Thursday, August 8, 2013

Surgery...19 days wait!

     I finally know what my health problem is and now I need to get this thing out of me. I found out on a Thursday.  They sent off a recommendation to go to a specialist so I waited.  Monday, I still didn't get a call so I called the office of the specialist they sent me to and he is on summer hours and only open Wednesdays!  What the heck.  I was worried he would only see the note when he came in Wednesday and then the soonest he could see me was the next Wednesday.  With fast growing cells like cancer you just can't wait!  So I called back to my doctor and asked if he could call him.  Then I know this doctor works at the cancer center at the hospital so I called him there and talked to the nicest nurse who explained everything and she said she would get a hold of him and get him to call me back.  Nothing Tuesday.  In the mean time this is during the flooding so everything in Medicine Hat is shut down and lots of emergencies are happening.  So you just can't seem to get a hold of anyone!  Wednesday I got a call back that he won't see me and he now passes on his cases to a new doctor in town. I called Sean as I was at work and told him he had to call her, beg her to see me and explain what is going on.  Waiting on these doctors was going to kill me!

     Sean got a hold of her finally and told her everything and said someone has to see me or at least send me to Tom Baker in Calgary.  The doctor was the one that actually answered the phone and talked with Sean.  She let him know she is on holidays starting tomorrow but she will come in to see me because of my age and the importance of my case.  This is now Thursday and I have known I have a tumor for one week.  You can imagine how I am feeling and sleeping.  We were both so worried.

     So I went in and saw her by myself as London was getting her wisdom teeth out in Lethbridge and Sean was with her.  Looking back, I should have found someone to come with me to help me make decisions.  I didn't realize how important this appointment was. The doctor was so nice and answered a ton of questions.  She did another ultrasound in her office and now the tumor was 6 cm around (the size of a baseball).  It was really bumpy and ugly looking.  She also had a resident so she talked him through everything and I got a ton of information none of which good.  She agreed that I had to get this out of me as soon as possible  Unfortunately she was leaving for Belgium the next day and couldn't do it for just over 2 weeks.  I was shocked by this.  She said I have bumped my other surgeries and I have put you on the priority list and can get you in July 16th.  It was June 28 and that was 19 days away!!!  19 days is a life time to wait when you have a fast growing tumor let me tell you!

     She said that she could send me to Tom Baker in Calgary but she didn't know their wait times.  The problem was she wouldn't keep her surgery date here if I wanted to go to Calgary.  She couldn't because it wouldn't be fair to her other patients.  So I either took the guaranteed date or rolled the dice and took a risk that Tom Baker could get me in sooner.  I didn't even have anyone to consult with and ask.  I asked her what she would do if she were me and she said I can't help you make that decision. Didn't matter how many tears or times I asked, she wouldn't budge.  I had to do it on my own.  Anyone that knows me should know I hate making big decisions and this was a biggie!  So I decided to go with the sure thing plus I would be in the hospital 5 days and it would be easier for my family here.  Then we had to decide on how aggressive I wanted to go with the surgery.  1: just take out the ovary then stitch you up. If it is cancer which we will find out later they would have to open me again and take out my lymph nodes and omentum.  2:  Take out everything just to be safe.  I didn't fancy another surgery so I said just take it all out. We came up with a plan and now I had to wait.

    The Friday before my surgery on Tuesday we were out for my last quad ride with my cousins.  We had quad problems so Sean had to go back and get the truck and haul them home.  After he loaded them, he jumped out of the truck and hit a rut and twisted his ankle.  He was in lots of pain.  By the time we got home it was hugely swollen and black and blue.  We thought maybe it was a bad twist but he started to shake and go into shock so London took him to the ER.  Yup, just our luck! It was broken!  They wanted to put it in a cast but he said there was no way as his wife was having surgery in a couple of days and he has a farm full of animals to take care of so they put it in an air boot.  He still was to stay off it totally for 4 weeks.  It is also his driving foot and all the vehicles we own are standards except for a truck.  So now London is our prime caregiver, chauffeur, cook and cleaning lady!  Boy is she going to have a fun summer.

*good ole Oprah and Dr Oz. This is an omentum.  One is healthy and one is from an overweight person.  Mine was the larger one!
Definition: The omentum is a large fatty structure which literally hangs off the middle of your colon and drapes over the intestines inside the abdomen. It is not clear why it evolved as part of the human body, but it does reach every organ in the abdomen, draping over and attaching itself to areas of inflammation. So, as part of its function, it may act as a bandage in case of bad infection or intestinal rupture (such as appendicitis), limiting spread of infection. It is important in ovarian cancer because it has a lot of tiny blood vessels. So cancer cells that have broken away from the ovary like to implant and grow there, known as omental metastasis.

*picture of an ovarian tumor  Mine was 8 cm around bit bigger than a soft ball

     We went to my surgery with a ton of questions as we hadn't been able to talk to the doctor for two weeks and we were worried.  She was great and came into the surgery waiting area all tanned and rested from her holiday and put our mind at ease.  A final kiss goodbye and I was off.  I am always so nervous when I have surgery. I always worry I am going to die (watching too much Grey's Anatomy and ER!)  So I always cry and say my "I love you's".  The surgery was slated to take 1.5 hours.  They opened me up vertically from above my belly button all the way down.  They need a large area as they don't want to spill any of the cancer cells from the tumor.  They took out the ovary first, tested it and found that it was cancerous and went and did the rest of the plan.  They took out 8 lymph nodes around the affected area and throughout other places in my body and they removed my omentum.  It is a huge organ that covers the front of all your innards and is a famous place for ovarian cancer to hide.  The surgery lasted over 3 hours.  As soon as I woke up the doctor was there and told me it was cancer and it had spread to two of my lymph nodes for sure.  One lymph node was double in size and full of debris and the other was enlarged and very mushy.  We don't know how much more it has spread as that all has to be sent away to Tom Baker and takes as long as 6 weeks to get back!  Darn, my worst nightmare! Not only is my cancer back; it's new, mean and ugly and it has spread!  This means chemotherapy.  Let the fear begin.


JRoberts said...

What a post!!

My prayers are with you and your family.

Joanne said...

I haven't commented as of yet because my heart is so full of tears and sadness for this trial and for your family but I appreciate you being so open and we have cried some tears here in the brooks ward for you too. sorry to be such a downer. we love you Kimara and Shaun (poor foot!) and want you to know that we are praying and thinking of you and if you need anything I would love to help! joanne

Kathy T. said...

I'm so sorry Kimara. You have truly been through the wringer! You are so strong though - you can do this!!! We're pulling for you and your family! Sending some extra prayers your way!