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Archive for March, 2009

Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is a fancy sounding term meaning removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes. Mine is scheduled for April Fools Day, one week from tomorrow.

It has been a very tough decision and a stressful year so far but in the end I know that this is the right thing to do for my body. I knew all along that this surgery was inevitable. My cancer feeds on estrogen and I am decades away from natural menopause. I had hoped to postpone this surgery until my cancer was completely gone but that option is just not in the cards for me. I found out that the medication I am is not effective on all women. In reading the drug description, I found out that this is less rare than I had previously thought. According to the clinical pharmacology for zoladex:

“Serum estradiol is suppressed to levels similar to those observed in postmenopausal women within 3 weeks following initial administration; however, after suppression was attained, isolated elevations of estradiol were seen in 10% of the patients enrolled in clinical trials. Serum LH and FSH are suppressed to follicular phase levels within four weeks after initial administration of drug and are usually maintained at that range with continued use of ZOLADEX. In 5% or less of women treated with ZOLADEX, FSH and LH levels may not be suppressed to follicular phase levels on day 28 post treatment with use of a single 3.6 mg depot injection.”

I am aware of the consequences of sudden menopause. I am preparing myself physically and emotionally. I have been through an especially rough couple of months and I am sorry if I have been bad at returning phone calls, emails etc.

My hope is that this surgery will hasten the arrival of full remission. Please keep me in your prayers and visualizations. Visualize me cancer free, happy, healthy, glowing with youthful radiance and energy.

I would like to return to LIFE with vigor and a renewed sense of purpose. I miss having the energy to accomplish things for the greater good and not just for my own survival. I feel so indebted to my husband, family and friends. Thank you so much for your prayers, emotional support and financial assistance. I am eternally grateful. May your love and generosity come back to you tenfold. I plan to live to repay you 🙂

 

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like i thought they would be, my tumor markers are elevated. You would think this would clue my medical team into trusting my hunches but no such luck. Unfortunately I had to meet with the nurse practitioner instead of my doc. She referred me to a lung guy and a heart guy “to try to figure out what’s causing this wheezing.” Since they can’t see fluid on the scan they will not believe me when I tell them I know my body and I know I have fluid accumulation that is causing my cough. People are starting to look at me like I’m crazy and frankly, I’m starting to feel a little bananas in my frustration. I KNOW I HAVE FLUID ACCUMULATION. SORRY YOU CANT SEE IT ON THE SCAN. I DO NOT HAVE CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE. I DO NOT HAVE LUNG PROBLEMS. I DO NOT HAVE ASTHMA. MY ALLERGIES ARE NOT CAUSING THIS. sheesh. felt good to get that off my chest, now if I could literally get this thing off my chest I will be all good. Of course, the nurse would not let me leave the office until I agreed to be referred to all of her specialists, one of which requires authorization from my primary. So I just played along. Sat there for a half an hour like a good girl while they made these silly unnecessary referrals to go to doctors who are just going to prescribe medications that I will refuse to take. I just did it to be “nice.” I am not actually  going to any of those appointments. except for one…

Next stop? gynecological oncologist for oophorectomy. thats a mouthful. The second round of crazy looks comes when I tell them that I’ve built a resistance to zoladex. It can happen. Its just friggin rare but thats never stopped me before. Plus, I doubt they’ve done too many studies on people like me who have been getting a zoladex injection every month for 20 months. I think that in itself is an atypical situation. I have a strong feeling that this will all  be over soon once my ovaries are out.

So that’s where I am at. I will keep you posted. Sorry about the grouchiness. I had to get up early for nothing.

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good news???

The CAT scan report found NO evidence of fluid accumulation in my chest area that would be causing my coughing, wheezing and shorness of breath. No pulmonary nodules (lung cancer) identified. The small lesion on my liver went from tiny (.7 cm) to teeny (.4 cm.) No adenopathy (swollen lymph nodes.) My bone lesions are stable, no changes.  In plain english- The liver is getting better and the bones are the same. They goofed last week and forgot to order my tumor marker tests so I have to go back next week to get that bit of info.

Although this sounds just fine and dandy, it doesn’t comfort me too much when I am still having difficulty breathing, still coughing and gasping for air.  I also have a super high heart rate (126) and irregular heart beats. My intuition tells me that there is some fluid accumulation stressing my heart out but that the amount is too small to be detected. I wouldn’t be surpirsed to find out next week that my markers are at least slightly elevated.

I have done a lot of soul searching and have decided that I need my ovaries out sooner rather than later. My 20-a-day hot flashes have gone to 5-a-day warm flashes. Again, I feel like this is a sign that my meds are not working. My hot flashes are not supposed to ever go away as long as I am on zoladex. Removing my ovaries would remove my need for medicaion and I would have the peace of mind of knowing that I have the least amount of estrogen possible in my system. Plus, no more gigantic needles!

So that’s that. At times like these I start to wonder about how much information I should burden my friends and family with. I would love to believe that this coughing is the product of pollen or asthma or an overactive paranoid imagination but I still don’t feel quite right. I’ve had this pleural effusion problem….what…3 or 4 times now so I am pretty attuned to the symptoms. There is nothing I would love more than to find out that I have some other, non-cancer related problem that exactly mathches pleural effusions but my gut says thats probably not what is going on. The meds are probably working less and there probably is a tiny bit of fluid there.

Thank you all so much for being the most awesome, caring, concerned, loving and amazing people. Thank you so much for your prayers and love. Sorry to worry you. ❤ 🙂

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