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Hi, I'm a newbie! Hi, I'm a newbie!

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  #11  
Unread 04-19-2003, 05:26 AM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

Annie, your experience of mood swings, positive one minute and in the pits the next, describes my feelings exactly. For the first week after my ovarian mass was found I was quite chipper: I didn't realise I had been referred to an oncologist, didn't even bother to read his qualifications on the referral letter. It just didn't occur to me that I could have cancer. Then when I saw him and he started to talk about cancer I more or less flipped. The next two weeks were dreadful and I would say that what I faced was closer to terror than mere fear. This website was a Godsend.

Then I had a follow up appointment at which the oncologist seemed to be playing down the cancer risk somewhat, though still insisting it was a possibility. Since then I have been calmer and more able to be positive.

However, as the surgery date draws nearer (1st. May) the fear is coming back. It is so difficult to make sense of it all. It might not be cancer, in which case why waste these weeks being terrified? Why not assume everything is fine and then if it isn't, cross that bridge when you come to it? On the other hand it could be cancer, so isn't it better to face up to the worst case scenario now so as to marshall one's inner resources? I just don't know, so I ricochet from optimism and hope to sheer terror. I am very glad of my family, my faith and this website at the moment!
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  #12  
Unread 04-19-2003, 05:48 AM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

I just re-read my post and thought it was a bit negative, so I just wanted to mention something else. What has really helped me is the thought that I will still be "me" whatever happens. Whether I have cancer or not, I will still be married to the man I love, I will still be a mother, I willl still homeschool, I will still be the person who loves to read and write, be with friends, garden, savour the arts and the countryside. I think it might help to list all the things and people and animals that you love and realise that all or very nearly all of them will still be yours no matter what.

I also second Karenann's advice to take one day at a time, remembering that "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" and to take time to appreciate the simplest of pleasures (e.g. those little puppies!).
  #13  
Unread 04-19-2003, 08:37 AM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

Latina, you are a jewel, and I can so identify with everything you're saying! It's incredible! We may all be different, but in some ways, we're very much alike, too. I was telling a dear Sister here that she, and all of you, helped me through my toughest night, the first day off from the hectic schedule at work since I heard the news about the surgery, and the possible complications regardubg the mammagram, and that was one of the hurtles--facing it, proceeding forward. There will be other hurtles, but you all will be here and we'll be here for each other! God bless you each and every one. Your surgery date is nearing and I'm sure that you are needing some support yourself right now, and yet you take time to help me. You guys are the greatest!
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  #14  
Unread 04-19-2003, 12:19 PM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

i too was diagnosed with dcis early stage breast cancer) this past oct. my treatment was a simple mastectomy with no further treatment (radiation or chemo). even though dcis is early stage there are other things to consider...grade are there other areas of suspicion and also what you feel comfortable with...lumpectomy or mastectomy. a good breast surgean will tell you all your options. if your calcifications are "clusstered" this suggests more of a suspicious for dcis. but nothing is certain until you have the biopsy. i, too, had the mammotone. i was given the choice of being put to sleep for it but refrained. there was nothing really to it. the worst part of all this is the waiting for the results. 6 monhs later i feel absolutely great. i had immediate reconstruction the same day as my mastectomy. unfortunately i went for a routine pelvic ultrasound because i was taking tamoxifan and afraid of what it was doing to my uterus. i now am having a hysterectomy this wednesday for ovarian cysts which i understand are complex (more suspicious). the good news i had was that my ca-125 came back 7. im praying for the best news possible. by the way they dont automaticaly do the ca-125 because it is so sensitive it gives a lot of false positives.
  #15  
Unread 04-19-2003, 12:33 PM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

latina my surgery is wedn. april 23. made them give me the surgery date as quickly as possible. (10 days). my cysts is about 5 cm. dont know if thats big or not? my ca 125 is 7. i understand thats normal but doesnt mean there s no cancer. i too have those mood swings. as wed. draws near im very anxious butat the same time glad i will get this over with. the waiting is unbearable for me. all you ladies who had ovarian cancer. please share some info. my mass is 5 cm. on my ovary. ca 125 is 7. mom had ovarian cancer but hers was peritoneal (she had no ovaries but was found i the lining of her belly). i do have an gyn-onc. doing my surgery but i have to be honest i feel more comfortable with my regular gyn even though i know the gyn-onc is the way to go. my cysts are complex (which i dont know for sure but someone told me makes them more suspicious for cancer)?
  #16  
Unread 04-19-2003, 04:05 PM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

Maria: well, my cyst is bigger than yours and my CA125 is higher too! (Sounds like boasting!!!) My cyst is 12.6 cm, the size of a grapefruit. I remarked on how huge it was to my oncologist and he snorted with derision and said "that's not big to us". Apparently some cysts are beach ball sized! My CA125 is 80 which is elevated, but not hugely. My cyst is fluid-filled but with some solid matter in it, i.e. complex too.

