September 26, 2014
Today was a day full of information to process as I received results from all of the lab work and imaging I have undergone the last couple of weeks. Thankfully my Mom and John were with me, and I am grateful for their unwavering love and support!
The results shoe that my bladder has healed extremely well after the resection of the tumor back in June and there are no new growths. The mass that was seen on my T6 vertebra on my spine is unchanged; this is also good news as it reaffirms that it is not cancer. The fibroids in my uterus are unchanged; this is a bit of a mixed bag as the Dr. explained. Typically, if a mass shrinks after Chemo is administered, or it if grows, it is a likely sign of cancerous cells and the mas being malignant. If the mass, or fibroids, don’t change in size this could mean that they are either benign, or that they just didn’t respond in any way to Chemo. It turns out that there is no way to biopsy these fibroids in my uterus, which is mind boggling. How is it that open heart sirgury can be done, brain sirgury can be done, but a biopsy of the fibroids in the uterus cannot be done? The uterus expands to hold and deliver a child, and yet no one will do a biopsy of the fibroids in it.
I did get the explanation that Drs. think there is to grate a risk involved in biopsying uterin fibroids, including puncturing surrounding organs. So the only way to really know if fibroids are cancerous is to have a historectomy done. Once the uterus has been removed, the fibroids can be biopsied, sent to the lab, and a diagnosis achieved…The troubling aspect of all this is that the biopsy can come back negative, meaning that the fibroids are “not” cancerous. If this is the case however, there’s no turning back because you cannot reattach the uterus into its owner’s body…
The last result of the day was a new and shocking finding. There seems to be an increased amount of fluid in my heart as of the last MRI. This is known as a Paracardial Effusion. When I heard this news, I broke down in tears. All I could think of was, “please, not my heart!” NThe concern this raises is that extra fluid around the heart can put pressure on the heart limiting its ability to function normally. Then there is the concern of not knowing where or how this extra fluid came from, or what caused it.
The next step then is to figure out what is going on with my heart. Perhaps it is just a fluke with the MRI, but this needs to be investigated. Once this is settled then I’ll be able to proceed with either bladder sirgery, or with a historectomy and bladder sirgery. The bladder sirgery would be a “Partial Resection” of the bladder, which means that the piece of the bladder where the tumor was found would be removed, and my bladder would be stretched and resown together forming a smaller bladder. The historectomy would involve removing my uterus but keeping my ovaries in order to keep my hormone production as normal as possible since I am still young for menopause.
For now, John and I need to return home. I have a lot of thinking to do about what I would like to do with regards to the bladder and the uterus surgeries, and I need to follow up with a Cardiologist. In short, there’s more yet to come. Emotions are high, and I am scared of what this new finding could lead us to discover. Yet there is a part of me that is determined to continue fighting, to continue finding answers and figuring out what I can do to help my body heal…I have been praying a lot as well, and deep down I know that I will find my way through this as well. It’s a journey that is teaching me so much, and I hope we can share with each other what we all learn along the way.