Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bladder tumors are a bitch.

Some of my friends and co workers know I have been on an awful roller coaster ride for a while- but some don’t. Now the new work schedule is out and everyone sees me going out on FMLA. For more than a few months I have not been feeling well- nothing really specific, - but enough to send me to the doctor. I went to the first doc- he had a valid concern however he said I was more complex than her was accustomed to- and sent me on to Doc #2. #2 listened- ordered tests and did a few procedures, an MRI. He determined I had something abnormal on cytology and scared the shit out of me. I sat at home and cried, just imagining what it could be. Following up Doc.#2 told me he didn’t know what to do for me, but instead of helping me navigate- I was told- you need to go somewhere else. To him- Duke, UNC or Cone should be able to help me out. Referral- HA! I was told to call myself.

Luckily, Duke had an opening the very next day- and a wonderful, compassionate physician listened to my story, my symptoms and checked out the results and films I had brought. It seems that while being evaluated for a urinary problem I was experiencing, we found something else, a bonus, a small tumor in the proximal end of my urethra. For my non medical friends, the urethra is the tube that goes from the bladder to the outside world. Another MRI was ordered, this one to pinpoint the exact areas in question. I had no idea that they could get so focused and precise.

I was scheduled for a vacation in the midst of this- a motorcycle tour from Daytona to Key West. While it was supposed to be an enjoyable, relaxing time all I could think off were the what ifs- What if it is malignant, what if it is worse than stage 1 or 2, what if I have chemo and my hair falls out, what if I have to go through this all alone, what if I die? Thoughts clouded my brain the whole week. Not to mention I get a call while I am trying to forget about what could be- Ms Allen, we are trying to set up an appointment with the oncology service......I couldn’t escape it.

Coming home, I had a follow up for my second MRI results and to plan the attack- I was fortunate to get to meet with my doc and oncology the same day- I saw the offending area on MRI - looking so small, but having the potential to be so bad. My doc has told me of all the urethral tumors she has removed, none have been benign, but this one she believes is small, and new-, and hopefully no worse than stage 2. Currently I have opted for surgery on April 29th, followed by radiation treatments. There is the discussion of chemo afterwards, and the request that I add a port - but I am not ready for that step yet. I need to do things in my own time.

I was told to not tell anyone, but I am a very emotional, heart on my sleeve person. I am not as strong as I look sometimes. I shared my awful news with my two closest friends, Teri and Terry. I needed my friends to rally around me and shore me up.

I am angry and bitter- I don’t know why this has happened to me. I am not a smoker, and never have been. I try to watch my weight and live fairly healthy. My family does not have a strong cancer history. I am scared and frightened, because I don’t know what to expect. I don’t have any family members close by, but I do have some very wonderful friends who have reached out embraced me and are refusing to let go. I also have some awesome co-workers who keep checking on me to let me know I am not forgotten. So if you see me and I look teary, or stressed, you now know what is going on. I pray that I beat this and return to my normal self- or possibly a better version of my self. I will attempt to keep you updated on my battle. Here is looking forward to much better days ahead..........



The Bipolar Diva said...

there ARE better days ahead! We will beat this!