The frustrating thing about ovarian cancer is that it just cannot be diagnosed for sure before surgery (or very rarely). Fluid-filled cysts are better than solid tumours, i.e. less likely to be cancerous. I guess complex cysts are somewhere in between. Your CA 125 number is very low. It is true that there can be false positives and negatives for this test, but nevertheless, that is still a good sign. Another thing that my oncologist said was a good sign is how you are feeling generally. I told him that I didn't feel ill in the slightest, and he said that was another good sign. Age is another factor: the younger you are, the less likely it is to be cancer. Also, the presence of ascites, fluid in the abdomen, is a negative sign, so its absence is positive.

Remember that statistically benign cysts of the ovary are much commoner than cancerous tumours. The awful thing is not knowing though. You are lucky to have surgery scheduled so quickly. I wish you the very best.
  #17  
Unread 04-19-2003, 04:48 PM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

latina

how was your cysts found. i do not feel ill either. mine was only found because i insisted on a pelvic ultrasound because i am on tamoxifan. so far the docs have said they dont think its cancer but cant say for sure. my surgean said he did not feel any fluid in my belly. if figures i have to have the worst type of cycst though..the complex.
  #18  
Unread 04-19-2003, 06:58 PM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

Maria: I am not any kind of an expert, but from what I have been told so far, I don't think a complex cyst is the worst kind at all. Solid tumours are more likely to be cancerous, though may not be, and simple fluid filled cysts less likely to be. Yours is somewhere in between.

I experienced some heavy menstrual bleeding in January and February. As I have fibroids (which are completely benign) I have something of a history of this. My G.P. sent me to have a transvaginal ultrasound scan as a routine precaution but wasn't at all alarmed. It was then that the cyst was seen. Neither I nor my doctor expected it. I was referred straight away to a gynaecological oncologist. I can honestly say that I have had no other symptoms. It seems amazing that I could have a grapefruit sized cyst and not know it, but the ovaries are situated very deep within the abdomen.

I am now wondering whether the bleeding was connected to the cyst or not. No-one can tell me. Sometimes a cyst will irritate ovarian tissue and cause hormonal upsets which can in turn provoke heavy bleeding. I suspect it was just the fibroids though, and the cyst is a separate issue.

Wouldn't it be great if we could time travel to a definite diagnosis (benign of-course!) NOW?

Your case is similar to mine but with a smaller cyst and much lower CA125. I am feeling fairly optimistic, though obviously still scared at times: I think you should feel reasonably optimistic too, though of-course we must both wait for surgery and pathology to be sure.

Why not do a search for some of Clarisse's posts? She had a complex cyst with a much higher CA125 than either of us, and her pathology report came out benign. There is definitely hope.
  #19  
Unread 04-19-2003, 07:08 PM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

I'm learning some things here, and it doesn't sound like my report is all that bad really. I was told I could get a second ultrasound if I felt that I wanted it--but I think I'll cancel that and go ahead with the plan. I have a multicystic mass in the left adnexal region. They said this could represent dilated tubular structures or a septated cystic mass. No solid component is appreciated (so that is good) The report also says no free fluid--so that is very good. The mass is 3.6 x 2.1 x 3.5 cm -- much smaller than yours, Latina. I have very bad pain in my left leg and often limp with it. Has anyone else experienced the leg pain??
  #20  
Unread 04-19-2003, 08:11 PM
Hi, I'm a newbie!

I know I've been a little numb lately, but I just now noticed on my ultrasound report that there was a small cyst (1.2 cm) in my right ovary plus several other "punctate cysts" I don't think that was of any great concern though like the mass on the left side. I wonder if that is of any significance? I don't even know what "punctate cysts" are. (But then a few days ago, I didn't know what anything was!)
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