It has been a very long time since I last posted. I have been down a long and harrowing road in that time, and I hope that there will be some peace for a time now. I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer this past December, and was operated on to remove my uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix and 13 lymph nodes. The lymph nodes had to come out because of the size of the growth. By the time I was correctly diagnosed, the tumor was 13 cm wide. 13 cm. That might not mean a lot to many, but it equals a bit over 6 inches. In a 52 year old uterus. There shouldn't be 13 cm of anything in there at this age!
I was misdiagnosed for about a year by a doctor who was disinterested, at best, in my symptoms. He kept telling me they were normal peri-menopausal goings on, and not to fret, they would soon be over. I knew that the hemorrhagic bleeding and seeping of clear fluid was not normal for me. Fortunately, the type and grade of malignancy were both slow growing and non-aggressive, and that gave me a great chance to be saved. Indeed, I had the most wonderful surgeon in the world on my case, and I think between his skill and the tencacity of my primary care physician, who would not let me take the original quack's word for what was going on, my life was saved. I healed for a few weeks, then went for a course of Internal Brachytherapy, which is focused, internal radiation. My odds for recurrence are less than 5%.
The surgical techniques they have these days are really cool. The doctor made 6 small incisions in my abdomen and inserted laparoscopes through which he did almost all of the work. When everything was trimmed away and ready, they scooped everything they wanted to get rid of out of my vagina and away. No fuss, no muss. Healing takes half the time of conventional open surgery, and the pain is minimized (although by no means absent). The part of the whole experience that is the most fascinating is the effect that surgical menopause is having on me. I am both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times, the masks of Tragedy and Comedy, The ice queen and the devil, burning in hell. I am grateful to be alive, grateful to my good doctors, and my friends and family for their support.
Now here is the caveat: I am boiling inside with a seething, foetid anger, a rage that burns out of control at times over the stupidity of that goddamn imbecile for not recognizing my symptoms. If he had diagnosed me even 6 months earlier, I would not have had to go through radiation hell as I did. If he had done a simple, stupid biopsy a year earlier, I might not have lost my ovaries, because it would have been pre-cancerous cells they would have found, not a full blown fucking LAWN of malignancy. If I had listened to him and ignored the symptoms I might have bled to death (did I mention how anemic I was?) or I would be handed a death sentence somewhere down the road by a doctor who knew what they were talking about. If I had listened to him and been a good, obedient girl, I would be preparing to die right now. No one should die young from a disease that can be diagnosed as easily as this one. The tests are simple, and they don't lie. I want this doctor to squirm and suffer with the knowledge that he could have cost me my life. I believe he knows about it, too, not from me, but from my radiologist, who demanded to know who he was and where he practices. Maybe it will stop him from making the same mistake on another woman. Maybe they just pulled his license and left him for the dogs to devour. I don't really care which, as long as he doesn't ever do this to another woman. Damn his soul to agony forever.
As it stands right now, I go for my first follow up set of tests on June 15th. I am still scared, but not overly so. I believe it will be OK. I just wanted anyone who might stop by to know where life can go.
Don't take anything for granted. You never know when it could be taken from you. Cherish the small things, and hold your babies close to your hearts. Love like there is no tomorrow. Eat chocolate, and smile!