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Surgery scheduled. Surgery scheduled.

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  #1  
Unread 04-01-2003, 12:35 PM
Surgery scheduled.

I saw the gynaecological oncologist today. He has scheduled surgery for 1st. May.

I have a 12.6 cm cyst on my left ovary which is fluid filled with some solid matter. My CA125 is 80. I have no other tumours, cysts or masses visible on the ultrasound scan and no ascites. I am otherwise in good health with no other symptoms.

This was a reassuring consultation in some ways as the doctor, while admitting that ovarian cancer was a possibility, seemed to suggest that he thought it probably wasn't.

However, even a small possibility of ovarian cancer makes a four week wait for surgery seem very long to me. I asked him if the four week wait would allow the cancer to spread, if it was cancer. He said he thought this was unlikely.

I veer between being relieved and reassured by his manner and terrified by the wait. Is this the good old British NHS killing people by penny-pinching and neglect? He said he arranged his surgical lists in order of medical priority and that there were lots of cases much more urgent than mine.

What do you all think?
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  #2  
Unread 04-01-2003, 01:45 PM
Surgery scheduled.

s Latina -
I'm so glad you saw a gyn onc and that the news was reassuring. They are the best. I know how you feel about the wait. I had to wait a month for my surgery, and it seems like an eternity. You might call the doctor's office and tell them you would like the surgery sooner, and they can usually put you on a waiting list if there are any cancellations.

This site is full of suggestions about things you can do to prepare for surgery and recovery, so check them out. Taking long walks helped me calm my mind, plus the fresh air and exercise didn't hurt. And of course, the sisters are here to help and support you along the way.

Hang in there
  #3  
Unread 04-01-2003, 02:46 PM
Surgery scheduled.

Latina,

Try not to worry too much, your appointment sure did sound positive (relatively speaking, of course ). Waiting a month feels like forever; it was to me the very worst part of the whole cancer diagnosis. But with that said, I know my doc schedules by order of "emergency". Please know that I don't mean in any way that your situation is any less important or urgent, believe me, I know exactly how you feel.

Whenever I get antsy about long waits for appointments, I think of a day when I met some ladies in my doc's waiting room when the wait was particularly long. One had had a hysterectomy 3 days before (**** she is one tough cookie), and one was there for treatment of advanced endometrial cancer (she'd already had a double mastectomy for breast cancer). When my appts. get postponed I know in my heart that I am lucky that my situation allows me a postponement, and say a prayer for whomever it is that had to get in.

As for worries about the cancer spreading, biologically speaking, a month really should not make much of a difference, so please try not to worry too too much, though I know that's easier said than done. I'd give you a hug here but I still can't get the darned list of smilies. Hang in there!

Beth
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  #4  
Unread 04-01-2003, 09:48 PM
Surgery scheduled.

Dear Latina,

I was trying to find the right smilie for you and I have decided that this is the perfect thing to cheer you up!

It's wonderful news that your tumor is partially cystic in nature (with fluid). They obviously won't know exactly what they're dealing with until they operate, but it sounds optimistic!

A month is a long time to wait. But if your doctor is confident that you can wait, that may just mean that he's more optimistic about your situation than many of the others he's dealing with. I am very sorry that you have to wait. But I am happy that your CA125 is relatively low and that they found no ascites!

Thanks so much for updating us. I was just going to PM you to see what was up, so it's nice that you beat me to the punch!

and s!
  #5  
Unread 04-02-2003, 04:51 AM
Surgery scheduled.

Thank-you for your replies. My first thought when scheduled for 1st. May was to fly to the U.S. and pay for my own surgery! Having calmed down a bit, I do now see that the wait, though difficult, will be unlikely to affect any outcome and will at least allow me to order the Hyster Sisters' handbook and tummy pillow! I will have time too to get my haemoglobin level up another gram or so and work on improving my general health prior to surgery.

The waiting-room experience also tends to put things in perspective, I know. The lady who went in ahead of me was very elderly and frail. The thought of her having to endure treatment for possible ovarian cancer is heart-breaking. There was another lady, mid-fifties or so, who had a tummy as swollen as a seven month pregnancy. If the doctor feels cases such as these should take precedence over my own, I can only agree.
  #6  
Unread 04-02-2003, 06:29 AM
I have been waiting to reply to you.

