Medical Update from Mum

July 28, 2020

I promised quite a few people updates on the cancer, and rather than repeat myself many times, I decided it was better to write it up here and share the link on both sites and facebook. (It also allows folks to more easily skip the news if they're not interested, or if 2020 has made them hit their coping limit with bad news.)

It isn't the worst news possible, but it isn't the best, either.

I waited for a while after the end of chemoradiation and the subsequent targeted radiation booster to make this post. There was much "hurry up and wait" for June and July to let the radiation finish doing what it needed to do before a fresh MRI was done, a new pelvic exam was done, the surgeon consulted with the Tumor Panel to be sure they hadn't missed any options, and so on.

It is now definite -- That nasty little tumor, "Herbert", is not only stage 3, but is now labeled as "aggressive". Neither the chemoradiation nor the targeted beam radiation afterwards managed to trim him down to size enough for the insertion of radioactive needles to be a viable alternative. This leaves the only lifesaving option to be very radical surgery. Anything else would simply be life-prolonging.

What do I mean by radical surgery? I will lose bowel (there is a slight chance it can be rebuilt), bladder and remaining ladybits in a procedure called "pelvic exenteration". The surgery will be an all-day thing, and I will be hospitalized for about 10 days, then recovering at home for a couple months afterwards.

Before folks panic too much, given the survival rates listed in that linked article, there is some good news working in my favor. While the tumor is rather solidly attached to the organs I mentioned, which is why they must be removed, it is also pretty well encapsulated. This means that it hasn't "gone walkabout" into other organs (or, Bristlebane forbid, my lymph nodes) yet -- the likelihood of it doing so before the surgery is low. This increases my survival odds greatly. The surgeon is also quite skilled with this procedure, and the fact that I am feisty, stubborn and determined doesn't hurt either. {grin}

The surgery date is not firm yet, although it should be decided within the next couple of days. It will "probably" be sometime between August 17 and August 28.

I can't guarantee I won't hit the "stressed mess" stage again a time or three before all is said and done, because 2020 has just thrown WAY too many curveballs already, but I've got this. Truly, I do. It won't be easy, or quick in any way, but I plan to come out of this and be running around with my RPoD "Rolling Pin of Doom" for many years to come.

~Mum

P.S. I am so confident of my survival chances that I am already planning a very special tattoo once all is said and done. My first, last and only tattoo with the inspiration art coming from a very dear and very talented friend of mine. A waist-up shot of Niami, wearing a chef's cap, and brandishing a rolling pin. In front of the rolling pin, ready to be batted into the ether will be the cancer ribbons for both thyroid cancer (6 years ago) and endometrial cancer (the current cancer). I figure that if I have to walk around with this many medical scars on my body, there should be something permanent of my choice that is life-affirming on my body as well.

Update - July 30

My surgery date has been set for August 24, which means I will still be home for our wedding anniversary 2 days before.

Created: 2020-07-29 01:06:50          
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother          
Last Modified on: 2020-07-30 07:40:33          


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