Below is the email that I sent everyone (the distribution list had grown considerably by this time) to let them know my decision to move forward with surgery on Thursday, April 2. I wrote this following the last appointment I had the week of March 23, which turned out to be a 5 p.m. pre-op appointment with Dr. E on Friday, March 27. During that appointment, I FINALLY decided to move forward with invasive pelvic surgery (read: 4 inch vertical incision starting an inch below my belly button) to biopsy things to formally diagnosis my cancer. In order to commit to the invasive surgery, I had to get over my belief that going with the invasive approach (versus laparascopy, which was only offered as an option at Hopkins) might increase the odds that they would find cancer on my ovaries. I know that this sounds CRAZY -- and it is -- but your mind plays weird tricks on you when you're dealing with the dreaded "C." I realized that I was desperate to do the less invasive approach not to avoid having a big scar but because somehow I thought that less invasive surgery = finding less cancer. As you can imagine, It was a big decision but I felt trememdous relief once I decided to do it. I babysat Melissa & Geoff's son on the 27th and I think I passed out on their couch at about 8:30 p.m. It had been a long week and I was exhausted.
Subject: Update #2
PLEASE DO NOT “REPLY TO ALL” TO THIS MESSAGE
TGIF! It’s been a long week of diagnostic tests (starting to feel a bit like a human pin cushion…), second and third opinions, nutritionists, acupuncture, etc. Long story short, I’ve decided to move forward with exploratory surgery in order to diagnosis and treat my endometrial and potential ovarian cancer. Dr. John Elkas at INOVA Fairfax Hosptial will perform the surgery on Thursday, April 2 at 8 a.m.
Fortunately, I’ve received some good test results this week (most importantly, there does not appear to be any cancer anywhere else in my body except for my ovaries (possibly) and my uterus (definitely)) but there are still many questions, so after hours of doctor appointments and much deliberation, I’ve decided that Dr. Elkas’ approach makes the most sense and will provide the most definitive information in the most efficient manner.
My surgery will last between 1-2 hours and my parents will be at the hospital with me. All of you on this email will receive an email on Thursday afternoon about the outcome of my surgery. I probably won’t be allowed to/want to see any visitors until late Thursday evening or Friday. It’s likely that I’ll spend about 2-3 days in the hospital and will then need to recover at home for another week or so. I won’t learn my exact diagnosis, prognosis, and potential subsequent treatment course until about 10 days after the surgery (I know, kind of unbelievable in 2009, but true!)
Anyway, thanks to all of you for your continued support and prayers! My family and I appreciate all of it.
Take care and have a great weekend!