No more cancer

In the last post I expressed my health concerns and I am very fortunate to say that the tests came back conclusive. It’s not a new cancer! It’s still yucky and I’ll have to decide which treatment to go with but I was diagnosed with a menstrual disorder called menorhagia/hypermenorrhea. Basically it’s excessive and prolonged bleeding. Which is why it gets so bad that I went severely anemic and required hospitalization and a blood transfusion. 

So now what. I am given the choice of 3 things:
1.) Try an IUD to see if it regulates the bleeding- in many women it does.
2.) A uterine abalation
3.) A hysterectomy

After having gone through so much already; medically speaking I think I am leaning toward trying the IUD it’s less invasive, but not guaranteed. The only sure thing is the hysterectomy and I’m not ready to deal with everything that comes along with that. Major surgery (again) followed by early menopause doesn’t seem like my best bet right now, although it looks quite likely at some point if the IUD does work as well as we’re hoping.

Now to find out if insurance will cover the cost of the IUD, theyre over $300 otherwise. 

Where I’m at

As you may have read in the last post I’ve been having some medical issues lately. To be specific I have bleeding for 2.5 months now. It began like every other period, only it didn’t end when it should have, it just kept going and going, getting heavier and more brutal to the point I was hemorrhaging. The blood was thin, almost like water, and I was soaking through tampons in 20 minutes. I have had a terrible backache that just won’t go away and had been hospitalized on Easter for a severely swollen left leg. Finally I went to my Dr. to describe all the issues, he sent me for tests. Luckily the bleeding had stopped by last Thursday, just in time for me to do the blood work. Monday I went for ultrasounds including a trans vaginal ultrasound. I was in the office, in pain, feeling uncomfortable and awkward but knowing it needed to be done. Monday after I got home I got the call that I needed to go in right away for the blood work results. I asked if it could wait until they received the ultrasound results. I didn’t want to go for 2 separate appointments. She told me she would check with the Dr and call me back. When she did she was adamant that I must come in right away. So in I went, not knowing what to expect. AS I sat there the Dr told me that she hadn’t yet received the ultrasound results but that the blood work revealed something very urgent. My Hemoglobin was dangerously low and likely even lower that they were on Thursday. I was told to take copies of the labs and head straight to the ER. ON the way out the office manger yelled for me to wait because my ultrasound had just come in and she would have the Dr review them and see me in a couple minutes. I was called back in 12 minutes later. She told me that several things were found. First they could see I had gall stones that were not yet bothersome but would likely require surgical removal at some point. Second, that I had some cysts and fibroids, ok, so far I am not worried. Then she dropped a massive bomb on me. My endometrial lining is grossly thickened. Which means one of two things. First possibility is Endometriosis. They find this a bit unlikely because it should have been noted when I was pregnant with Roo, but it was not, also I have none of the classic symptoms of Endometriosis, like the severe pain that goes along with it. The second , is uterine cancer. My symptoms coincide with this possibility so needless to say I am scared to death. I will have to have a biopsy to confirm, but all likelihood is that, at minimum I will require a full hysterectomy.

On the way out I was reminded to head straight to the ER.

 I did, and was pleased that things moved very quickly. They tested my hemoglobin and it had fortunately risen by 2 points. So they sent me home telling me that if the bleeding started again to come directly back. By the next morning it had started and was as bad as it was before. I set things in place to have someone watch my kids so I could head off to the ER. I slowly got worse and worse as the day went on. My hemoglobin had dropped by 4 point since 24 hours prior. They were very concerned and ordered a transfusion right away. I was given two units of blood and it took forever. It was cold and a bit painful. but my husband was with me holding my hand and my parents (long separated) were united in their concern for me. I saw the worry in my dad’s eyes and the helplessness in my moms as she brushed the hair of my forehead and tried her best to comfort me.

We’re all scared, but all I can do is wait until the biopsy is done. Then I’ll begin making plans depending on the diagnosis.

That’s where I’m at.

Mystery Lump (Coleen’s Story Part 1)

A couple of months ago I had a really bad cold and while while rubbing my sore neck/throat I found a lump in my neck. I was shocked that it was there but the Dr thought it might have been a swollen lymph node courtesy of my cold. I was told to keep my eye on it for the next few weeks and in that time if I felt any tenderness or noticed it growing or getting hard I was to go back to see him again. I had a really bad feeling about it and even though time passed with very little change I went back to my Dr. I think just to appease me I was sent for an ultrasound. I was told my Dr would touchbase with me if anything urgent came of it but that I could schedule an appointment to go over the results either way if I wanted. I didn’t but was a couple of weeks later I found changes in the lump. Back I went I mentioned that the lump was now painful and hard and had actually started growing. He said that because the images from the last ultrasound were not the best that he would send me again. I went on Friday and the woman said she was sending it off to be reviewed by Radiology at Credit Valley Hopsital and that my Dr would likely have the results by the end of the next week (meaning by this coming Friday).

Well Yesterday the people who did the ultrasound called me to ensure I had heard from my GP, I said I had not, so she told me she was sending the results again via fax and that I was to call them to make an appointment with him. This really worried me. I called them and they were closed for lunch and in the afternoon I got busy, by the time I was done work and had a minute to call they had closed. I tried again today and the Dr is not in the office today but she made an appointment for me tomorrow.

Everything is rattling around in my brain and I am really worried about it all.

Despite the fact that I NEVER try to self diagnose I couldn’t help looking it up. Of course I only googled it to see what other “non-scary” things it could be to reasure myself. Turns out that the most common reason for this lymph node (right supraclavicular lymph node) to be swollen are three types of cancer and not a single viral or baterial reason is presented as a common reason.

Here is just one of the sites I reviewed for information. It says:

Right supraclavicular lymph node
Location: Located on the right side in the hollow above the clavicle, just lateral to where it joins the sternum.
Lymphatic drainage: Mediastinum, lungs, esophagus
Common causes of enlargement: Lung, retroperitoneal or gastrointestinal cancer

all the other sites I looked at pretty much say the same thing. What scares me the most is that other lymph nodes give simple infections as the possible reason for swelling. But not this one.

I’m scared.