Tuesday, October 22, 2013

MAN I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN

Me & My Coffee - Bromont, Quebec, Winter 2011
I was glad that this next surgery was happening.  It made me feel like I was doing everything I could possibly do to ensure that this cancer did not develop anywhere else.  I ended up having a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy.  Basically this means that the uterus, cervix, ovaries and tubes were all removed abdominally.  This was not a surgery that I had to have but it was highly recommended because the cancer that I had was hormone (estrogen) receptor positive.  This means that the cancer cell growth was fueled by estrogen.  So this surgery would ensure that estrogen production would be reduced significantly therefore reducing the chance of cancer cell growth.

Four days after I had the operation I was back at home.  The anesthetic really took a toll on me.  I was also covered in bruises from blood work, IV, blood thinner shots that I received every eight hours, etc…Although I was sore and moving much slower than usual, I did know that with each day things would get better and I would get stronger.  So, it’s not forever but just for now.  The recovery period was several weeks and I was doing my best to try to slow down and enjoy this time at home. 

So, the next step was that I would visit with my oncologist on the 17th of October to find out what would happen next in terms of follow-up.  I did know that I would be starting on a drug called Arimidex that I was going to have to take for several years.  This drug blocks aromatase which is an enzyme that changes androgen into estrogen.  Therefore, this further reduces the amount of estrogen in the body and is a preventative measure for cancer cell growth.  Are you still with me?
Tarnowski Ladies - Bethel, Maine, Summer 2011

Needless to say the Arimidex has a whole set of side effects of its own that I may or may not experience.  The worst of which is osteoporosis so I was going to be having bone scans on a regular basis and was also going to need to begin other vitamins to help combat this.  Oh yeah around this time my hair was growing back a nice rich dark brown and it was really curly.

When I left the hospital after the hysterectomy, I remember saying to my Dad that I’d had enough.  No more hospitals, surgeries, etc….for a while.  I was now awaiting the pathology report that I was supposed to get in early November when I next saw the surgeon.  I really, really, needed a break.

Man I Feel Like a Woman - Shania Twain

2 comments:

  1. I remember a) the heparin blood thinner shots each of which created a hard lump in my abdomen and b) 5 years of Arimidex ... party trick was my "trigger fingers" which popped and clicked. Am still on Zolendronic acid for the osteoporosis/osteopenia but have an I/V infusion of it once a year or so - beats having the stuff eat holes in my stomach lining... joy of joys!

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  2. Wow that is a lot of stuff and a whole new language to learn. Everything has a side affect and so on and so on....Take care!

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