Hi Latina,

From what I recall of your first post, it appears our situations were very similar. My gyn found an ovarian tumor on Jan. 15th. It was a septated mass with papillary projections. The doctor and nurse told me that I needed a hyst due to adenomyosis and endometriosis within a few months. Then they dropped the bomb and told me that if my CA125 was elevated (over 100 is when they get concerned because of the endo), I would need a hyst immediately because of the strong possibility of ovarian cancer. The nurse had tears in her eyes and told me how they lost a patient within a year and a half time frame. Yikes.

My CA125 came back at 398. I freaked. Once thing I realize now is that gp's and gyn's really don't know how gyn/onc's work. You can't just call and get them to schedule surgery ASAP. To make a long story short, the gyn/onc who did my surgery on March 20th said it was better to wait and do it right than to jump in and do surgery haphazardly. He ordered his own US and CA125. In addition I had a colonoscopy (yuck). Once he gathered the information he needed, he told me that he was concerned but he really didn't think it was cancer.

And you know what Latina, he was right!!! I do not have cancer! I was waiting for the final pathology report to reply to your post (I didn't want to jinx myself.) I still haven't seen it but was told that it was all benign.

I can truly relate to your anxiety and worry. I was also in so much pain I could barely do anything so that didn't help. If you can, work on being strong for your surgery. Eat right and at least walk if you can. I will be thinking of you and hope you have the same outcome as I did.

My thoughts are with you!
  #7  
Unread 04-03-2003, 10:40 AM
Surgery scheduled.

Clarisse, I am delighted that your pathology reports have come back clear of cancer. You are right, there are a lot of similarities in our situations. My oncologist has not said outright that he doesn't think it is cancer and in fact insists that it is a possibility, but gave a strong impression that he thought on the whole it probably wasn't.

My G. P. on the other hand had got on to discussing chemotherapy treatments and cried when I talked about my one year old! This was unnerving, though I really appreciated her concern. Yesterday, my son's social worker called (he is severely disabled) and started talking about pro-actively arranging home care for ME ("to help you with washing and dressing") and meals on wheels. She also said that my five children would each have their own social worker who would sort out schools for them and transport (I homeschool and this is very important to me).

Whoa! Even if I am diagnosed with advanced cancer (not ruled out) I plan to go on washing and dressing myself and educating my own children for quite some time to come! "Cancer" is a big word that can send the best of us into panic. I am encouraged reading about people here who are carrying on working through chemotherapy treatments, making photographic records of their experiences, etc., carrying on living life to the fullest. This is what I plan to do, whatever the diagnosis.
  #8  
Unread 04-07-2003, 04:47 PM
Surgery scheduled.

I'm hoping and praying for the best news from you Latina! I think my CA125 was in the 70's (I'm so bad at remembering numbers). That's because when my doctor first called and told me, I (like you) totally freaked and thought the worst. Now that surgery is over, he's 99% sure everything was clear. Have to wait for pathology of course, but I'm not very worried about it. I can't even imagine having to wait almost a month like you do, but, like you said, you still have to get up, feed the kids, get them off to school and all the routine things. Hopefully the time will pass quickly for you. Keep in touch!!
  #9  
Unread 04-07-2003, 04:58 PM
Surgery scheduled.

s Latina

I am sorry you have to wait a month. My own wait was seven weeks and in hindsite, that was the hardest part of this journey for me.
Things do sound more promising after your gyn onc visit.
Somehow this time will pass, and we will be here for you in the meantime.'

karenann
  #10  
Unread 04-08-2003, 06:25 AM
Surgery scheduled.

{{Latina}},
Waiting really is the hardest part. Lots of what-ifs, I didn't do this or that. However, the old cliche holds - time stops for no one.

I also had to wait a month for surgery, but a month is really a short time. I actually spent the time evaluating my life and thinking seriously about my future (note I said my future, not my demise ). People had laughed at me for years because I had a "do before I die" list. During that month I added to the list and many things were for years in future. How's that for positive thinking!!

I've been reading your posts for awhile now. You're a very strong, competent woman with a magnificent life ahead. No matter what the results (which will be positive!!), your strength and perseverance are an inspiration. Thanks for posting and sharing.
s,
Laura
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