I remember the day I called Kaiser to get medical advice. I thought I had IBS, however, something inside of me wondered if something else was going on. I never considered cancer!
After I talked to an emergency medical doctor, she ordered a CT Scan to rule out an intestinal blockage. I looked 8 months pregnant. I thought it was gas. Boy was I wrong.
Thank goodness for that doctor.
I believe that was a God set up to get her over all the doctors I could have spoken with. When I got the CT Scan of my abdomen, the radiologist or tech person immediately walked over to me while I was still lying on the scan bed and made a point to let me know that what she saw was serious. She even encouraged me to go to the ER and pretend I was in terrible pain, so that the scan would be read immediately.
That didn’t feel right to me. I couldn’t lie. I wasn’t in pain. Just discomfort.
I was grateful that this woman cared enough to let me know I needed stat results. I ended up messaging the doctor who ordered the scan to tell her what happened. She got the results and then my primary care physician called me.
That’s when the bomb hit.
I don’t have IBS but cancer? Ugh! Personally, I wasn’t emotionally moved by the results. It really didn’t hit me like a bomb but more like “interesting, so this is part of my journey now…interesting.” I felt at peace, which surprised my primary doctor. He had a hard time telling me what he read on the scan report. I was thinking “doc, spit it out already!” He carefully told me that I had an 7.9/8 ml mass on my ovary, massive ascites in my abdomen cavity (fluid), and multiple lesions on my liver. It appeared that I had metastatic cancer.
He referred me to a Gyn Oncologist
After I heard results, I did a google research to read about ovarian cancer, liver cancer, prognosis, treatment options, and even looked at cyst/tumor removal surgeries on YouTube. The possible prognosis did not look good. I wanted facts and didn’t want to wait around until I saw the oncologist. I wanted to be prepared for what the doctor might say, and have questions ready to ask.
When I got the call from the oncologist case manager to schedule an appointment, she shared with me the protocol of most treatment plans if I indeed had cancer. I told her that I did not want chemo because if my body truly had ovarian cancer that metastasized to my liver, treatment would only give me a 14% change of survival. Those were not good odds. However, I changed my mind after a good friend, who already went through this, told me that chemo would dry up the fluid in my abdomen.
That got my attention
I was willing to go through chemo treatments to get rid of the fluid. It was getting so uncomfortable and pressing on my lungs. The fluid made me cough more than usual and produced more phlegm than I already coughed up (I’ve had a productive chronic cough over 40 years). I also got tired very easily, and looked 8 months pregnant. Here’s a picture to show ya.
I took this picture before leaving to go to work. I thought I looked funny. I posted something on Instagram that morning.
I saw the oncologist,
she spent 2 hours with me, and I felt so much peace as I listened. She had wisdom, listened to me without cutting me off, and answered all my questions. I knew I could trust her. I felt like God had answered my prayers regarding her. She ordered a paracentesis of my abdomen (emptying of fluid), and cytology of some of the fluid. We had to know if the fluid had cancer cells in it. It did.
She also ordered a biopsy of a mass in my abdomen.
The mass didn’t show cancer cells, but undifferentiated cells were found. Nevertheless, treatment would be the same. Three cycles of chemo, repeated blood tests, CT Scan, surgery (hysterectomy and de-bulking), three more cycles of chemo, CT Scan or another Pet Scan to see how the chemo worked, take a pill to slow down cancer growth, and then CT Scan every 3 months. She did throw in a Pet Scan before chemo started. Fun Fun!
I’m so grateful that I felt Gods presence near me. He’s such a good Papa.