Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Ride Continues

It has been some time since I have updated my blog. I have been putting it off. I feel that what I will be posting will be letting so many people down. Last I wrote, I was given a six month reprieve from scans and tests.

Shortly after my clear scans, I began to feel the same pain I was experiencing that brought me to the hospital July 22, 2006. A little voice was whispering in my ear to make an appointment with my gastro surgeon. That was Thursday, March 19. At that appointment it was confirmed that the cancer that I fought close to three years ago had returned to its original site. Not near the original site. On the original site...right on top of the scar tissue. I have been told that this is very unusual. Of course it is!

From there I met with the surgeon at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Illinois to get a second opinion. The doctor at CTCA concurred with Dr. Nemer. I required a colostomy. He also advised that if I did not have this surgery, I would die of one of the most terrible and painful deaths known in the cancer world.

No problem. I have a trip planned to Mexico. Decisions will be made upon my return April 12. So...off to Mexico I go. We are enjoying our trip and putting the cares of the world out of our minds for a few days. Unfortunately, that did not last long. While in a foreign country, I developed a vaginal fistula. (If you do not know what a fistula is, Google it, I'm not going into detail.) Off to a Mexican emergency room I go. I just can't seem to get a break!

You may ask, how the heck does a woman develop one of these? Pretty simple. Go through lots of pelvic radiation. The fallout (literally) from treatment in 2006. It is not painful. It causes inconveniences in my life....and I wear more perfume than I normally would.

Back in Minnesota, I once again spoke with Dr. Nemer. He suggested I have an MRI. He wants to make sure there are not other pesky cancer cells eating away at anything else in my abdomen; liver, pancreas, bladder, etc.. Sure enough, the results come back. It looks like the cancer has spread to my bladder. I believe that was about the time Dick and I hit the wall.

One thing I'm leaving out... My daughter, Eileen, broke her hand while I was in Mexico. She fell down stairs and caught herself with her dominant hand. She broke the most difficult bone there is to break in the body. During all of this, she also requires surgery. Yes...this is the point where we all said NO MORE!

The urologist comes into the scene now. He needs to see if there is indeed cancer in my bladder. If that is the case, on top of the colostomy, I will also require surgery on my bladder and redirect my urinary tract. He was very kind. Dr. Utz explained that what he saw on the MRI did not look promising for me. During my exam he prayed with me. He found nothing. What was showing on the MRI is possibly scar tissue. I love it when doctors give me big hugs. He cried thankful tears with me.

Whew...let's get this surgery scheduled and get the show on the road!!!! Oh, how I wish it were that easy. On April 23, Dr. Nemer comes back into the picture. He wants to have a lenghty conversation with both Dick and me...not just me. He wants Dick to understand that this is a life changing surgery. He also explains to both of us that he is not sure if the colostomy is feasible. He needs to examine me one more time to make sure my various levels of skin in the pelvic area have not melded together from the radiation. (Are you learning with me? Radiation causes some pretty bad stuff a few years down the road!)

Upon exam, he is very pleased to learn that my 'plains' are separate and in good condition. The surgery is now a go! Unfortunately, it will take about three weeks for the 'team' to get scheduled. Evidently there are several specialists involved and it is very extensive. The scheduled date is this Friday, May 8th.

I have felt so selfish asking for constant prayers and support in the past. I just could not write prior to this. I feel weak and vulnerable. This update is forced. I have a minimum of a four to six hour surgery awaiting me this Friday. These last weeks have depleted me. I need your help. We all need your help. This has been very difficult for my family.

So, once again, I humbly ask for your prayers and support. You have lifted me with so much wonderful energy and love in the past. Anything you can send my way at around 3:30 p.m. Friday would be more than appreciated.

With deep love and appreciation,


Lois said...

Hi Kathy,

You don't know me... I'm not even sure how I came across your blog but I have been following your story for a little while now. I'm sorry I haven't written sooner. I feel terrible for everything that you have been through but you seem to be a very strong person. I will be sending many prayers your way at 3:30 today.. (and everyday). Keep being strong and I will be wishing for a successful surgery! Hope to hear an update soon.

Take Care...


Diane said...

I found out about you on the Montel show. I too was diagnosed with ac back in 2002. I made the choice to have the ap resect after I finished treatment. It has now been six years this month since I had the surgery. I feel like my life is pretty much back to normal. I had very little trouble adapting to the colostomy. You can email me if you have any questions.

Anonymous said...

Please be strong. I am an AC survivor and need to know that you have made it. Of course, my prayers and well wishes are with you. I learned of your blog thru the AC yahoogroup Forum. We anxiously await your update. Peace and love, Ter