Friday, June 11, 2004

The Biopsy

The following is my update to my message board girls that I posted about an hour after I got home.

So that was much better than last week. Valium makes all the difference. I was awake and fully concious through the whole surgery, but I didn't feel a thing, nor did I care what was going on. Warning, the valium hasn't quite worn off yet, so this might seem disconnected.

So I talked to the doctor, asked him a lot more questions than last time, and got some answers for him. I snuck a peak at the full pathology report from the first biopsy. "Inconclusive malignecy" some cells indicating cancer, but not enough for a definitive diagnosis. Its definatly not an infection - we know that much for sure by now. Turns out, the reason he wanted to do the biopsy so quickly last week was he was afarid I had something really scary. Can't remember the names, but he listed off 2 or 3 things that ended with sarcoma. He thought I had an asymptomatic sarcoma in the lower half of my body (ovaries, stomach, or bladder) that had matasticized into my upper lymph nodes. From my research last week, I have learned that crossing the diaphram is a bad sign in matasticizing cancer. But, he said now that he had it out and has seen it, he thinks its probably "either nothing or hodgkin's." So, here's hopeing for nothing, but realitically - he pulled a tumor the size of a pingpong ball out of me, and he only got half. Realistically that probably isn't "nothing."

So.. in a way, Hodgkin's isn't too bad. I mean, its 95% curable in stage I, and 80% in stage II and III. And I'm asymptomatic, which makes it better too. And I do feel better knowing the options rather than not knowing anything. But its kind of funny when the doc says he is releaved that its "probably only Hodgkin's." One thing that really made me feel better is when he said that he wanted to be aggressive b/c of the worst case (the metastisized shit), b/c if it was Hodgkin's we could have sat on it for a month or so with no problem. I guess some folks would have tried antibiotics only for a few weeks to see if it was an infection. So, if he had gone that route, and it was Hodgkin's, it wouldn't have been a problem. But if it was something worse, then that time could have been critical.

This biopsy is going to take another week. I will go back next Friday. We aren't sure what time b/c he didn't have any appointments avaiable, so the scheduling girl is going to talk to him to see if she should squeeze me in somewhere on Friday or what.

Oh, the reason he old took half out was b/c it was about twice the size he thought it was, and the whole thing was too big to take out under local in the office. At one point, he said to me that given its size, he probably should have sent me in and done it under general, but a) he wasn't expecting it to be that big and b) he needed the practice. Oh lordy.. things you don't want to hear from your during surgery.

And my scar is about 4 inches long, with about 6 stiches I think (I didn't count, but it was more than I expected). But he said it going to be right in the folds of my neck, so after a year, you won't even be able to see it.

I made him show it to me, but only after he was all done. He offered right after he cut it out, but I asked to see it after he did the sutchering. I didn't want to open my eyes and see the intruments until it was all over. Plus, since during it he kept saying how big it was, I thought I might freak if I saw it and then he had to go back in to sew it up. It was a little smaller than a pingpong ball, and about the consistency of ground beef.


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