

The CT scan was good, except for lesions. The bone scans thankfully, were clear. The lesions were not eating away of bone (which would be indicative of cancer), but extra bits had appeared...probably caused when I was younger from situations such as falling off horses or any other misadventure I managed to put my body through.

The breast cancer op was put on hold...the ovarys suddenly went to No. 1 position. So I met a gyno surgeon...lovely man of few words. I am booked in next week to have the ovarys removed, and then my breast surgeon will come in and do her bit. (so almost a top and tail) Nothing more can be told about the ovary until it is removed, but the general news is, after all the tests, whatever it is, it hasnt spread.

So I am looking at up to 2 weeks in hospital, surgery is next week...they really want to look after me. The whole thing put everyone in a spin...because there were discussions of various outcomes and treatments...I may of had to have chemo or radiation first. If it went to bones, they wouldnt of worried about the breast straight away....gosh I almost had the coffin nailed shut. I knew things were getting worse, when the surgeons kept going off to ring DH all the time to come up to hospital because 'He needs to hear this'.

I was allowed out on leave on Friday, and went back into the ward this morning, thinking I was going to visit the oncologist for the next step. One of the surgeons had rung me on Saturday morning (we stayed in CHCH), to say some of the tests had come back clear. That was encouraging. Then I found out this morning I didnt need to see the oncologist at this stage, because the rest of the tests were good.

So as I wrote earlier, once the ovary is out, that will say what sort of further treatment I need, and same with the extra breast surgery (just removing a clearer margin) and removal of lymph nodes. But the good thing through all this is, everything is treatable. There was even talk of maybe not having chemo...I wont hold my breath there...thats only if lymph nodes are clear.

But it is all terribly exhausting...being in hospital was great because all the people I have been dealing with, all came and sat with me for hours on end just answering questions. And they didnt care that I asked the same questions over and over. I found it hard to sleep, and the nurses on 'graveyard' duty were happy to sit and chat as well. All I can say is the staff at Christchurch Hospital are fantastic.

Which takes me back to the doctor I visited here in town here when I first got the stomach cramps...I finally got in to see a locum - after being put on hold all the time - to be poked and prodded, and sent home being told not to eat anything. The problem went away so I forgot about it. It had come back a few weeks later ( I thought due to the stress of this other business - but obviously activated by my cycle). But I never worried about it. Maybe I should have gone back to the doctor, to say the problem wasnt going away, but I didnt want to spend money to be told nothing was wrong again. In hindsight I think I am my own worst enemy when it comes to visiting doctors.

During the weekend I visited a hairdresser, and I was so tempted to cut all my hair off, I just got a good trim and tidy tends to dry out after anesthestic. Just as well I didnt have a major assault on my would have been drastic and maybe even unecessary. Thats another thing that can wait until I hear more results.

Staying with the rest of my family over the weekend was really humbling. Davidson House is where people with cancer and their families can stay during treatment - when they come from outside Christchurch. I met some fantastic people, that are dealing with their own demons.

I am still going to knit my hats though...well a couple at will keep me busy, even though I still have the dreaded cardi to knit and all my stitching and crazy quilting.

Wow, I have really prattled on, I hope it is understandable...thanks you again for all the well wishes :)

I am far from out of the woods yet and still taking one day at a time!!!!


Kath said...

Wow Margaret, amazing all these turns of events. And you are so brave about it all. I had been thinking of you and wondering how you were and was plaeased to see an update in your blog and on the message board.

I so wish you well, and do hope that the surgeons get on to you quickly.

Stitchie Kiwi said...

Gosh, what a roller coaster journey Margaret. I have been, and will continue thinking about you.


LynnP said...

Hi Margaret,

Wow. I'm mightily impressed by your attitude. I've been following your posts on StitchNZ from my state of lurkdom.
My Mum went through breast cancer surgery at the beginning of this year, and I just wanted to wish you well for all of the impending operations. In the end Mum's lymph nodes were clear and she didn't have to have radiation or chemo. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you on that count too.

I'm told that attitude plays a large part in dealing with cancer and recovery from surgery - and by your messages, I'd say you'll do great.

Kia kaha.

Rowyn said...

Wishing you all the best Margaret. Stay positive! Sending big hugs your way.

Stitch or no stitch said...

Some path (via another blog) led me here & am glad to have arrived. We have a few things in common including our first name & that wretched breast cancer. I'm a survivor, not once but twice (1998 & 2004 & going the entire route including chemo both times). With the positive attitude you have you're going to beat this too. I'm adding your link to my side-bar & will be back to visit.

Hugs, Margaret

Singular Stitches said...

Margaret, sweeite, you're in my thoughts. What a surprise about the ovary!

abeautifulcraft said...

Margaret .... am so happy for you with these turn of events. It must have been so stressing going through this, but your peace of mind must be at a higher level. Will keep you and your family in my prayers for up-coming procedures. HUGS

Nancy in IL said...

Oh my dear sweet Margaret...I'm so sorry to hear of all your health problems, and your attitude is astounding. You're such a trooper, but I already knew that! I'm back here blogging after 3 months of family problems, and I'll be watching you like a hawk now. Please keep us up to date. Prayers and good thoughts wafting your way.

Von said...

Wow, what a saga! I'm so glad the after everything you've been through, the result looks good for you! Your attitude is to be commended, so positive really - it's no wonder that the hospital staff took such good care of you. You'll all be family when you've finished with all this. :D

Continued prayers and lots of hugs!