Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mild Hysteria

My surgery is two weeks from tomorrow. Today my MD cleared me as healthy enough to tolerate it. Too bad I'm not healthy enough to not need it!

And today I got the pathology report from what they sampled last Friday. No uterine cancer, thank you very much. And CA-125 levels in the normal range.

Which is good. But not always good for my attitude. Because it makes me wonder, do I really gotta go through this?

I mean, there's the "discomfort" of the post-op itself. Pain! Swelling! Mindless-making drugs!

Then there's the six weeks of enforced inactivity. Right when my house needs so much renovation! Right at the start of gardening season! Right when I should be taking advantage of the last weeks of the school year and getting in a lot of substitute teaching!

And what am I to make of what I read about hysterectomies online?

There's one site (which shall remain unlinked and unnamed) that seems dedicated to the proposition that 99.9% of all hysterectomies are needless and avoidable and only perpetrated by devious, greedy doctors out to make a quick buck at the expense of downtrodden women. What it tells you about the aftereffects will curl your hair. Nerve damage! GI tract disablement! Your ribcage falling down to your hipbones! Not to mention lifelong depression, loss of maternal feelings, and perpetual heartbreak, regret, and distress.

Then there's another site (which shall also remain linkless and nameless) where women who have had hysterectomies compare notes, and on it we have women complaining that their gynecologists wouldn't take their pain seriously and refused to take their bothersome female plumbing out.

Of course, this site makes its own contribution of stress, such as the contributors who say it was over six months to a year before they "got back to normal."

So with all this rattling around my brainpan, again, I can't help wondering, Do I really have to have this surgery? I mean, the gynecological oncologist is of the opinion that the ovarian tumor isn't even cancer! Can't we just ignore it and wait for it to go away?

. . . Oh yeah. Right. At my age, these things don't just go away. At my age, I really shouldn't have a goose egg in my abdomen like this. And malignant or "benign," the thing is growing. It's bad enough that it's already given me a pot belly I can't get rid of by any exercise of dietary discipline. But now it's interfering with my digestion. Benign or not, it can cause mechanical trouble. And they won't really know what sort of thing it is until it's removed.

So it's time to accept the PITA, and keep doing what I need to do to be as ready as possible when the time comes.


Anonymous said...

Yes, you really do have to go through with this. But why the hysterectomy? I thought it only was a problem with the ovaries...

Anyhow, many *hugs* and good wishes.


St. Blogwen said...

The idea is that if the ovarian tumor is cancer, there's a good chance that it will have spread to the uterus. But they won't know that till they take the whole kit to the lab and slice and dice and analyze it.

Howevah . . . after Monday, when I have my CT scan-- IF the CT scan shows no sign of anything being cancerous . . . I'm going to see if they can do exactly as you mention. Take the right ovary and its stupid tumor, check it out, and if it's benign, leave everything else the heck alone.

Trouble is, there does seem to be a mindset of "just take everything out, just in case." The only argument for that with me (if there IS NO CANCER) is that with everything out I wouldn't have to run off and get a fresh sonogram and a D&C every time I get a another spate of uterine bleeding. Or be worrying that this time, the spotting really means something.

Marlene said...

Good idea to have it out, my mother's benign (undiagnosed) tumor grew to the point that it literally squeezed the life out of the ovary and she ended up doubled over in pain with an emergency hysterectomy.

She has had no complaints in the following 12 years.