It’s been a big week. In summary: I’ve had the cone biopsy; struggled with the effects of general anaesthetic; been looked after and frustrated my mother; got the good news results; and now have some research and thinking to do. From the beginning, though I guess I’ve written about the cone biopsy day.
Beware this will be another post with bodily function type stuff that not everyone wants to read about…skip it or those bits if you’re one of these people.
Thursday I didn’t feel awful. I had all sorts of tummy and I think really bowel area cramping from the exploration Doctor Tan did in that area. It felt like über constipation. Mum walked up the shop and I ate a whole lot of licorice. Wasn’t as immediately helpful as it could have been, but it did help over a few days, plus the addition of prunes and pear juice. Now I feel mostly normal, still not quite 100% but close.
***Note to self: anaesthetic makes you nauseous and constipated. Start eating licorice and prunes a few days before***
In terms of the bleeding stuff, this time has been much less thus far. As in there is very minor staining only. Of course I haven’t done any exercise, not even a few body weight squats or sit ups, so maybe that’s why…who knows. I’m still not really feeling like I want to exercise so I’m not right yet. I think it’s the anaesthetic still keeping me low.
And with that, you’ve got through the worst of the icky content.
My medical certificate was for the 16th to the 24th inclusive, but I went back to work yesterday for a few hours, and came in late today. And will likely be late again tomorrow. So those hours of sick leave are also covered. Win. I also got a carers certificate for mum, she got an extra day at the start to fly over. Win for her so she can use carers leave instead of annual.
Results and Relief:
In other (good) news, I got a call from Doctor Tan yesterday, at last. I didn’t see him at all on Wednesday, and the nurses said he’d call on Friday. Turns out Monday the results came through and he called. I did have to call his practice on Tuesday afternoon saying I don’t think this is a particularly good way to go…no contact, in my book, is piss poor. I was much nicer to the receptionist of course – its not her fault! She must have got the hint and sent an email with strong words to Doctor Tan and he called back about half an hour later.
The results: I’m all clear. Relief! He said that the lab testing this time says that there are clean margins and that his exploration didn’t highlight anything else anywhere else. He then said that there was no pressing need for a hysterectomy because I’m not done with having children yet. Well what does that mean? I dunno yet, I was too surprised and happy to think that far ahead. So apparently if I were done with having children he would recommend a simple hysterectomy, and expects the tumor council to also. This is the big Why. I’m going to go into investigation mode to find out.
So many unknowns! I need to know from Doctor Tan just what he did and how it would affect childbearing in the future. On the off chance that I find mister right and we decide we want kids, is it possible and what would happen given the cervix is to some extent compromised. To be found out. Why is it that the clear results still have a recommendation of hysterectomy? I’m not going to avoid a hysterectomy for an outside chance of sir-awesome arriving when it compromises my health…if he has a problem with that then he’s relegated to peon-awesome. Also, if I am saying no to hysterectomy because I want to be working properly asap then thats a shitty reason if it increases chances of this stuff coming back. Grandpas brain wave was if I leave it for 3-5 years how does that affect the health stuff, then if sir-awesome arrives there are options. Sure the options may involve being in bed for months, but they’re options (not great).
There is also the thought of both a second opinion and if hysterectomy, a new surgeon in Melbourne. Make every ones life easier if I did it in Melbourne. So we’ll see.
It’s been good having mum here. It would have been much harder without her. I really would not have felt like driving up to the store or cooking and things like that. And having her around to talk to after these results has been great too. Last night she finally spilled on the level of her annual leave…there is plenty but not masses. So we looked into flights back to Melbourne for her, reduce the impact to her leave levels. This was eye opening: 23 Sept $400; 24 Sept $700; 25 Sept $1400; 30 Sept $1100. Seriously, these are one way flight prices on the same daily Virgin and Qantas flights. Astonishing. So I’ll take her to the airport tomorrow morning.
She’s managed to do a bit of exploring despite staying home with me all weekend. Yesterday she took a whole lot of photos of spring wildflowers at Kings Park. Today she was attempting the double – Serpentine Falls and 60 Foot Falls. I think the only thing that will slow her will be the hills up the Baldwins Bluff, they were decent and she has less hills at home than I do! She’s also crocheted a whole lot of this hodge podge blanket to use the small pieces (scraps) of home spun and dyed wool, and started edging the ‘magic weave-it squares’. I haven’t seen project number three because she had too much fun with the blanket and didn’t put it down. Mindless easy work to do while watching Breaking Bad I guess, she’s a huge convert! I got the next two seasons from Ushta today so will give them to mum.
Immense thank you’s also go to amazing friends, Andrea, Ally, Ushta, Victoria, Noel. You’re all fantastic and I would be (more) crazy without you.
And that is me all up to date. Lying low and taking it easy.
So just when I press publish, Doctor Tan called again. Seems he got another message to call me. It was an old message as he called yesterday, but it was also fortuitous because I had the above questions. Now some are in part answered. Yay!
To the WHY: the reason a hysterectomy continues to be recommended is that there is a chance of it recurring as they cannot guarantee all the virus is gone, though they do say all the virus that has progressed to squamous cells is gone. Due to the cone biopsy and regrowth, detection with a colposcopy is difficult and problematic. Apparently it can regrow in the hidden areas and colposcopys need to be done regularly by a high risk specialist to increase the chances of detection if it does come back. Taking the cervix and the uterus means that it is highly likely that any adventuring virus cells have been removed. The cancer cells are the ones that seem to adventure to the lymph nodes and other organs. I’ll do some more googling, but there we go.
On the topic of sir-awesome and how cone biopsy affects childbearing, that is to be determined. Turns out that the reason the follow up appointment is in two weeks is because the cervix in part regrows. The extent of that regrowth will dictate the affect on how likely a baby is to be carried full term. He isn’t the specialist on babies and keeping them in etc., but he says that the obstetrician would monitor closely and there may be an element of bed rest, stitches to keep it closed, and any number of other ways to help increase the chances of baby fully growing before it pops out. Sounds like a bunch of whatever for a maybe sir-awesome when kids have never been on the agenda. I feel my mind is very close to made up.
The other couple of things he said that were useful are that he’d put my full history on a USB so that can be given to specialists in the future…chances of me returning to Perth for either Doctor Wu or Doctor Tan are slim even whenever I do return to Australia. I also told him that I’d much rather a hysterectomy in Melbourne, so asked him about a recommendation for a Melbourne Doctor. He said he’d worked there and has recommendations, so he’ll have them ready for me on 2 October.
This time I’m calling this post over and out 🙂