Saturday, April 24, 2010

Adventures in Medicine

Well, I've been in the hospital since Thursday morning and coherent enough to get online since Thursday night, but only this morning did I find a person here at UPMC Mercy who could show me how to get connected on their wireless network.

And that was by coincidence, since I'd intended to read the newspaper my friend Frieda* bought me yesterday this morning over breakfast, but I guess it fell on the floor over night and the cleaning lady cleared it away. I lamented the loss of my paper to the nurse (a guy) and he said, "I see you have your laptop with you. Why don't you go on one of the newspaper websites and read it there?" And he showed me how.

Believe it or not, breakfast this morning is a medical adventure in itself. I still haven't passed gas (a very important indicator!) so far, so technically I shouldn't have anything by mouth. And I'd been feeling queasy. Etc. But my surgeon's fellow in their practice, Dr. K, who was in early this morning, said they could try me on some liquids this morning, regardless. 4 ounces of apple juice down the hatch so far, and working on the grape. So far, so good.

But people (all two of you!) will want to know about the surgery on Thursday.

Here's the good news: My surgeon, Dr. C, says everything looks good; the mass they took out wasn't cancer and there was no sign of cancer anywhere in the abdominal cavity.

Here's the routine news: They've taken all my ladybits and scrapings of everything else in there (from the lower lungs on down) to the lab to make absolutely-certain-sure there's no cancer anywhere.

And now, the ambiguous news: The ovarian mass, while not cancerous, is nevertheless not a "normal" cyst. If I understand correctly, it's not even precancerous. What they're calling it is a "low malignant potential tumor," and I have no idea where the hyphens should go on that. Dr. K says they'll go over all that when I'm discharged.

The mass is not invasive and therefore not a cancer, but wasn't a benign thing to be having in me, even so. There's a 15% chance it could recur, and there's nothing that can be done to make that risk nil. There's no role for chemotherapy or radiation to obviate that 15%, because, well, it's not a cancer! But if I understand the doctor's message right, it's the short of thing that can pave the way for a cancer in the future.

I think. The inconvenience in all this is that Dr. C had leisure to talk to my friend on Thursday, but not to me-- I was in the Recovery Room. So I couldn't ask any questions!

She said Dr. C told her "Nobody wants to hear this sort of news. Everybody wants things black and white."

Well, maybe, but my first reaction was, "There I go again, being original! I never can seem to do things the ordinary way!"

And if I want things to be black and white, it's not just for my health's sake, but so I can explain it simply and easily to people and not bore them going off on tangents.

Oh, well. It is what it is. And if my breakfast of juice and jello will stay down nicely, that will be one less adventure to confront!

6 comments: said...

Kathy, black and white isn't always the best, anyway. I took this news as very, very good... just something to keep your eye on as you keep up with health check-ups, etc. It will probably make you more vigilant about staying healthy in every way. Ya?

I am so happy to hear that you are up reading, computing, and healing. Very, very good news.

Thanks for the update!

- Pat

Viola Larson said...

Thanks for the up-date,

It sounds like not only your body but also your peace of mind needs prayer. But no cancer is wonderful news. One thing you can know for certain the Lord Jesus Christ is right there with you every unblack and white step of the way.

Ed and Frances Brandyberry said...

You know you are in our prayers. Enjoy your juice and jello:(
Frances and I look forward to seeing you before our trip to Alaska.

St. Blogwen said...

Thanks, all. My peace of mind is pretty good . . . it's just nice knowing what's what. I hate not being able to answer questions that people ask. And I know they will!

Anonymous said...

I think it's good news too. I mean, what, these days, CAN'T become cancer...

No chemo, no radiation IS good news. I agree with Pat, plenty of healthy practices and thankfulness are the cure here.

Can we come see you Sunday?

St. Blogwen said...

I can haz bisitors? Oh yes, that would be excellent. Whenever it suits you after church tomorrow!