I Guess I'm Pretty Lucky: Monday, April 13, 2009

If you'll recall, when I laid out the possible scenarios for my diagnosis in my St. Paddy's Day email to family and friends I said I'd be pretty lucky if it were scenario #2. As a reminder, scenario #2 was that I had separate Stage I ovarian and Stage I uterine cancers versus a Stage III cancer that had either originated in my ovaries or my uterus and metastisized to the other. Obviously, I hoped that I was very lucky and didn't have any cancer at all on my ovaries but I wasn't very lucky as I'd find out the morning of Monday, April 13. Below is the email I sent everyone after I found what I was facing from Dr. E. Even though I had prepared for this news, I was still pretty bummed. Oh well, no biological babies for me.

Subject: Update #5...or is it 6? [For the record, I think it was actually #3 or 4.]


Well, I’m afraid I don’t have the best news to share with all of you today. This morning I had my post-op appointment with my doctor and found out that I have cancer on my ovaries, colon, and bladder, in addition to the cancer I have in my uterus. At this point, based on the pathology from the surgery and without further pathology on my uterus, it appears that I have Stage II ovarian cancer (because it has metastasized onto my colon and bladder) and Stage I uterine cancer. While this is not the worst case scenario my doctors presented at the outset, it’s certainly not the news I was hoping for. Basically, what this means is that I have simultaneously occurring endometrioid adenocarcinoma (endometrial cancer) on my ovaries, which appears to have spread from my ovaries to my colon and bladder, and in my uterus. Fortunately, while my endometriosis penetrated my colon, the cancerous tissue remained contained to the outside of the colon and has already been removed.

So, what next? Now I have the other ugly “C” word to look forward to! Hopefully, if my incision infection is cleared up by next Monday, I’ll have my first seven hour chemo treatment before the end of next week. I can expect to have an upset stomach and fatigue for about 48-72 hours following each treatment and I will lose my hair pretty much immediately. My doctor would like for me to have three rounds of chemo (each three weeks apart) before I go back to have a hysterectomy because he wants to attack all of the cancer cells in my pelvis several times before having me go through another surgery and taking the time off to let me recuperate from that surgery. So, at this point it looks like my next surgery will be in mid-July. I will probably have 2-3 more rounds of chemo following that surgery. It remains unclear whether or not I will have to have radiation in addition to the chemo treatments. Also, while moving forward with plans for chemo, I’m getting a pathology consult from Hopkins on everything they removed during my surgery and will also go back to the Hopkins oncologist for a second opinion on my course of treatment.

So, I think that sums it up. I wish I had better news to share with all of you. If you have questions about my diagnosis or treatment, please direct them to Melissa S., who is copied on this email. I’m happy to talk with people but as you can imagine, it gets very tiresome to explain things multiple times.

Take care and have a good week,

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