Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On The Horizon...

A week ago -on Monday, March 8th -I had an outpatient procedure performed -a cone biopsy.

This is a biopsy done on the cervix but in this procedure, the innermost tissues of the cervix are scraped and examined. It was done because for the past two years, I have had abnormal results in my annual Pap tests.

Yesterday (March 15th) I had an appointment with the OB/GYN doctor who did the Cone Biopsy to learn the results of this test -as well as what recommendations she has for me too.

The upshot of the biopsy is that I have pre-cancerous tissue present and her recommendation is that I have a hysterectomy.

On the surface, this sounds pretty cut and dried, doesn't it? And in essence, it is that except in my case there are other circumstances.

First off, I had a colon resection done almost seven years ago to remove a malignant tumor in my colon. Then, two years after that, I had a blockage in my right urinary tract which was "corrected" by having sort of the equivalent of the colon resection except this time, it was to reroute the urinary tract around the blockage.

Then, a year after that -because of issues occurring in the colon -beginning with an infection in the outer lining of the colon at the site of the colon resection surgery - a colostomy was the recommended procedure.

About two years ago now, I learned I have a hernia too -in the area of the colostomy.

Wonnerful, wonnerful, huh?

The surgeon who did the colostomy felt surgery to correct the hernia was not a good thing as he said often it weakens the area of the surgery and creates a sort of fertile ground for yet another hernia and could then lead to even more abdominal surgery.

So today, when the OB/GYN doctor was discussing the necessary hysterectomy, she suggested that perhaps -since they would obviously have the abdomen opened up and since I've already had three major abdominal surgeries (the two mentioned above plus 29 years ago, I also had my gall bladder and appendix removed), plus the colostomy -that correcting the hernia might be a feasible thing to consider in connection with the hysterectomy.

Now, the problem with this is that the local surgeon here isn't keen on doing the hernia repair because he wasn't the surgeon who did the colostomy and it is his belief that my doctor in Pittsburgh -who did the colostomy -should be the one to do the hernia repair. And if they were to do that and the hysterectomy simultaneously, then I would have to go to Pittsburgh (136 miles from here) to have that done which would then also entail engaging a new OB/GYN doctor in that vicinity who practices at UPMC as does the surgeon I had before for the colostomy.

So now I have to contact the surgeon in Pittsburgh, talk this problem over with him and get his opinion on how to proceed with the upcoming removal of these things!

Ideally, if I have to have these things done, I would prefer to have the OB/GYN doctor I have here to do the hysterectomy but I would also prefer that my previous surgeon in Pittsburgh be the one to do the hernia repair. However, that just ain't gonna work, folks!

I'd prefer to have the surgery done, if possible, at the local hospital as for openers, it would be much more feasible for my family if I am only "incarcerated" (shall we say) for five to seven days in an institution that is a mere 22-23 miles from my home as opposed to traveling 136 miles, one way, to spend that amount of time that far away from my family!

Ah, decisions, decisions! Sure would be nice if the decisions I have to make of late didn't involved cutting into my gut again!

But unfortunately, that's not the case.

So it's gonna mean a bit of phone tag I suppose to reach my surgeon in Pittsburgh, possibly a trip or two down there for preliminary examinations, consultations, etc. And then, figuring out from what he says, what route to take.

Frankly, aside from the distance and travel required -plus the prep I would imagine that would be needed too for abdominal surgery (same drill as one has before having a colonoscopy and in that case, the prep stuff is really worse than the procedure) -but I really like the surgeon in Pittsburgh -very, VERY, nice eye candy ya know, plus he is just a sweetheart to deal with. Best bedside manner I've ever encountered over the years! So at least, the fact I like that particular doctor -a lot (and so do my daughters for that matter -tee hee) does help to make the trip and all that crapola a bit more enticing.

So tell me -what would you do anyway?

Looks like this spring and/or summer is gonna be one of me recuperating -again, or maybe I should say, as usual, huh?


Smalltown RN said...

OH Jeni...I am so sorry to hear you have to go through all this...how distressing.

So first thing that comes to my mind is why isn't the OBGYN doctor coordinating the surgery? Why isn't he/she forwarding all necessary documents to your GP and your GP coordinating with your surgeon in Pittsburgh?

If you have to go to Pittsburgh...why can't the surgeon order any pre op work/tests to be done in your local hospital and they forward the information to him in Pittsburgh. Seems totally uncessary for you to travel all that way just for testing that might be able to be done locally.

Why can't an OBGYN surgeon work in conjunction with the GI doctor? I mean why can't the GI doctor do his part in the sugery and they the OBGYN doctor step in and do their part? We do that here...seems like you need your GP to start doing some coordination for you....

I hope all goes well...please keep us posted....big gentle hugs to you!

This Eclectic Life said...

Oh, my friend. My thoughts are with you. Virtual hugs from me, too!

Sandee said...

I agree that going to Pittsburgh is the right thing to do. Both doctors need to weigh in here. Okay, you can enjoy the eye-candy too.

Have a terrific day. :)

Marguerite said...

So sorry that you have to have more surgery, Jeni. I understand why you would want to have it done, closer to home. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Blessings, Marguerite

Travis said...

Yeesh. I'm sorry you have to go through all that mess. I advise talking it through with all of your health care professionals, digesting (no pun intended) all the information, and then making the decision that is best for your immediate health and for your recovery.

terri said...

This is so much to deal with and think about. I'm so sorry. What a mess. I hope that you can get things figured out without too much trouble and have everything taken care of with the least amount of stress possible!