Benign

It’s been a good week and I have a rare opportunity this morning to sit outside in the courtyard, watching the sun rise above the trees, and share the events of the past few days.

My daughter, Marie, her husband, Nick, and my “grandcar”….”Gunter”…are visiting from Michigan this week and I’ve taken the weekend off to spend three days with my daughters. The weather in Seattle will be fabulous with temperatures near 90. We have a couple of outdoor weddings on Saturday and my high school reunion Saturday night. We’ll see “Eat Pray Love” today and dine on crab and mussels and shrimp at “The Crab Pot” on the waterfront in Seattle. I’m so excited to spend some time with Marie, Nick and Amanda! 🙂

I also got good news on Tuesday when I learned that I’d gotten a promotion at the bookstore. Both jobs are going well and I feel appreciated for the work that I do. That feels good. 🙂 A financial boost would be nice, too, though. LOL!!! I found out yesterday that the starting wage at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels is more than what I make at either of my jobs. OY! Oh well….there’s room for advancement and that’s what I’m working on. And….it was good to see my $66 paycheck deposited in my account this morning. I’ll try not to spend it all in one place…..half to my gas tank and half to my medical bills! 🙂

Perhaps the best news of all came on Monday morning when I learned that a tumor in my uterus was benign. I’ve had one urinary tract infection after another this year (having never had problems with them before), and when I went in a couple of weeks ago to treat the most recent infection, I insisted that we look into the situation a little more closely. My concern was that perhaps the lymphoma had returned or perhaps there was a problem with my bladder that may have been caused by the chemo drugs.

My internist ordered a pelvic ultrasound and I trotted off to the familiar location at the hospital…I DO know my way around by now! 🙂 The ultrasound started out with an external scan of my organs after which she said….”You know, I think that we should do a vaginal ultrasound, too”.

“OK” Hmmm. Uh oh. This doesn’t sound like fun! Versed, please?

So…well….you prepare yourself for an internal scan and the technician pulls out something that…honest to goodness…all I could think of was Luke Skywalker and his light saber. My eyes got big and I just thought….”OH MY!” It looked like a two foot long vibrator without all the bells and whistles! I won’t go into any further details but will just say that it was not the most pleasant 10 minutes of my life. A few days later, when I talked to my doctor about the results, she said that my ovaries looked normal, my bladder looked normal but…I have two fibroids and, based on my past history, it would be a good idea for me to follow up with my gynecologist.

So, last week I went to see my gynecologist….who is a wonderful doctor. We sat down and he read the radiologist’s report to me…”anterior”…”posterior”…”possible carcinoma”. Possible carcinoma. I know what that means. Well, here we go again. He explains the scenario and what we need to do…take a biopsy…and he opens a drawer and takes out a sterilized package. My dog breeder friends will understand when I describe the instrument displayed to me as “18 inches of French tubing”. It looked just like what you’d use to tube feed a puppy…and I smiled to myself ….BEFORE he explained to me that he was going to insert this into my uterus, swirl it around and get a sample. “LOL! Oh really!” I said. “Do I get Versed with that?” He laughed and said that…no, the procedure would only take 30 seconds and that while there would be a little cramping (Yes, there was) I should be able to endure it without needing to take a nap in his exam room for the next hour. We did the endometrial biopsy, the annual exam and a CBC last Wednesday and then I went home and waited through the weekend for the results….

The results: the tumor is benign, everything else is normal and I am post-menopausal. Woo Hoo!!! 🙂

I wasn’t scared to hear the word “cancer” again. I have no fear of death or cancer. I’m at peace with facing what life brings my way. What I feared was the financial implication of another illness. We went through bankruptcy earlier this year and will either lose or sell our house before the end of the year. With the deposit of my $66 paycheck in my account this morning, I now have $209.07 in the bank, more than $2000 in medical bills, and I struggle, as I have for the past four years to make ends meet. I have a daughter with two more years of college ahead of her and I am working 40+ hours/week, seven days/week, trying to establish a career and pay the bills. On Wednesday, I hit my lowest weight ever, 105 pounds, so taking care of me and maintaining my health is a third full-time job. The last thing that I needed right now was another battle with cancer. Thanks be to God….that is a battle that I won’t have to fight.

Instead…I’m going to enjoy a beautiful weekend with my girls and my son-in-law…. 😀

Update 8/22/10:  I had an appointment with my neurologist this week and we discussed the possibility that perhaps the Topamax that I am taking for seizure control could be contributing to my UTI’s.  He agreed that this could be a possibility and, since my seizures seem to be under control, he has reduced my dosage of Topamax slightly.  We’ll reevaluate my condition in three months.

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4 thoughts on “Benign

  1. Am I crazy? How can you have a pay check for $66.00 and work 40 or more hours per week? Something is very wrong here.
    Hope you have a great weekend.

    • Thanks, Maureen! We had a great time Friday night and lots of fun planned for today.

      The $66 paycheck was for almost eight hours of work at one of my jobs (I have two). One job pays weekly; the other pays every other week. Neither comes with benefits.

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