Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Old Avonlady's Orders

The Old Avonlady's Orders

The past three weeks of my life have been Hell - totally and completely HELL!

First there was the routine colonoscopy which the surgeon told me later yielded results showing a tumor, in the same darned location as the first one (which had been malignant) had been and this one, due to prior surgeries, scar tissue, radiation and a host of other issues, he felt it would be impossible to do a resection but most likely, I would have to have a colostomy.

He also told me he was going to check with my chemo doctor, see what kind of cocktail, if any, he could whip up for me and that if I came back in a week to see him, he would then have the full lab reports and be able to give me a layout of what was to come.

Fine. I can deal with that, was my thoughts as I left his office that day.

Over the next three days, I started getting these sharp pains across the lower part of my shoulder area, just above the bra line. Not alarming in that they didn't come when I took a breath but just - well a pain in the back.

By the following Monday evening, I started to develop a rash on my back and two days later that rash had spread across my back and around to the middle of the front of my abdomen. Through surfing various medical sites on the web, I decided I must have the Shingles.

Then, Thursday rolled around and with it came news from my cousin that the state had come in and removed our aunt (age 89) and her daughter, who is severely mentally and physically challenged (age 49) from the family homestead and taken them, with my aunt kicking and screaming all the way, to a local nursing/rehab home.

As proud, determined and independant a woman as my aunt had always been, I knew this was not going to be an easy transition and boy, I was right. It wasn't an easy transition for me either to see them lose this 4, almost 5 decades long fight.

Then, on Friday came my appointment with the surgeon. The first thing he told me was he had good news - it seems according to the lab tests, the tumor was benign after all.

Now this should sound like good news but I don't always trust lab tests and what he said after telling me this too, set off all kinds of red flags to me. He commented that there was also a possibility there might be a second tumor behind the first one which he hadn't found simply because he couldn't scope any further up into the colon because of the first tumor.

That really alarmed me because that is what one of my Mom's doctors had surmised may have happened with her when they had found a tumor in her colon, said it was benign and about 7 weeks later, she was dead of cancer of the rectum, liver and spleen!

But it was his decision to not take ANY action at this time that I think really began to push me dangerously close to the edge of insanity over the next week as I worried about how that might be what was going on now with me too.

Finally, a week later, I ended up talking to my primary care physician and her physician assistant who both felt I needed a second opinion as they both felt with my history, no stone should be left unturned at this point of the game.

A couple of days later, I received a call from a doctor in Pittsburgh giving me an appointment to report down there to him a week from now.

I know there are all kinds of variables in this issue but at least now, knowing someone else is going to take a second, probably closer look-see into all this, it gives me better odds and also, is something ultimately that will have a much fairer potential outcome for my kids in that if it isn't good news, they aren't being led astray thinking all is well within their (and my) little world.

No comments: