Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday, September 28th, 2012

WOW, I'm exhausted.

Got to the surgeons office at 8:45am, ready for my 9am appointment. I was seen immediately, where another pelvic was done, this time by Dr. Fiorica. The procedure was explained to me in full. The mass will be removed and a complete hysterectomy. He will also remove the mentum and check certain areas for any cancerous growths. He also made me aware that sometimes it effects the bowel and a section of that may have to be removed but he wont know until the surgery.

I was also told the results of my CA-125 blood test. Normal levels are 35U/ml. Mine was 114U/ml. The doctor said it was only a slight increase and he has seen that number in the thousands before. He is hoping it is all confined to the mass itself, but we still won't know until the surgery. I asked if there was any way I could keep the necklace a friend gave me in surgery but we decided against it. If I was adamant about it, I could have had it bagged and attached to my leg but if some emergency arose during surgery, or it fell off, they would not assume responsibility for it. So I decided not to.

I was given a list of instructions for Sunday. I basically can only have clear liquids (broths, jello, juice without pulp). I have to drink a bottle of magnesium citrate and do a Fleets enema that night. I have to drink 8 ounces of water every hour from morning till night. Than nothing past midnight. I have to be at the hospital at 10:30am and the surgery is scheduled for 12:30pm. It will take 2-3 hours of surgery, then post op recovery.

I also had to go over to Sarasota Memorial Hospital and do the pre-screening and pre-registration. More blood work, and EKG, urine sample... yada yada yada. More of the same instructions and I even got some Hibicleanse I am to shower at home with before I come in to the hospital.

I stopped at the pharmacy and got the mag citrate & Fleets. Then I waddled into Publix and got broth and jello for Sunday. I would have let Jeff do it but I wanted what *I* wanted and had to see the selection. Normally, jello that isn't laced with alcohol is unwanted. LOL

By the time I got finished with that.... I was DONE. I was out of breath and just feeling like crap. Got home, took a promethazine (anti-nausea), tramadol (for pain) and had something to eat. Now I need to call my family and take a damn nap.

So, that's it for now. You'll hear from me soon enough!

God Bless!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday September 27th, 2012 ***GOOD NEWS***


I got a call this morning from Dr. Fiorica's office (the OBGYN oncologist) to come in at 2:30pm.

I got there, filled out some paperwork and had another general workup from his assistant.

The good news is I'm going to be scheduled for surgery on Monday. I have to go back to see Dr. Fiorica tomorrow so he can see me and discuss everything that will be done.

From what I understand, this thing is bigger than a basketball. It will be removed along with a total hysterectomy and the mentum covering it. He will also check lymph nodes and other places that cancer could  form. The pathology will be done after it's removed.

I will have to stay in the hospital for up to 5 days from what I know so far so that everything is okay. Peristaltic movement must be resumed correctly in my intestines before I can go home.

I'll know the "exacts" tomorrow.

But, for now..... SURGERY MONDAY!!!! :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Had my appointment today with the Women's Health Center at the DOH. Pretty much what I expected, just a routine appointment. Had a pap smear and a breast exam.... asked me a lot of questions. Referred me to the oncologist and put ASAP on it. They think I'll get in before the end of the week.

I'm just going with the flow at this point. So it's back to my world on my couch until I see the next doctor.

I'm tired.... I'm going to try and nap :/

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday, September 19th 2012

I have been keeping track of how many times I am in pain and it's severity. I have also been keeping track of my blood pressure and my weight. Plus when I have a bowel movement, it's consistency, and frequency. Should they stop, I have to get to the ER.

I've lost another 5 lbs in a week without trying, but then again the nausea kind of puts a damper on my appetite. My blood pressure is a little high ranging from 140/90 to 146/95. It's been like that for almost 3 years because of my weight and from what the doctors say, "high, but not worthy of medication".

It's the pain that has me concerned.

Sunday was pretty bad but I contributed that to over doing it Saturday night. On Monday I was annoyed about having to waste 4 hours at a doctors appointment that I didn't need. I had to stop for coffee creamer at the grocery store and there were no close parking spots. I had to stop three times, holding onto peoples cars, before I made it to the door. I also decided to get an application for a handicapped sticker, it's quite obvious I need one now before the surgery. I was uncomfortable when I got home Tuesday but nothing 800mg of Motrin and the heating pad on the couch couldn't relieve.

Yesterday I noticed that I couldn't straighten up erect to walk and my knees are kind of buckling. I went to the doctor for something to alleviate the pain and to sign off on the handicap sticker. My blood pressure was up a bit due to the pain and I explained that to the nurse. Good thing I have a medical background. When a new nurse came in to make notes for the reason for my visit, I lost it when I told him the preliminary diagnosis of ovarian cancer. He got me some tissues and I apologized for not being able to compose myself. He was very nice and said I was in a place where I was allowed, and encouraged, to say how I feel and not have to apologize for it. He held my hand for a bit and went to get the doctor. The doctor signed off on my requests and gave me a script for pain.

Anyway.... I was suppose to go see Tami at the Power of One in Venice but I felt so run down and all the walking had my right side banging. I figured I'd put on my big girl panties and suck it up and go. Then I looked at the weather coming up from Venice and that put the brakes on that. I didn't feel well and I wasn't about to drive in pouring rain, so I went home. Somewhere along the line, my big girl panties disappeared.

I started sinking a bit because I wanted to see Tami and the pain was creeping in harder. I took some pain meds and lied on the couch for awhile. I got up to see what was up on Facebook and my niece Rachel left me a video from  Martina McBride, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It"  that had me balling my eyes out. I love that girl SO MUCH, but I lost my big girl panties and said "fuck it"..... I'm giving myself permission to cry. I needed a good cry and Jimmy Bimmy cuddled up next to me and licked my tears away. Texting back and forth with Joanne helped me from not slipping too far. She's such a good friend, I don't know what I'd do without her love and support. I spent the majority of the day going from the couch to the laptop (until I couldn't tolerate sitting there) and back to the couch.

I slept in spurts and tossed A LOT. Every time I turned, I woke Jeff up because I couldn't help the verbal wincing. My knees hurt, my back, my hips, and mostly the pain in my abdomen. It actually woke me up. I went to bed at 2am and I couldn't take it anymore and got out of bed at 8am.

Today was the first day since I was diagnosed that I needed to take pain meds just to function when I got out of bed. Usually the heating pad helps, but this was more than just my back and hips. I'm agitated because I didn't sleep and the pain in my right lower quadrant is hovering around the "pissed off" range on my pain meter. That's good though.... at least it's not the "crying " range.

Before the pain meds kicked in, I was hunched over in pain. I was hanging onto the walls for support. And even my "safe" position was uncomfortable.

If I have one more night like last night and wake up like this again, or worse..... I'm admitting myself into the hospital.

So needless to say, today was a ranting day. I need to get this kind of crap off my chest so I can see it for what it is and make the correct choices about my health. My "safe" position on the couch is working and I'm going to try and take a nap.

Let's hope I'm not as cranky, or in as much pain, when I wake up :)

God Bless and send me prayers!!! Love you all!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday, September 17th 2012


Today's appointment at the Wellness Clinic was a referral mistake made by the hospital. I waited 4 hours for nothing.

Insert several colorful curse words here.

The OBGYN's there do not do surgery or biopsies. Well gee people, guess what?

Now I just wait until NEXT Monday for my appointment at the DOH to see their OBGYN.

Wooosaaaaah. Keep calm. Good thing for Ativan.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Lots of pain today :/ Trying to fool myself that I can do things that I normally could do.

I over did it last night. I worked all day and went to hang out with some friends to watch the Gators game. I just should have gone home after watching the Gators kick Tennessee's ass. Instead, I went to a club where Jeff's brothers band was playing at around 10pm. By midnight I just HAD to leave, the discomfort was just too much.

Now I am paying the price for it. Four beers throughout the span of 6pm to 11pm is NOTHING compared to what I could normally consume. But I don't doubt that it may be a contributing factor. Sitting up in uncomfortable chairs and moving around too much actually bothers me. Today I have hellacious menstrual cramps that I know aren't from an oncoming period :/

Note to self: STOP IT. Know your limits.

Tomorrow I have an appointment at the Wellness Center at 12:30pm, but it's a first come first serve deal. I HATE dealing with the fact I have no health insurance. Anyway..... I don't know what is going to happen but I know I have to bring all sorts of paperwork in order to qualify.

Hopefully someone will be able to tell me *WHEN* I will have the much needed biopsy done.

But for now I'm going to take another Motrin 800mg and lie down.

God Bless! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday September 13th, 2012

I went to the hospital today to pick up a copy of my CT scan. With the biopsy not being done yet I am not going to look at it and get completely bat shit out of my mind upset. It's bad enough that I understand the doctors report. And the nice woman at medical records is faxing my files to Moffitt Cancer Center.

**Final Report SCT - CT Abdomen - Pelvis W IV, WO PO

The lung bases are clear. The liver is unremarkable. Cholelithiasis. The spleen is normal. The pancreas enhances homogeneously without local lesion. Adrenal glands are normal. The kidneys are unremarkable. No obstructive uropathy. Within the abdomen is a large sepated cystic mass with internal enhancement and nodules. It occupies the entire abdomen and pelvis. In largest dimension it measures approximately 32x33cm. There is surrounding inflammatory change and mesenteric inflammation. Diagnostic consideration is for ovarian mass/tumor. Bladder contour in normal. No inguinal hernia or mass. No focal osseous abnormality.

32cm cystic mass occupying the entire abdomen and pelvis, likely due to ovarian cancer.
Surrounding mesenteric inflammation.

I also went to the department of motor vehicles today for an application for a handicap hanger for my truck. Trying to be a bit proactive here because I know I am going to need it for after the surgery. And I am also finding it rather painful to walk what seemed like a short distance only a few months ago.

On a good note..... I am going out with some friends to cheer on the FL Gators on Saturday!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday, September 12th 2012 - 2 days after Preliminary Diagnosis

I went to the Department of Health (referred to as DOH from now on) at 2:30pm on Tuesday. Jeff went with me and held my hand the entire time.

When the doctor came in and asked me what the ER said, I told him they said I have ovarian cancer. His eyes grew big and was astonished. I thanked him for getting me over to the ER when he did and he agreed.

He explained to me that the DOH works rather slow but he put (in huge lettering) across my file "ASAP - DX: CA". He explained that the first step is an examination by the OBGYN doctor, then the biopsy and surgery.

He personally walked my file over to the Womens Center and made the appointment for me. The best they could do was 9/24/12. He was very disappointed, as was Jeff and I, at the delay. He appologied and reiterated that this is a county facility and they do the best they can. I understood, but it is very frustrating.

He explained to me that I should not miss any appointments and do everything they ask of me. I already knew this but listened anyway. He gave me a prescription for nausea and said if any of my symptoms get any worse I am to go back to the ER.

Jeff and I thanked him and we left.

I got home and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. I was emotionally DRAINED. I slept from around 4pm until 2:30am because my hips and back hurt again. Those are symptoms of ovarian cancer.... I thought it was time to flip the mattress. What do I know :/

So now I wait. Every bad thing imaginable is running through my head. Trying to stay positive is really hard when it's YOUR feet in the shoes of the woman who has the cancer.

Post note: I did call Moffit Cancer Center and my medical records are going to be faxed over to them tomorrow. I should here backfrom them in 3-5 business days but they do take un-funded patients and they are the BEST cancer treatment center in Tampa!

Monday, September 10th, 2012 - The Preliminary Diagnosis

After finally being able to get into the department of health for an appointment, once the doctor assessed me, he ripped up his initial referrals and said I didn't have "weeks" to wait for an exam and wrote a referral to the Emergency Room for testing.

That scared me. Jeff had offered to come with me but I knew it was going to be a long wait and it was only for testing so I told him I'd let him know what was going on periodically and there was no need for him to leave work.

Mondays at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in the ER are a nightmare. Within the six hour wait I had to endure, my blood work was done, I had a urinalysis, an IV started and a CT scan done. So it's not like they weren't doing anything, the availability of beds were low, but the care was still there.

I was happy that my friend Joanne was there working that day and when the night shift came on, she was able to get me in the back a bit sooner. I already knew that she had seen my CT scan results before I did and was not allowed to say anything.

When I was finally able to get a room in the ER, she sat with me when the Physicians Assistant came in to talk to me. He just rattled off the preliminary diagnosis of "ovarian cancer" that was seen on the scan like I already knew I had it. My mind stuck on those two words and I really didn't hear much after that. I wanted him to LEAVE.

When he did leave, I burst into tears and Joanne was immediately holding onto me. I cried and couldn't stop shaking. She didn't leave my side until I asked her to get me some water. I also asked her to text Jeff to get to the hospital immediately.

The doctor came in and offered me some choices since I don't have medical insurance. I could have stayed and let the dept of health come see me in the morning or go home and make an appt with the doh and save myself a whopping hospital bill.

The gave me something for the nausea and something for the pain. I wish they could have given me something to take away the fear as well.

Jeff got there and held onto me for a long time while we both cried. We talked about the options for the evening and we waited for the doctor to call the on call doctor at the doh and find out what they said. We were going to go with what the doh doctor recommended.

It was decided that I would go home and see the doh doctor the next day. There was no real benefit of me staying there.

I was unhooked from my IV and I went home. I got home and took the Ativan they prescribed me for anxiety, and hugged my dog.

I had nightmares about surgery.