Posted by: Sarah | May 4, 2005

Another Monkeywrench

First, yes, Janis Joplin sang “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” (from Me and Bobby McGee), and the reason that is meaningful to me that the oncologist referenced it is because that is the song that my junior year college roommate and I sang, um, CONSTANTLY. And even (somehow) pledged to sing at eachother’s weddings. So how nice to be reminded of a happy time while at the oncologist’s!

Now for a bit of a change of pace. Get ready to shift into high-gear.

You may remember that I had a CT/CAT scan in early April. We were all jubilant because the CT/CAT scan showed no lesions on my liver (after a PET scan showed possible spots), and all but dismissed the cyst on my ovary that it showed. Well, my oncologist thought it wouldn’t hurt anything to monitor that cyst, so the day before my bilateral, I had a pelvic ultrasound to get a better look at the cyst. I remember very clearly that the radiologist came in to say “it’s a cyst, it’s definitely a cyst, but it might be a good idea to get a closer look at it, and do a transvaginal ultrasound.” He said he was fine with waiting on that until after the bilateral, as was the oncologist, so we did. I had the transvaginal ultrasound yesterday. Today we got the results.

The oncologist called this afternoon to tell me that the cyst on my right ovary is large-ish (1.9 cm x 1.7 cm) and is “complicated,” meaning it is partially cystic and partially solid. The solid part is the worrisome part.

Okay, so buckle your seatbelts.

I’m having my right ovary removed on Monday, May 9; they’ll put in a port at the same time.

The urgency on the partial oopharectomy is more due to my history/aggressiveness of the February cancer/having the BRCA1 gene than anything else. Both the oncologist and OB/GYN feel that it is not likely to be cancer, but do not want to screw around in case they’re wrong (by “screw around” I mean wait until after I complete chemo to remove Righty and then find out it might indeed be ovarian cancer and then we’ve had an un-necessary delay).

My OB-GYN will do the surgery. He is the sweetest guy; he remembered my complaints about my original surgeon, and so when I asked if I could have a port put in at the same time, he very pointedly said he would get someone other than the original surgeon to do that. I’ll be in the hospital (here in Oxford) at least one overnight, maybe two. The recovery is similar to but not as bad as a c-section. They will go in through my c-section incision.

So the 5/11 port inserton in Jackson is now off. We briefly considered having the Jackson surgeon do the partial oopharectomy, but he is a breast surgeon, and my OB-GYN does this all the time. Plus I trust my OB-GYN (not that I don’t trust my breast surgeon, but you know). And it can happen here, not in Jackson.

Here’s the part that scares me: if the sample of righty that the OB-GYN sends off to pathology comes back as a malignancy, he will remove both ovaries and do a hysterectomy too. So I could wake up on Monday afternoon and that’s it for future babies. Obviously since I’d already accepted that I’ll be having an oopharectomy/total hysterectomy in the next 5 years, that’s not a tremendous shock, but hearing it could be in the next 5 DAYS? That is.


If this is (KNOCK ON WOOD) cancer, it would not be the breast cancer metastasized. It would be a new primary cancer. So that’s good news, in a weird way.

But if it is (KNOCK ON WOOD) a new primary cancer, then what the hell triggered TWO primary cancers in a three-month period?!! My God.


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